Scene 4 Notes from A Streetcar Named Desire

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A Streetcar Named Desire Scene 4

Blanche walks onstage as she comes down the stairs from Eunice's flat the morning after the poker game and fight. She has not slept and is very nervous. She sees Stella happily relaxed in bed and sits down next to her. Blanche asks Stella how she could sleep with Stanley after what happened that night. Stella defends her husband by saying that he was drunk. "He didn't know what he was doing....He was as good as a lamb when I came back and he's really very, very ashamed of himself." Scene 4, pg. 183. Blanche still cannot accept Stanley's form of apology and is upset with Stella. Stella tells her that his physical vigor and excitement thrill her. She tells her that on their wedding night he took her shoe and smashed all the light bulbs with the heel.

Topic Tracking: Violence 5
Topic Tracking: Sexuality 6

Blanche tries to tell Stella to face the facts that Stanley is a madman and an animal and a commoner. Stella does not listen to Blanche and begins to clean the mess from the previous evening. Blanche gets upset with her for picking up a broom and claims that they need money to get out of the poor house in New Orleans. Blanche comes up with the idea to call one of her old beaux from college, Shep Huntleigh, to loan them money to set up a shop. She tries to call him through the operator to send a telegram. Stella laughs at this idea for she is happy with Stanley. Blanche is frustrated with this direct approach of pleading for money. Stella inquires how Blanche got so low on funds and then gives her half of the ten dollars Stanley gave her that morning to smooth things over from the fight.

Topic Tracking: Opposing Backgrounds 6

Blanche continues to think of a way to get the two of them away. However, Stella tells her that "You take it for granted that I am in something that I want to get out of." Scene 4, pg. 187. Blanche tells her that she cannot continue to live in that house as a burden and so near Stanley's violence. They bicker and Blanche finally explains to Stella what she thinks of Stanley and why she should leave him.

"He acts like an animal, has an animal's habits! Eats like one, moves like one, talks like one! There's even something -sub-human-something not quite to the stage of humanity yet! Yes, something - ape-like about him....Thousands and thousands of years have passed him right by, and there he is - Stanley Kowalski - survivor of the stone age!...And you - you here - waiting for him! Maybe he'll strike you or maybe grunt and kiss you! That is, if kisses have been discovered yet!" Scene 4, pg. 188

Topic Tracking: Opposing Backgrounds 7

As Blanche is voicing her tirade to Stella, Stanley comes home and overhears it. He doesn't like Blanche either. He enters the house and Stella runs to greet him with a hug as he smirks at Blanche from behind.

Topic Tracking: Sexuality 7

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