Discuss the Use of Mendacity in Cat on a Hot Tin Roof

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Discuss Williams’ treatment of mendacity in Act I and Act II “Mendacity is the system in which men live” – Brick to Big Daddy Mendacity is a key theme in the play “Cat on a Hot Tin Roof” and the lies that the characters in the play keep from each other is a technique Williams uses to create suspense and scandal. The secrets that eventually surface are what Williams dubs the "inadmissible things" that are repressed at all costs. The two main subjects of repression are Bricks concealed homosexuality and Big Daddy’s imminent death, which the family are all aware of except Big Daddy himself, and Big Mama. Big Mama desperately invests all her future hopes in the dream of Brick becoming a family man after the men are forced to confront these secrets. She is under the false belief that the responsibility of fatherhood will put an end to his alcoholism, and that their estate could go to the rightful heir. Big Mama believes that the preservation of the family line runs through Brick, and he will represent Daddy's immortality. The idyllic fantasy of Brick and Maggie’s “family”, however, is yet another of the play's lies. The relationship between Brick and Maggie in “Cat on a hot tin roof” represents repression of both the truth and sexual desires. Maggie continuously refers to herself as a “cat” which is a method used by Williams to represent how through how her husband’s neglect she has been forced into a constant state of anxiety and bitterness and is frantically desiring Bricks affection. Brick is cold towards Maggie from the beginning of the play which insinuates that perhaps an incident had happened previously in their marriage that caused Maggie to become frantic and Brick to resort to liquor in an attempt to “put up a screen himself and the real world” namely his relationship with his wife. Maggie possesses a constant burning desire to have a child with Brick, not only because she loves him, but as she believes it will help them gain a larger share of Big Daddy’s...
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