What is Williams saying about human sexuality in "A Streetcar Named Desire?"

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Williams presents human sexuality as something that can, under certain circumstances, lead to one's destruction. That's precisely what happens to Blanche DuBois, whose own sexuality is a major part of who and what she is.

Blanche has the great misfortune to live at a time when female sexuality was supposed to remain firmly within the confines of heterosexual marriage, and even then, it was purely for the purposes of procreation. Blanche's sister, Stella, is also highly sexualized, but the big difference is that she's managed to channel her sexuality into her marriage with Stanley. Stella's pregnancy with Stanley's child is the outward manifestation of what society regards as acceptable in relation to female sexuality.

A double standard applies, however, in that similar strictures on male sexuality don't exist. Stanley doesn't just cheat on Stella by having sex with Blanche; he actually breaks the law by committing rape. Yet according to the warped values of traditional society Blanche is...

(The entire section contains 4 answers and 1000 words.)

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