Tennessee William's Battle with Homosexuality Through Brick in "Cat on a Hot Tin Roof"

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Tennessee Williams' Battle With Homosexuality Through Brick

Tennessee Williams wrote a variety of plays over the course of his life. Although all his characters have differences from play to play, there are many patterns that can easily be recognized which reflect his struggles in his daily life. What can be noted in the patterns is not only the words the actor speaks or what is said on stage, but also the direction Williams gives them. Certain directions seem to be subtle speeches from Williams. Much of the direction is not just a movement but a literal feeling from Williams. The portrayal of Brick in Cat On A Hot Tin Roof mirrors the emotional struggle Williams had with accepting himself as an openly gay man in a closeted society.

Reading Williams' plays, you get the vague idea of what his personal life and family were like. He grew up with an alcoholic father. His mother was distraught. After a childhood illness, Williams didn't grow into the broad shouldered, strong man his father wanted him to be. Although he knew his sister, Rose, was in trouble living with his father, Williams still left for college. Rose was more outspoken about their father's insane behavior caused by the alcohol, however she was forced to have a lobotomy in 1937 which left her brain damaged. Williams could neither “assert himself during family quarrels nor retreat” (Hayman 44). After going to the University of Columbia for a stint and failing out of military training, his father pulled him out and put him to work at a shoe factory in St. Louis. His hatred for the monotonous work of the shoe factory drove him to fill all his spare time with writing. Williams' writing included much of his past with his dysfunctional family. After Williams' enrolled at Washington University, his parents separated due to his raging alcoholic father. His outlet for being so misunderstood by his family, but also for running away, was his writing.

Throughout the 20th century, there were a number of...
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