This became a prostitute. However, this isThis became a prostitute. However, this is

This brutality and oppression is
only strengthened by the conformity of the characters in the play and in
society as well which is what makes it inescapable. This conformity is seen
after Stella is beaten by Stanley and the men are calm about it as if it is not
out of the ordinary. Also, Eunice points out that this is not the first time
Stanley has done this to Stella as she says that she hopes he gets locked up
“same as last time”1. This indicates that the violence is
reoccurring and happens often. Even though this is the case, the scene ends
with Stella going back to Stanley with her eyes going “blind with tenderness”1.
This suggests that the only reason it is reoccurring is because she allows it
happen and forgives him straight-away. The scene that follows this scene (scene
4) only further highlights this as Stella reminisces her wedding day when
Stanley smashed all the light bulbs. She normalises his violence by telling
Blanche that she was “thrilled by it”1.  By doing this, Stella excuses her oppressor
and thus conforms to the oppression while allowing it to become a social norm.
In scene nine Mitch also conforms to these societal norms as he begins to act
like Stanley when he finds out that Blanche was a prostitute. Mitch no longer
has psychological truth but “just realistic”1 truths, so he is
unable to be compassionate towards Blanche when he hears about the death of her
husband. Some critics believe that Blanche “delights” in “mocking”1 Mitch while he is unable
to understand why she became a prostitute. However, this is not true because
Blanche does not “delight” in explaining herself to Mitch. In fact, she feels
disappointed in him for choosing to conform to the patriarchy. Lastly, in scene
eleven, Stella again conforms to the oppression when she says that she
“couldn’t”1 believe Blanche about being raped and “go on living with
Stanley”1. Eunice reinforces this conformity by telling her to not
“ever” believe it as “life has to go on”1. This shows that life for
these women is to live under the patriarchal rule even though there is an
awareness of being powerless, they are forced to conform. This is part of the
cycle of their lives and there is nothing the women can do about it.  

George Hovis – The Mask of the southern Belle: Modern Critical Views – 2007

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