what are the unethical instances in the play and how do they affect the characters overall?
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Wow! This is an involved question. What really comes into play here is the changing world and the end (once) again of chivalry and the 'southern belle' in the old south.
For me, I see the question about morality.......... as the most immoral act and the climax of the play center around Stella's giving birth to the baby and Stanley's subsequent rape of Blanche. But Blanche is unhinged......... she's crazy. She gives Stanley all the information and motive he could want to destroy her, and that ultimately becomes his desire.
Stella is naive, and I personally love that about her........... Mitch......... he's just a guy who falls in love with what Stella used to be.
So I guess, our two unethical characters are really only Stanley and Blanche. Stanley gets pushed too far, but I won't excuse him........... and Blanche pushes too. She wants attention, and when she arrives in the home of her sister and her husband, she has just enough wits about her to try and destroy them. She attempts to re-take her place as the 'belle of the ball,' but she can't be that woman anymore because she's not the 'young' beautiful, southern belle of her youth. Blanche's actions affect everyone in a negative way; she is destructive, and her actions are intended to destroy.
Whoa............ typo! Mitch falls in love with Blanche. I'm glad I re-read!
There is an essay here on gradesaver that might help you further; gradesavers essays make it well worth joining;
"A Streetcar Named Desire contains issues from life; a guilty feeling of abandonment, the anger and frustration between two complete opposites, and the violation of a rape. Stella abandons her sister to try to make things work with her husband. She knows that she cannot stay neutral this last time. As Blanche is taken away, Stella is overcome with feelings of guilt, loss, and betrayal. She has abandoned her sister for her husband, which people in reality tend to do. in many family conflicts, one with side with their mate, even if they risk putting their family aside.
Stanley and Blanche are opposities, trying to coexist in a small area and failing miserably. Her refusal to deal with Stanley and his rough nature causes her to revert further and further into her world of pretend, as he becomes more and more rough, culminating in the rape of Blanche by Stanley. She has mocked him in his home, and he cannot deal with her and her lies. He violates her in the most personal way, and she cannot deal with any semblance of reality anymore. If this rape had happened in 1999, it would have been all over the news, it would have been one the greatest crimes and/or scandals in local news. In the small neighborhood of Stanley's flat, it would have been news within the local area. However, if the rape was not believe and did not make the news, the commitment of Blanche to the mental institution would not have been made a big deal, for if it was, the family would never be looked at in the same light again. After the rape, Blanche losses her mind. Her world becomes a world of almost complete fantasy. Blanche feels that she is the picture of femininity. She tries to be prim and proper, but fails the minute she says anything degrading about Stanley to Stella. Along those lines, Blanche's world of fantasy has been created by the lies that she cannot seem to stop telling. When she lies, she tended to contradict herself, revealing the falsities. When Stanley caught hold of this, he called a few people, found out the truth and destroyed her world. Had Blanche simply been truthful, and accepted her past, she may not have found herself in the sticky situation that she found herself in." (1)