Everyone the world, is striving for the

    Everyone has experienced a situation in life where it’s like a rug has been pulled out from under them. Well, T. Williams’ novel A Streetcar Named Desire portrays a similar situation of three unconventional characters whose reality is not the American Dream that they are striving for. Blanche, Stella, and Stanley approach life hoping for different outcomes in their lives. But what is the American Dream they were striving for? Simply put, by looking at the principles of America, the primary dream for everyone is to have a well-lived life. For some people this includes a family, success, happiness, independence, money, and love. If these are T. Williams’ constructs of the American Dream, then Stella and Stanley Kowalski may never find their American Dream because Stella is only with Stanley due to her belief that she cannot survive without him and would rather live her life consumed by ignorance.    The Kowalskis do in some way love each other and want to be together; however, this could be a form of naturalism. Naturalism is defined as survival of the fittest and this is why Stella settled for a man who is the direct opposite of her previous life. This is because Stella, like everyone else in the world, is striving for the American Dream and a well-lived life that includes love and a family. Furthermore, with Stella’s baby on the way she and Stanley may be lucky enough to experience a small version of the American Dream. Yet, there is little that is cultured or refined about Stanley, he was even caught saying, “What’s rhinestone?” on page 36 of T. Williams’ novel A Streetcar Named Desire. This further shows Stanley’s ignorance and brings the many differences Stanley and Stella have to light, confirming the fact that Stella is only with Stanley to increase her chances of having some form of the American Dream.    Furthermore, Stanley is loud, chaotic, rude, selfish, crude, and often beats Stella with complete disregard for their child she is carrying. As Blanche puts it, “Maybe he’all strike you or maybe grunt and kiss you!” (Williams, pg. 72). However, no matter what Blanche says Stella remains with Stanley. This is what must be remembered about Stella—she grew up with Blanche and they have known each other since they were both girls. That shows the undeniable loyalty and kindness Stella has towards her sister. However, that bond they share makes it considerably more difficult to understand Stella’s decision at the end of the play to disbelieve Blanche, send her off to a mental institution, and side with Stanley. Stella justifies herself by saying, “I couldn’t believe her story and go on living with Stanley.” (Williams, pg. 133). Stella uses words like “can’t” or “if” which allows for the assumption that she is not letting herself believe Blanche. This is so she can continue living with Stanley without interruption. Stella doesn’t say that she thinks Blanche is lying; rather she’s consciously choosing to think Blanche is lying so her life can continue to resemble her own form of the American Dream.    Stella has many reasons to suspect that the reason Blanche was driven to the brink of insanity was undoubtedly the fact that her husband, Stanley, had raped Blanche; However, Stella is pretending it never happened. Stella isn’t doing this out of incompetence or disregard for her sister but because she truly believes she doesn’t have another option. Or, as Stella’s neighbor Eunice says, “Don’t ever believe it. Life has got to go on. No matter what happens, you’ve got to keep on going” (Williams, pg. 133). This line in particular is interesting because it sounds like survival instinct. These words, “survival” and “instinct,” should send the reader back to Blanche’s rant against Stanley in Scene Four. Where Blanche tells her sister that Stanley represents the law of the jungle, ape-like passions, and that Stella should move forward and progress with the world instead of her grueling counterpart. She begs her sister, “Don’t hang back with the brutes!” (Williams, pg. 72). Yet, Stella ignores all logic in hopes of achieving her American Dream which Stella feels she needs to live a happy and acceptable life.    In fact, instead of considering morality or loyalty or even logic, Stella has obeyed the primitive survival instinct that makes her believe she needs to stay with Stanley. She hangs back with the brutes not just by staying with Stanley, but by allowing the animal impulse of survival to take priority over all else. Blanche was unsuccessful in getting Stella to leave Stanley because Stella believes she needs to stay with Stanley in order to survive in American and achieve some form of the American Dream, it is instinctual. Stella is convinced she needs Stanley in her life and no logic can change her thoughts on the subject. Stella is grasping for her American Dream because she believes that is the only way she can achieve happiness in life.