A Streetcar Named Desire
by Tennessee Williams
A Streetcar Named Desire Men and Masculinity Quotes
How we cite our quotes: Citations follow this format: (Scene.Line). Every time a character talks counts as one line, even if what they say turns into a long monologue.
You see, under the Napoleonic code – a man has to take an interest in his wife’s affairs – especially now that she’s going to have a baby.
[Blanche opens her eyes. The "blue piano" sounds louder.]
Stella? Stella going to have a baby? I didn’t know she was going to have a baby! (2.151-2)
Stanley says this deliberately in order to hurt Blanche. He’s just been a bit humiliated since Blanche proved her story about Belle Reve with the financial papers, so this is his way of asserting his dominance once more.
Stanley, Steve, Mitch, and Pablo wear colored shirts, solid blues, a purple, a red-and-white-check, a light green, and they are men at the peak of their physical manhood, as coarse and direct and powerful as the primary colors. There are vivid slices of watermelon on the table, whiskey bottles and glasses. (Scene Three, Stage Directions)
Williams uses physical props – or, in this case, clothing – to make his point about Stanley’s masculinity. These vivid, virile colors contrast with Blanche’s white, moth-like clothing. (And, of course, her name itself, which means "white.")
I’m out again. I oughta go home pretty soon.
I gotta sick mother. She don’t go to sleep until I come in at night. (3.15-7)
Mitch deviates from the classic masculinity which Stanley so fiercely embodies. Blanche finds this attractive in Mitch, which means her ideal man is a Southern gentleman, not a man like Stanley.