Stanley and his friends Steve, Mitch, and Pablo, are playing poker in the Kowalskis' apartment that night. During their testosterone-filled conversation, which is full of macho bluffing, we find out that Mitch's mother is very sick and that he is extremely sensitive and concerned about her because he has trouble having fun with his friends whenever she feels ill. Mitch gets up from the table to go to the bathroom, and while he is gone, Stella and Blanche come home. Blanche decides that she wants to take a bath, and she and Stella run into Mitch while he is coming out of the bathroom. Mitch is obviously dazzled by her and looks back at her shyly and admiringly, and she obviously enjoys the attention that he is giving her.
When she and Stella are out of the men's earshot, Blanche tells her that she can tell that Mitch is "superior" to the others. Stella tells her that his mother is sick and that he works at the same plant that Stanley works at. Blanche asks her if Mitch has the potential to go anywhere in life, and Stella proudly tells her that Stanley is the only one in that group who is likely to succeed. She and Blanche begin to laugh at the thought of the other men's heavyset wives, and Stanley angrily tells them to be quiet so that they can concentrate on the game. Stella goes into the other room to calm him down, and Blanche rises to turn the radio on.
Stanley angrily asks who has turned the radio on, and the other men tell him to loosen up and allow the "girls" to play their music. Mitch tells him that he is going to skip the next hand and gets up to walk over to the bathroom. Blanche sees him and invites him to enter the other room, and when she asks him for a cigarette, he pulls out a silver cigarette case. He tells her that a girl whom he had loved had given it to him while she was dying. Blanche shows sympathy for his loss, and he is genuinely touched by her compassion and understanding. Stanley yells for him, and Mitch tells him that he is too busy talking to Blanche to play poker with them. He asks her if she is married, and she tells him that she had been an English teacher in Laurel. She begins to waltz in tune to the music, and Mitch is delighted and fascinated by her graceful movements and her delicate charm.
Stanley, who has been drinking steadily throughout the night, comes barging into the room, interrupting their conversation, and he picks up the radio and throws it out the window. Stella follows after him and calls him a "drunk animal," and he charges after her. The other men try to hold him back, but Stanley pushes away from them and begins to beat Stella. Things are crashing and falling to the floor, and Blanche is screaming shrilly in the kitchen until the men pull him away from Stella and onto the coach. Stella, who is hidden from the audience's view, says that she wishes she could go away, and Mitch sadly remarks that poker should not be played in a house with women. Blanche announces that she and Stella are going to go upstairs to stay with Eunice.
After the women have left, Stanley finally sobers up and realizes that they have gone. He is extremely upset and won't let the other men hold him down - he runs to the staircase and begins bellowing, "Stell-lahhhh!" Eunice tries to tell him that he was wrong to hit Stella and that he deserves to lose her and be punished for his stupidity, but Stanley seems humbled and asks humbly if Stella will come back to him. Eunice closes the door on him, and Stanley loses his boyish humility and begins yelling for her again. Stella finally opens the door and slips down the stairs. She is crying, and they seem to fall into each other, coming together with "low animal moans." He presses his face to her belly, which is beginning to curve a little bit with her pregnancy, and then he picks her up and brings her into their apartment.
Blanche comes out of the upstairs apartment, looking for Stella but finding Mitch instead. She is horrified that Stella has gone back home with Stanley, but Mitch tells her that they are really crazy about each other and that she shouldn't worry about Stella. Blanche seems to resign herself to his advice, and they sit down on the front steps of the house to smoke cigarettes.
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