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The themes of Tennessee Williamss Streetcar Named Desire follow Margaret Mitchells Gone with the Wind the emotional struggle for supremacy between two characters who sym - bolize historical forces between fantasy and reality between the Old South and a New South between civilized restraint and primitive desire between traditionalism and defiance If Blanche DuBois represents defunct Southern values Stanley Kowalski represents the new urban moder - nity and pays little heed to the past If Stanley cannot inherit the DuBoiss plantation he is no longer interested in it Williamss stage directions indicate that Stanleys virile aggressive brand of masculinity is to be admired His cruel intolerance of Blanche is a justifiable response to her lies hypocrisy and mockery but his nasty streak of violence against his wife appalls even his friends His rape of Blanche is a horrifying and destructive act as well as a cruel betrayal of Stella Ultimately however this survivor disposes of the paper moon 99 Blanche and as we see in the closing lines of the play he is able to comfort with crude tumescence Stellas weeping as the neighborhood returns to normality Blanche and Stella are the last in a line of landed Southern gentry Years of epic forni - cations 43 as Blanche puts it swallowed up the material resources of the family all that re - main are the manners and pretensions Yet Blanche with all her possessions in a valise clings to her gilded gaudy garb and imagines a world in which the values of the Old Guard eg charm wit chivalry and appearanceindeed sheare still relevant Stanley in sharp contrast is born of Polish immigrants a sweat - shirted bowler and lothario he is as one critic has remarked a new breed without breedingand not the type that goes for jasmine perfume 44 Stella meanwhile has renounced the worn dictates of class propriety to marry this uncouth sweetheart she plays the placating intermediary between the poles
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