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A Streetcar Named Desire

by Tennessee Williams

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Why does Stanley want Blanche to leave in A Streetcar Named Desire?

Stanley wants Blanche to leave so he and Stella can resume their former married life, in which he was the dominant partner.

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Stanley dislikes Blanche for a variety of reasons. He calls out her lying and snobbish attitude repeatedly. However, the one thing he appears to resent most about her presence in the house is its effect on his married life with Stella.

Stanley describes his married life as having been ideal before Blanche's appearance. Stella's attraction to him comes from his raw and unashamed masculine sensuality, which serves as a startling contrast to the more restrained and genteel world she and Blanche come from at Belle Reve. It also appears that Stella was never ashamed of Stanley's working class ways before Blanche came or that she ever challenged Stanley's authority in any significant manner. Blanche's presence reminds Stella of a more refined way of life that Stanley cannot stand. When Stella starts criticizing Stanley's manners, he loses his temper and behaves violently, viewing himself as a "king" over his own domicile. In this sense, Blanche is trying to overthrow Stanley from what he perceives to be his rightful place.

Ultimately, this desire to keep his household authority is what makes Stanley despise Blanche and causes him to rape her during their climactic confrontation.

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