Animorphism is the adoption of animal characteristics in humans, when our personality contains certain animal quality which likens us to them
In ‘ A Streetcar Named Desire ’ there are lots of references to animals and lots of attributes in Stanley especially which suggest he is a primal, unrefined man with crudeness and rough edges.
His uncivilized life has possibly stripped down his human personality to core animal traits, this could be why he only has basic needs, such as sex and no remorse, his emotions are quite basic and also notice how he is doesn't ’ t oblige to such things as manners, and seems unaware of his vulgarity
In other words such things are too socially evolved for his primitive nature, rather like an animal would never think about manners, or looking impolite
In the first scene Stanley throws Stella a piece of meat, this supposedly small gesture conveys a lot of meaning;
It is a parallel that you see in the animal kingdom, an alpha male bringing back a hunted piece of meat from the wild and giving it to his mate.
It brings to mind many associations when analysing Stanley's character
Also Stanley throws the piece of meat at Stella, the common decency of simply approaching Stella to hand it to her doesn't ’ t seem to occur to him
Also rather like an animal Stanley has no discretion or shyness, he has no self-consciousness, he is brash and direct
It also has sexual connotations – it could symbolise Stanley ’s idea that women are a piece of meat that can be thrown around by a man.
‘ - He acts like an animal, has an animal's habits! There's even something- sub-human about him… thousands of years have passed him right by, and there he is- Stanley Kowalski- survivor of the stone age! ’
In the year of 1945 Tennessee Williams wrote the first version of the play which was entitled; the moth
This metaphor is unusual however it describes Blanche perfectly;
delicate in her manner,
vulnerable in her position, rather like a moth is easy to kill,
She dodges the light,
The way a moth fly's, frantic and quick is possibly a reflection of Blanches jumpiness, her hysterical nature, her nervousness, - moths flutter more when near light – Blanche feels a higher level of nervousness when around Stanley (light).
She is highly strung and she wears floaty, delicate clothing
Expanding on the metaphor for Blanche being a moth in more detail Stanley could be the light that she is attracted to;
Even though it is clear she doesn't like him, she flirts with him at the beginning and one could be led to believe that she is subconsciously sexually attracted to him,
In this way Stanley could be Blanches ‘light’, she is attracted to him but she is unaware that it is causing her damage, which parallels with the idea of the moth. Moths are attracted to the light, however heat that radiates from the light can harm the moth. This links to the scene in which Stella tells Stanley its “men like him” that hurt people like Blanche. Its heat from the light (Stanley) which hurts the moth (Blanche) although moths are attracted to the light. Stanley's ape-like direct persona is harmful towards delicate creatures such as moths (Blanche).
The susceptibility of a moth is contrasting to the powerfulness of an ape, and the idea that an ape is able to hurt or even kill the moth corresponds with Stanley’s control over Blanche and how he is able to mould her into anything.
In the last part of scene three the stage directions are revealing of Stanley's character;
‘ STELL-AHHHHHH!’ –this one yell from Stanley also parallels what happens with predatory animals, like wolves calling out for their mate
‘ they stare at each other. Then they come together with low, animal groans.’ apart form the sexual connotations the animal groans also reveal animal characteristics not just from Stanley but also from Stella;
It shows that Stella and Stanley's relationship is quite primal, in a sexual way, they have little in common except their sexual compatibility which is what seems to keep their marriage going