Stella Kowalski is the younger sister of Blanche and the husband of lower-class man Stanley; she is about twenty-five years old and pregnant with her first child. Her relationship is both loving and repeatedly abusive, which Stella has become used to over the years, but she is madly in love with Stanley.
Stella is forthright and unapologetic about the nature of her relationship with her husband, and although she loves her sister, she is pragmatic and refuses to let anything come between her and Stanley. Stella possesses the same timeworn aristocratic heritage as Blanche, but she jumped the sinking ship in her late teens and left Mississippi for New Orleans.
She cannot bring herself to believe Blanche’s accusations that Stanley dislikes Blanche, and she eventually dismisses Blanche’s claim that Stanley raped her. Stella’s denial of reality at the play’s end shows that she has more in common with her sister than she thinks.
‘But there are things that happen between a man and a woman in the dark – that sort of make everything else seem – unimportant’
‘I couldn’t believe her story and go on living with Stanley’
‘He was as good as a lamb when I came back and he’s really very, very ashamed of himself’
‘It’s a drive that he has’
‘This is my house and I’ll talk as much as I want to!’
‘You never did give me a chance to say much, Blanche. So I just got in the habit of being quiet around you.’
‘And admire her dress and tell her she’s looking wonderful That’s important with Blanche. Her little weakness!’
‘You take it for granted that I am in something that I want to get out of’
‘I’m not in anything I want to get out of’
‘You have no idea how stupid and horrid you’re being! Now close that trunk before she comes out of the bathroom!’
‘Drunk—drunk—animal thing, you! [She rushes through to the poker table] All of you—please go home! If any of you have a spark of decency in you’
‘I’m going to try to keep Blanche out till the party breaks up because I don’t know how she would take it. So we’ll go out to one of the little places in the Quarter afterwards and you’d better give me some money.’
‘When he’s away for a week I nearly go wild’ – Stella
‘But there are things that happen between a man and a woman in the dark – that sort of make everything else seem – unimportant.’
‘What have I done to my sister? Oh, God, what have I done to my sister?’