Stella is a character that is blinded by love and lust, but her choice of man contradicts her Southern Belle upbringing.
Her relationship with Blanche is strange, as she acts more like the older sister than a younger one. Blanche is very critical of her sister’s accommodation and also her choice of man, at first it is because he is polish. Stella tells her sister that she wasn’t
‘blinded by all the brass’,
which reflects Stella, who we believe knows that Stanley isn’t good enough for her, but she is blinded by lust, and has gone in too deep and it would be unconventional for a pregnant woman to be without a husband, especially in the 1940s.
She tries to stick up for her sister at every opportunity, which shows a close bond that the sisters share. She has to increasingly stick up for her sister, particularly to Stanley, who thinks she has sold Belle Reve so that she could spend the money herself. I think Stella hates to think the worst of her sister, as at an early age Blanche was probably somewhat of a role model for her, but now she is more like someone Stella needs to protect from the hurt of the world.

Stanley and Stella’s relationship is being tested since Blanche has come to stay, and tensions reach their peak for Stella at the poker night.  Stanley gets increasingly annoyed at Blanche and Stella interrupting his poker game, especially with the radio, which he violently throws out the window.
‘Drunk-drunk-animal thing, you!’
Stella shouts at Stanley, which shows Stella as a strong character, one that can stick up to the violent Stanley, who hits her. However Stella goes to stay with Eunice and Stanley is heard shouting her name, she goes to see him, which shows that actually she is quite a weak person, as she gives into Stanley and also her lust for him, which is a key motivation in their relationship.
The next day Stella cannot see what is wrong with Stanley hitting her as she says to Blanche
‘You’re making much too much fuss about this’,
now Stella is defending her husband to Blanche. It is strange as it seems that Stella is the person that always sticks up for Blanche and Stanley to the other person. She takes a backseat role in both relationships, but is like a rock to both.
Stella expresses that she likes Stanley’s temperamental nature as she says
‘He smashed all the light-bulbs with the heel of my slipper! I was – sort of- thrilled by it.’
  It seems that Stella thrives upon the danger in her relationship, and loves Stanley’s bad boy persona.
Stella says to Blanche
‘People have got to tolerate each other’s habits’, which accurately sums up Stella who must put up with Stanley’s temper and Blanche’s drinking.  Stella’s main habit, or weakness, is that she continually goes back to Stanley, even when he hits her, but defends her actions as she says ‘But there are things that happen between a man and a woman in the dark- that sort of makes everything else seem- unimportant.’ This quote suggests that Stella’s strong sexual desire for Stanley overshadows the fact that he treats her poorly and also shows how weak she is.

Stella still doesn’t want to believe her sister is a unstable character, even when Stanley tells her of the stuff he has found out about her such as an affair with a seventeen year old boy, which Stella blames on the fact that Blanche’s husband was taken away from her too quickly and it ruined her. She still tries to protect her sister by not telling her what she knows.

It is Blanche’s birthday dinner, with only Stanley, Stella and Blanche present.
Stella shows that she is somewhat ashamed by her husband’s rough/ animal ways, as she says
‘Mr. Kowalski is too busy making a pig of himself to think of anything else! Your face and your fingers are disgustingly greasy. Go and wash up and then help me clear the table.’ This quote suggests that Stella is ashamed of how her husband acts, especially in front of her sister, who represents her childhood. Stanley brings Stella back down to earth telling her she knew he was common when she married him, and he took her down from her pedestal, which she loved, as it reiterates the point that she is attracted to his rough nature and how different it is to her upbringing.

Stella’s next appearance is in the last scene, where she is trying to come to terms with that fact that Blanche has accused Stanley of rape.  Stella chooses not to believe her sister, which Eunice says is the right thing to do, possibly because it would ruin Stanley and Stella’s marriage, leaving Stella with a child as a single parent, which was not appropriate in the 1940s, as women needed present themselves as stable with a man on their arm as the protector.
Stella has decided to get Blanche sectioned,
‘What have I done to my sister? Oh, god, what have I done to my sister?’ asks Stella. When the doctor and the matron turn up, Stella calls out to her sister, who doesn’t look back at her, which suggests that Stella feels bad about what she is doing and, in a way, shows that deep down inside she believes what her sister is saying about her husband, but would rather not believe it. Stella has chosen her relationship with Stanley over her relationship with Blanche, which shows a betrayal of sisterhood.



Stanley is the character first introduced to the audience, as he yells at his wife to catch the meat he has brought home. This constructs the image that he is the typical man- the breadwinner, who takes care of his wife. On first appearances, he is a very confident man, who may have a bit of an ego, as he shouts across the street, which also highlights his manliness.
During his first meeting with Blanche, it seems somewhat awkward, as both are almost forced into a situation where they must get along. He is polite to her but it seems that he has summed her up with one glance as he says
‘liquor goes fast in hot weather....Some people rarely touch it, but it touches them often’
, in regards to Blanche’s heavy drinking, which has not really been unearthed yet.
The stage directions describe Stanley as a man, who sizes up women at a glance, and whose main pleasure comes from women, which gives the impression that he is quite a sleazy character, as he looks at other woman besides his wife. He sizes up Blanche the moment he meets her and the quote above shows what he has gathered from his inspection.

Stanley evidently hates to be swindled, which he believes he has been when he sees Blanche’s fox fur pieces. ‘What’s these here? Fox- pieces!....Where are your fox fur-pieces, Stella?’ says Stanley, when he delves into Blanche’s suitcase and sees her expensive looking clothes . He is a character that jumps to conclusions, believing he has been swindled by Blanche, who he thinks had sold Belle Reve so that she could have the money all to herself. He tells Stella of the Napoleonic code, which means he can look at the papers for the plantation, as it means whatever is Stella’s is Stanley.
Scene two establishes Stanley as quite a controlling character, as it seems he wants everyone to do what he wants, as he tells Blanche to get the papers for Belle Reve.
He notes
‘the Kowalskis and the DuBois’ have different notions’, which is extremely true and is the basic notion of the whole play, and a reason why relationships are tested between the Kowalskis and the Dubois’. Blanche tries flirting with Stanley to try and make him a little less mad, but he is having none of it, as he tells her to ‘cut the re-bop’- this shows that he is not falling for Blanche’s charms and reflects him as a strong contrast to Blanche’s character, mainly due to the fact he is an immigrant.

Stanley has a ferocious temper shown particularly in scene three, during the poker game. He is extremely rude to his friends; especially Mitch who he teases often by saying things like Mitch will put his winnings ‘in a piggy bank his mother gave him for Christmas.’ This is a very inappropriate thing for Stanley to say, as Mitch’s mum is very ill and he is just making fun of the fact that the two have such a close relationship.
The poker night comes to a climax when Stanley hits Stella for continually interrupting his poker game. Later on in the night he is heard shouting
to Eunice’s window, which shows that he is quite a weak character and need his rock- Stella. As she comes down the stairs to greet him, he picks her up and takes her to the bedroom, which also shows his strong sexual desire for Stella, which is established as more of a brutal desire.

Stanley soon learns how he is viewed by his wife’s sister, as he eavesdrops on a conversation the two are having, which shows him as quite a creepy character, and one which Blanche must be wary of.
Blanche and Stanley’s relationship becomes even more awkward in the next scene, as it is revealed that Stanley has been looking into Blanche’s past.
‘So, do you happen to know somebody named Shaw?’
he asks of Blanche, her expression shows she does know the man. This reflects Stanley’s controlling nature, as he wants to know everything and have the upper hand in any way he can, in this case it is knowing why Blanche has moved from Laurel, which he doesn’t fully reveal until a later scene.

In scene seven, Stanley reveals why Blanche moved to Laurel to Stella, as he calls Blanche
‘downright loco-nuts’.  ‘They kicked her out of that high school before the spring term ended- and I hate to tell you the reason that step was taken! A seventeen-year- old boy- she’d gotten herself messed up with’
Stanley reveals. It is clearly not his place to say all this to Stella but he takes it upon himself to tell her, which shows how he feels like he should be the bearer of news, as he even blurted out to Blanche that Stella was pregnant even when Stella told him not to.
‘Her future is mapped out for her’
says Stanley, regarding Blanche. Stanley appears to manipulate every situation to his favour, as he has even told Mitch about Blanche’s ways- ruining both their chance at happiness.
Later that day at Blanche’s dinner, Stanley kicks off when Stella calls him a pig. He says
‘Huey Long said-“Every Man is a King!” And I am the king around here, so don’t forget it’
– throughout the play this has seemed like Stanley’s motto, who believes that he is king of the household and that Stella and Blanche must worship him.
Stanley even takes his wicked ways a step further, as he produces a one way ticket back to Laurel for Blanche, which shows how much he wants her to leave.
I think he is almost teasing the sisters with his wicked ways, as he says to Stella that he knows she once thought he was common as dirt but he managed to bring her off her pedestal, which he sees as somewhat of an achievement.

Scene ten is the climax of Stanley and Blanche’s relationship, as he rapes her.
They argue, as he unravels her life saying it isn’t a
‘goddam thing but imagination!’
‘Not once did you pull any wool over this boy’s eyes!’
he boasts, trying to look like he is almost a very important person, who cannot be fooled. His arrogance is sickening, as he thinks he can take advantage of everyone around him.
‘We’ve had this date with each other from the beginning!’
Stanley says, which is almost true, as the audience have been anticipating something to happen between the two and now it has.
Stanley rapes Blanche, which isn’t shown to the audience, but is heavily implied.
Stanley is such a vile character in the play and is most certainly the villain of the whole piece.

The last scene ends with a poker game, where Stanley is winning, which reflects the relationship he has with the two sisters, as he believes he is winning over both of them by splitting them up-
‘To hold front position in this rat- race you’ve got to believe you are lucky.’
Stanley tries comforting his wife as Blanche is taken away to a hospital, he begins to unbutton her blouse, which shows that all he thinks about is fulfilling his own sexual desires and that he cares about no one but himself.



Blanche is the main character of the play, as she appears in every scene.
The audience first get a taste of Blanche when she arrives in New Orleans, outside her sister’s accommodation, which is clearly inferior to her tastes.
‘They mustn’t have- understood- what number I wanted...’
she says showing her disbelief that her sister would live in such a place.
We learn that Blanche is from the South, therefore New Orleans is a big change for her, and she seems almost snobby about it.
We see that Blanche has her problems, as she drinks some whiskey whilst she’s in the apartment alone and when Stella turns up she requests some more. Her drinking problem is starting to unearth, right from the moment we meet Blanche, which gives the audience the impression that she might possibly be a heavy drinker and has some skeletons in her closet that she is trying to get rid of through drinking.
Blanche relies heavily on her sister, even though she is the oldest out of the two she acts a lot like the youngest, as she says to Stella
‘I want to be near you, got to be with somebody, I can’t be alone.’
This illustrates how lonely Blanche feels; therefore she has come to visit her sister, who is her rock-much like she is to Stanley.
Blanche has another weakness other than her drinking; she has an obsession with her appearance and wants to maintain her looks regardless of her age.
‘I want you to look at my figure.... I haven’t put on one ounce in ten years’
she says to Stella- most of the time Blanche looks for reassurance that she is beautiful, which she gets from Stella constantly.
Her unstable nature is shown when she talks about the deaths that affected Belle
Reve, by using metaphors, ‘Why, the Grim Reaper had put up his tent on our doorstep!’ and ‘the long parade to the graveyard’; these are used to shows how many people died within Belle Reve, but there is also a hint of exaggeration from Blanche, as audiences have already figured out that she is a hysterical character.

Stanley proves to be an obstacle for Blanche and Stella’s relationship, especially since he doubts her reasons for coming to New Orleans. When she is bathing one day he looks through her suitcase at her extravagant clothes.  Her baths are very significant, as during the last scene she told Stanley that her husband is dead. We soon learn that she takes these baths often, which is almost like a cleansing process for her, where she cleans away all of her past so that she can go on with another day.
After coming from the bath, Blanche tries flirting with Stanley -
‘My sister has married a man’
she says, in order to flatter Stanley. I think she is doing this to tease him- a thing she thrives upon.
Stanley doesn’t have any interest in Blanche, which may be a reason why she is flirting with him, as she finds it a challenge.
As Stanley rifles through her papers, including love letters from her ex husband, Blanche goes crazy and says
‘Now that you’ve touched them I’ll burn them’. This quote shows how precious her husband was to her and also suggests a dislike that she is acquiring for Stanley. We knew already that Blanche is wary of Stanley, as he is Polish but she says to her sister ‘Oh, I guess he’s not the type that goes for jasmine perfume, but maybe he’s what we need to mix with our blood now that we’ve lost Belle Reve’
. Blanche is implying that now the sisters have lost their wealth they need to mix with poorer people who may not understand the value of rich perfume. Even though Blanche says this, the audience still get the idea that she believes she is better than Stanley.
Blanche even tells her sister she was flirting with her husband, which her sister doesn’t really react to, which shows that this is almost expected from her sister.

The next scene fully emphasises how favourable she wants to be seen by men, especially at the poker game - ‘How do I look....Wait till I powder before you open the door. Do I look done in?’ This is also an example of Blanche wanting to get reassurance from her sister about the way she looks.
One of Stanley’s friends take her fancy- Mitch, they talk near the bathroom about a cigarette case he owns. It seems like both can connect with each other, as they have lost people in their lives. Blanche’s life has been full of death, from her husband to her parents so it probably feels like a relief to her that she can connect with this man.
When events take a turn for the worst at the poker game, Blanche takes control of the situation, as she acts like the big sister for once, as she says
‘Lunacy, absolute lunacy...I want my sister’s clothes! We’ll go to that woman’s upstairs!’
Blanche cannot comprehend how her sister can love such a man that hits her and is scared that her sister will be hurt.
The next day whilst talking to Stella, Blanche says
‘A man like that is someone to go out with- once- twice- three times when the devil is in you.’ It is strange that Blanche can see faults in Stella’s life, i.e. Stanley, but cannot see faults in her own such as her drinking and her vain nature. It seems like Blanche is living in a fantasy, where she dreams up circumstances better suited to her. She even tells her sister that she knows a man named Shep Huntleigh-an old admirer that will take them in as she cannot live with Stanley any longer.  Audiences are unsure of this man’s
existence and as Blanche says he has a wife, we do not believe he would take her in, which shows Blanche’s
fantasy world, which she lives in.
She expresses her hatred of Stanley, as she says
‘Stanley Kowalski- survivor of the stone age! Bearing the raw meat home from the kill in the jungle!... Night falls and other apes gather! There in front of the cave, all grunting like him, and swilling and gnawing and hulking!’ This is another exaggeration, showing again how hysterical Blanche is. It sounds like she is a voice over to a discovery channel. What she doesn’t know is that Stanley is eavesdropping on the conversation so can hear everything she says about him.

Blanche’s past is revealed further in the next chapter by Stanley, who she continues to tease, until he reaches a point where he retaliates,  as she tries to guess his star sign and guesses Aries because ‘Aries people are forceful and dynamic. They dote on noise! They love to bang things around! You must have had lots of banging around in the army, and now that you’re out, you make up for it by treating inanimate objects with such fury!’ Blanche is always making hints to other characters- she implies things rather than saying them out loud. Stanley reveals that he knows a man named Shaw who knows Blanche. She denies this but we can see that there is something going on, which she explains to Stella, as she says ‘I never was hard or self- sufficient enough. Have got to be seductive- put on soft colours....temporary magic just in order to pay for- one night’s shelter!  ...from one leaky roof to another leaky roof...People don’t see you- men don’t- don’t even admit your existence unless they are making love to you’. Blanche is, yet again, hysterical as she describes what she would do in order to get shelter and to mask her loneliness; she would sleep with several different men, which almost shows she is as bad as Stella who is more in lust with Stanley than she is in love.  Blanche is having sex with men that she doesn’t even care about, just to be noticed and seen as attractive.

A man Blanche is growing close to, however, is Mitch but it does not seem like enough for her when a young man knocks at the door collecting for the newspaper. She tries to make him stay as she asks ‘Will you- have a drink? ...Could you give me a light? ...What time is it?.. You- uh- didn’t get wet in the shower?’ This also reiterates how lonely Blanche is, which she takes a step further when she says ‘Come on over like I told you! I want to kiss you- just once- softly and sweetly on your mouth. .(kiss)..Run along now. It would be nice to keep you, but I’ve got to keep my hands off children.’ This shows Blanche’s key weakness; she wants to be seen as attractive by everyone, especially young men, even though Mitch is on the scene it seems like she forgets about him for a while and kisses as she kisses the young man.

After their first day Blanche says to Mitch ‘We are going to pretend that we are sitting in a little artists’ cafe on the Left Bank in Paris’- this expresses how she is constantly in a world of her own; her fantasy world.
Information about Blanche’s husband is finally revealed
‘When I was sixteen, I made the discovery- love. It was like you suddenly turned a blinding light on something that had always been in shadow. But I was unlucky. Deluded. There was something different about the boy, a nervousness, a softness and tenderness which wasn’t like a man’s...He came to me for help. I didn’t know that....I’d failed him in some mysterious way...I didn’t know anything except I loved him unendurably but without being able to help him or help myself. Then I found out. In the worst of possible ways. By coming into a room I thought was empty- which wasn’t empty, but had two people in it...’ The boy she was very much in love with was homosexual, which we understand through the nervousness, softness and tenderness he displayed- not like a man’s but that of a woman’s. She had failed him because he probably felt trapped and that he shouldn’t be gay so he thought marrying a woman would change this and that he would miraculously become straight, however this was not the case.  Blanche finally found out about this when she caught him with a man. She pretended as if nothing has happened, but she replays a painful memory and says ‘Suddenly in the middle of the dance the boy I had married broke away from me and ran out of the casino. A few moments later- a shot....Then I heard voices say- Allan! Allan! The Grey boy! He’d stuck the revolver in his mouth, and fired- so that the back of his head had been- blown away....It was because- on the dance-floor- unable to stop myself- I’d suddenly said “I know. I know! You disgust me...” And then the searchlight which had been turned on the world was turned off again and never for one moment since has there been any light that’s stronger than this- kitchen- candle....’
 The man she had loved so much killed himself, unable to face the fact that he was gay and soon everyone would know. Blanche says the light that had once brightened up her life after discovering the strong feeling of love had gone out, and no other light came as strong.
I think this was Blanche’s downfall, as after all this her nerves have never been the same again, which is another reason for the baths she takes. This is also the reason for the amount of men she sleeps with, as she is trying to find that light again but cannot find it.

It is Blanche’s birthday and she is deeply hurt at Mitch’s absence, which is due to Stanley meddling in her affairs telling his friend that Blanche had an affair with her seventeen year old student back in Laurel. Stanley puts the knife in deeper, as he gives Blanche a one way ticket back to Laurel, which she is visibly upset by as she runs into another room.  Blanche cannot bear to be parted from Stella, especially at this time when she feels like she needs her. Laurel represents everything that Blanche has run away from.

As Blanche and Mitch’s relationship comes to an end, she calls him a ‘cleft in the rock of the world’ and ‘poor man’s paradise’, which shows how special Mitch is to her, as he is her first real relationship since her husband.  He wants to see her in the light, telling her he has never got a decent look at her, as he turns the light on she cries out. This suggests that Blanche does not like to be looked at under a light, as it is like she is under inspection, and she’s scared the real her will be revealed. The blue piano music becomes louder, to reflect Blanche’s emotions.
The Varsouviana music is also present in a lot of the scenes, as it was being played as Blanche’s husband died.  However we soon learn that the music is being played in her head, which continually replays the night when her husband died, including the gun shot that was heard as her husband killed himself.

Before Blanche is raped by Stanley she is looking at herself in the mirror and talking to her own reflection, as if it is an admirer of hers. Stanley comes home and reveals Stella won’t be giving birth till morning; therefore he has come home so he can get some sleep.
Blanche lies to him saying she has got a telegram from Shep Huntleigh, requesting her presence on a cruise ship. Blanche notes that Mr Huntleigh wants a
‘cultivated woman, a woman of intelligence and breeding...I have those things to offer’ and that she has been foolish
‘casting (her) pearls before swine!’
Stanley unravels Blanche’s lies and then becomes more violent, she tries to run away from him but she can’t. Blanche is at her most vulnerable and even real in this scene, as she is afraid of what Stanley will do to her.

As the play draws to a close and Blanche is being led out by the doctor, after her sister has organised her to be taken away to be sectioned, Blanche says ‘Whoever you are- I have always depended on the kindness of strangers’. This is an ironic statement from Blanche, as the doctor isn’t a heroic Shep Huntleigh type she believes him to be and because the audience know that Blanche continually slept in a different bed every night, with strangers, so that she wouldn’t be lonely.
I think Blanche would always have ended up going to a hospital, as she never got over the fact her husband died, but Stanley made it a quicker process.



Mitch is a secondary character to Stella, Stanley and Blanche.
He connects with Blanche as soon as he is introduced to her in scene three at the poker night.
He appears to be quite a sensitive man, as he doesn’t really pay much attention to the poker night, as it seems he would rather talk to Blanche.
Whilst Blanche and Mitch talk, talk turns to a cigarette case that he has with an inscription from a woman he once knew-
‘The girl’s dead now...She knew she was dying when she gave me this. A very strange girl, very sweet-very’.
This is a reason why they become so close, as both have lost people they love and also Mitch has a terminally ill parent, which Blanche can relate to, as her parents have died.
Mitch’s sensitivity also comes from the fact that he has been looking after his mum for years.
He also seems like the voice of reason a lot of the time as he says, after Stanley has hit Stella,
‘Poker should not be played in a house with women.’  Mitch clearly knows what Stanley is like, very competitive, so he tries to get away from the drama by sticking with Blanche in another room, even though getting close to Blanche can only mean one thing- drama.

Mitch does not appear in the play until scene six, after a date with Blanche, who invites him into Stella and Blanche’s home whilst they aren’t home.
Mitch constantly worries about his actions and whether he has done something wrong, as he says
‘I’m afraid you haven’t got much fun out of this evening, Blanche’,
this shows that he worries he is not a good enough date for Blanche, who at times appears very high maintenance.  
He is very much a gentleman, as on Blanche’s doorstep he asks
‘Can I-uh-kiss you- good night?’
On a date a kiss on the doorstep doesn’t really seem like a big deal but to Mitch it obviously is, as he is very lonely and is starting to really like Blanche, who also feels the same as she feels comfortable enough to tell him about her late husband.  Mitch has even told his mother about Blanche, which shows how seriously he views the relationship.
Mitch highlights the fact that both are lonely and have lost the one they love as he says
‘You need somebody. And I need somebody too. Could it be-you and me, Blanche?’ They kiss and it seems that relationship has reached a new level- they are in love.

In scene eight, Mitch doesn’t turn up to Blanche’s birthday dinner, as Stanley has told him all about Blanche’s exploits in Laurel.

Mitch’s next appearance is scene nine, where he goes to Blanche to give her a piece of his mind, as he is clearly heartbroken. Due to all the stuff that has occurred with Blanche throughout the play she is very unstable in this scene, which Mitch points out as he asks ‘Are you boxed out of your mind?’ Mitch blames her behaviour on liquor, which he says she has been ‘lapping it up all summer like a wild-cat.’ His gentlemanly ways seem to have disappeared now that he knows the true about Blanche.
Mitch takes his crusade against Blanche a step further, as he turns the light on in the house, knowing that Blanche will not like it and says
‘I’ve never had a real good look at you’
- this Mitch is extremely unlike the one the audience saw in scene three.
It is revealed that the main reason Mitch is there is because he wants
‘What (he’s) been missing all summer’- meaning sex. It seems that all of a sudden he has turned into Stanley, as he just wants to have sex with Blanche and it is no longer about love. However she says she wants more but he cruelly tells her that ‘You’re not clean enough to bring in the house with my mother.’ This is extremely insulting to Blanche and reflects Mitch’s feelings for her after finding out about her promiscuous ways. In a way the audience know he doesn’t really mean it because he is just heartbroken.

When Blanche is being taken away in the last scene, Mitch begins to realise that Stanley has treated her poorly throughout and probably even believes that his friend is capable of rape.  ‘You! You done this, all o’ your God damn interfering with things you’ Mitch says to Stanley, who he blames for everything that has happened, including his and Blanche’s failed relationship, which is beyond the point of repair.
I think Mitch lost a part of himself when he found out about Blanche’s past and no longer acted like a gentlemen, but now it seems like he deeply regrets it, as he is actually a genuinely nice man- who serves as a strong contrast to Stanley.