Stanley Kowalski is a fictional character in Tennessee Williams' play A Streetcar Named Desire.
Stanley lives in the French Quarter of New Orleans with his wife, Stella (née DuBois.) A working class auto-parts salesman, he takes special pride in having lured Stella away from her rich family, and shows her off to his friends like a trophy. He has a vicious temper, however, and the two have many fights, in which he often displays violence. Near the beginning of the play, Stanley announces that Stella is pregnant.
Stanley's life becomes more complicated when Stella's sister Blanche shows up at their door for a seemingly indefinite "visit". The two despise each other almost on sight; the spoiled, aristocratic Blanche openly looks down upon Stanley, whom she derides as an "ape", and she often calls him a Polack while Stanley is enraged at what he sees as a constant reminder that he is not good enough for Stella. His resentment grows almost unbearable when Blanche starts dating his friend, Mitch, and lets Stella briefly take refuge with her after an argument in which he hits her.