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Cat on a Hot Tin Roof
Transcript of Cat on a Hot Tin Roof
By Tennessee Williams Symbols The opening scene has Brick taking a shower while his wife, Maggie, complains that his brother, Gooper, and wife, Mae, have been having their "monstrous" children perform for Big Daddy, incessantly reminding him of their own childlessness. Daddy is dying of cancer, and Mae and Gooper are trying to cut them out of the estate. The doctors have lied to Daddy and Mama, claiming that Daddy only suffers from a spastic colon. Brick only adds to the problems and stress with his incessant drinking and public stunt on the high school athletic field. Maggie is confident of their advantage, because Big Daddy dotes on Brick, hates Gooper and his wife, and has a lust for Maggie. Maggie is upset with herself because she has become hard and closed with Brick. However, living with someone who does not love her has made her a "cat on a hot tin roof." Maggie tries to seduce Brick but fails, and she murmurs she has realized her mistake. Maggie continues and says that Brick and Skipper's love was sad because it could never be satisfied or even talked about. Daddy ties to resolve Brick's drinking issue.The family surrounds Mama and begins to tell her of Daddy's cancer. Gooper and Mae present Mama with a drafted will and Mama rejects it.Mama begs Brick to provide Big Daddy with a grandson before he dies and Maggie announces that they will have a child. Things reach their climax when the truth of Big Daddy's health is revealed, and he and Brick manage to resolve their differences. Homosexuality & Manliness: Brick is Cat's broken man. The favorite son and longed-for lover of a wealthy plantation family. Brick—a "brick" of a man—embodies an almost archetypal masculinity. Brick's "enviable coolness," however, is the coolness of repression, a repression that keeps his desires at bay. Brick is an alcoholic who cannot acknowledge the desire in his relationship with his dead friend Skipper. Turning from his desire, he has distanced himself from the world. He is reduced to the daily search for internal peace. Ultimately the revelation of the desire in his friendship with Skipper cracks Brick's cool. His horror at the thought of being identified with the things that he recites only points to a fear that they might be true.
The Cat on a Hot Tin Roof:The cat refers to femininity and feminine desire. The play's primary cat is Maggie, a typically hysterical, dissatisfied Williams heroine who prostrates herself before Brick. Maggie's loneliness has made her a "cat," hard, anxious, and bitter. Maggie's dispossession also rests in her childlessness. Certainly her childlessness calls her status as "normal" wife and woman into question. Without a child, moreover, her and Brick's place in Big Daddy's household is not assured. The child functions entirely here to assure their bid as Daddy's rightful heirs. Themes: Brick's crutch- Brick walks around the rooms with
a crutch due to an accident he had at the track the night
before. This crutch, often dropped or knocked out of his
hands by Big Daddy and Maggie, symbolizes his
masculinity. When his homosexual relationship with his
friend Skipper is brought up, Brick usually loses his crutch, representing his apparent lost and broken masculinity.
TV/Radio/Liquor Cabinet- This combination is used
in the play whenever Brick or one of the other characters
are feeling uncomfortable in the situation. Whenever
Brick goes to get a drink or turns on the radio,
he is creating a separation or distraction
from the conversation or moment. Characters: Margaret(Maggie):Brick's wife. Maggie's loneliness and Brick's refusal to make her his desire, has made her hard, and nervous. She is constantly posing in the mirror. Desperate in her sense of loneliness, she is made all the more beautiful in her envy, longing, and dispossession.
Brick : The favorite son and mourned lover.He resembles the perfect idea of masculinity. However, Brick is also a broken man because of his alcoholism and repressed homosexual desire for his dead friend Skipper.
Big Daddy: Brick's father.He is a large and vulgar plantation millionaire who believes he has returned from the grave. He tried to make Brick face his desires.
Big Mama : Brick's mother. Fat, breathless, sincere, and crude in flashy gems, Mama is a woman embarrassingly dedicated to a man who despises her and in feeble denial of her husband's disgust. She considers Brick her "only son."
Mae: A mean "monster of fertility" who schemes with her husband Gooper to secure Big Daddy's estate.
Gooper: A successful corporate lawyer. Gooper is Daddy's eldest and least favored son. He deeply resents his parents' love for Brick, and ruthlessly plots to secure control of the estate. Plot Summary: Setting The story takes place on a summer
day in the 1950s at Big Daddy's
home in Mississippi