A Streetcar Named Desire

Life After War: PTSD and the Character of Stanley Kowalski College

Stanley Kowalski stumbles home drunkenly to his upstairs apartment. He sees his pregnant and glowing wife Stella preparing him dinner. Without explanation, he feels an uncontrollable rage of emotions. Stella is confused and frightened. Stanley needs to leave without explanation. This is an everyday encounter that builds up a marriage of turmoil and instability. Examining this hypothetical scene from a distanced perspective, one would assume that Stanley merely has an emotional and moody countenance, which is ultimately Stella’s loss. “A Master Sergeant in the Engineers’ Corps,” Stanley enters A Steetcar Named Desire as a veteran. However, when considering Stanley’s experience as a soldier during the war, (while not specified, it is assumed WWII due to the date of publication), a deeper analysis of his post-war behavior and interactions with other characters suggests symptoms and after-effects of PTSD. Tennessee Williams’s A Streetcar Named Desire portrays PTSD symptoms and post-war effects through Stanley and his wavelengths with other characters. Williams’s characterization and interactions between these characters within the play is a commentary on how life alters severely after war.

In order to first breakdown PTSD within...

Join Now to View Premium Content

GradeSaver provides access to 1138 study guide PDFs and quizzes, 8808 literature essays, 2350 sample college application essays, 386 lesson plans, and ad-free surfing in this premium content, “Members Only” section of the site! Membership includes a 10% discount on all editing orders.

Join Now

Already a member? Log in