What reasons does Stella have to stay with Stanley in A Streetcar Named Desire?

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Stella is madly in love with Stanley. She wouldn't consider leaving him. In Scene One she tells Blanche, "I can hardly stand it when he is away for a night . . . " And then, "When he's away for a week I nearly go wild! . . . . And when he comes back I cry on his lap like a baby . . ." Besides this strong attachment to Stanley, which is of course partly sexual, Stella is now expecting a baby. There is never any real question  of her leaving Stanley, although Blanche disapproves of him and tries very hard in Scene Four to get her to escape from him. When Blanche tells her, "You can get out," Stella replies emphatically, "I'm not in anything I want to get out of." Blanche is already an unwelcome guest in this two-room apartment. The coming baby is sure to make it impossible for her to stay.

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Certainly, pragmatism is one of the strongest reasons that resonates with why Stella does what she does. Stella is practical. She understands that her situation is not going to immediately lend itself to her leaving Stanley and starting a new life with her newborn child. She understands fully that there has to be a sense of recognizing what is in order to function in daily life. For Stella, "it is what it is" might be an apt way of describing how she functions with Stanley. At the same time, I believe that Stella combines her pragmatism with a sense of the illusion that is so dominant in Blanche.  Stella believes that she has a connection with Stanley that others will fail to grasp. It is one that "there are things that happen between a man and a woman in the dark—that sort of make everything else seem—unimportant." This is so important to understand in Stella's conception of her marriage. She believes that these carnal expressions reflect a type of love between husband and wife. Whether she is right is not as important as the fact that this resonates with her, and is something that is important in terms of understanding how and why she stays with Stanley.

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