In Tennessee Williams’ play, A Streetcar Named Desire, Stanley is a brute, masculine force that also represents toxic masculinity. Williams describes Stanley in the following quote.
“He is of medium height, about five eight or nine, and strongly, compactly built. Animal joy in his being is implicit in all his movements and attitudes. Since earliest manhood the center of his life has been pleasure with women, the giving and taking of it, not with weak indulgence, dependently, but with the power and pride of a richly feathered male bird among hens… He sized women up at a glance, with sexual classifications, crude images flashing into his mind and determining the way he smiles at them.” (Williams 25).
This quote shows that Stanley doesn’t treat women like people, he objectifies them and treats them as his possessions. The way that Stanley treats Stella is no different than the way Williams describes him. In scene three, Stanley is playing poker and drinking beer with his friends when he hits Stella.
“She backs out of sight. He advances and disappears. There is the sound of a blow. Stella cries out. Blanche screams and runs into the kitchen. The men rush forward and there is grappling and cursing. Something is overturned with a crash.” (Williams 63).
This quote shows that even though Stella is pregnant with his first, and only, child, he still feels that he has complete control over her and her body. Personally, I find it very interesting in how a lot of the description of Stanley is in Williams’ stage notes. While Stanley does have dialogue that represents his personality, but the stage directions show how large and masculine he is.
In the film adaptation of A Streetcar Named Desire, Marlon Brando plays Stanley. While doing some research, I found that Marlon’s lifestyle was very similar to that of Stanley’s. Marlon was a very angsty teenager and was the father to at least eleven children with several different wives. Brando was also kicked off of several films because of his erratic behavior. What better actor to play Stanley than Marlon Brando?