top-rated free essay

Cat on a Hot Tin Roof

By ShareefArsenal1 Mar 24, 2013 1079 Words
Cat on a Hot Tin Roof is a fast paced play full of dramatic tension. Discuss how the portrayal of sex/sexuality fuels that tension, increasing the dramatic effect. Choose some but not all of the possible examples you might used

“Cat On A Hot Tin Roof,” Written by Tennessee Williams is an excellent play about a troubled family that is dealing with buried acts of deception, conflict and tension. Along with these problems comes sexuality and sex, a very important aspect of the play which increases the dramatic effect. The pressure between husband and wife created by sexual tensions. The need for Brick to be seen as a man by repressing homosexual feelings from the world by turning to the effects of alcohol. Maggie’s sexual frustration with her husband who refuses to show her the passion she is longing. The frustration Big Daddy feels from not being sexually attracted to his wife. The relationship between Big Daddy and Brick, how they are more alike then they seem to be. These are among the main problems concerning sexuality escalating dramatic tension in this play.

The sexual tension between Brick and Maggie is one of the most commonly occurring conflicts throughout the play. Brick and Maggie are a couple in the play who have two opposite feelings for each other. In Act 1 Maggie says to Brick “You look so cool, so cool, so enviably cool” the quote presents Brick to be represented to the audience as a man who is self contained, cool, untouchable and perfect physically. He physically embodies a real man. Maggie see’s herself as a women who is dissatisfied, ignored, and exhausted from sharing her desires with Brick as he does not feel the same way. Maggie refers to herself as a cat on a hot tin roof loving someone knowing that the love cannot be returned. Maggie confession to Brick about their relationship only increases the tensions between the two characters and forces Maggie to question their friendship for something much stronger. Maggie becomes bitter and anxious like a cat, she takes into account that without Brick’s love she will remain childless, and that they will be less favored to Big Daddy his heir and their position in his household will be put at risk.

Brick, self concerned and rugged. Throughout the play, Brick continues to wash away all of his troubles and problems by drinking excessively. This is a problem that he has developed to separate himself from the problems. “One man has one great good true thing in his life. One great good thing which is true! I had a friendship with Skipper. You are naming it dirty!” This quote from Act 1 shows Brick acting out at Maggie for implying that his and Skippers relationship was more than just a friendship. This is the first time these implications are made and the first time in the play that Brick looses his cool, he links thoughts of homosexuality with disgust. This shows that the implications could be true, because when Maggie shares her own sexual approach, he reacts in a cool, calm and a completely removed manner, not showing any signs of concern. “You two had something that had to be kept on ice, yes, incorruptible, yes!” Maggie continues on about Brick’s relationship with Skipper, forcing Brick to acknowledge the fact that he did have homosexual feelings for his best friend rather than continuously mourning his death over the fact that his feelings had to be kept in secret from society. Bricks main goal is to keep his masculinity intact “Why can’t exceptional friendship..Between two men be respected” Brick is disturbed by the fact that his desire is jeopardizing his masculinity, something that he cannot throw away because of sharing the possibility of his homosexuality.

Big Daddy, the large “Mississippi Redneck” is the millionaire father of the family, effected with cancer unknowingly. Brick is the only one who knows, and hides it. Big Daddy believes that he has come back from the dead, realizing that his money cannot buy him happiness. His sexual life is now brought back into the picture. He was never pleased with his wife and did not love her the time they were married, he wants to explore sex again now that he has a second chance. This is much like Brick and Maggie’s current relationship, except Brick’s preference in gender, showing how alike Brick is to his father. He has a strong affection for his son Brick, who reminds him very much of himself. For this reason he wants Brick to be the heir to his throne. The only way to achieve this is if Brick and Maggie provide a grandchild for Big Daddy to continue his legacy. Although the possibility of this grandchild in unlikely because of Brick and Maggie’s sexual relationship. “Now, hold on.. I knocked around in my time” When Big Daddy finally learns the truth about his son’s sexuality he confesses his experimentation as a growing man, it is here that Brick and Big Daddy are more alike than ever. Now that the truth behind Brick’s sexuality is revealed he tells Big Daddy that he is still dying from cancer. “You told me! I told you!” As a result of Big Daddy forcing Brick to face his homosexuality, Brick forces Big Daddy to receive the news of his inevitable death. Now Big Daddy is occupying the position that Brick has just gotten out of, Brick is revealing and Big Daddy is receiving.

Sexuality and sex in this play does increase the dramatic tension between the characters. It is something that effects everyone in the play somehow. The examples above are only three of many others. The relationship between Maggie and Brick, is almost completely dependent on Bricks sexuality, even his excessive drinking is strongly related to his sexuality. He knows that he cannot be the heir to Big Daddy without a child, yet still chooses not to engage in sexual relations with Maggie. This makes Maggie greatly concerned about her place in the household. Big Daddy comes to a sort of revelation, thinking he has been given a second life. He acts cruel with his wife, because he accepts the fact that he never truly loved her and has been hiding his sexual appetite their entire marriage. The dramatic effect in this play is lead by sexuality and sex, it acts as foundation that builds up to vital events in the play.

Cite This Document

Related Documents

  • Cat on a Hot Tin Roof Exam Question

    ...than words, something closer to being and action”. In the original version of Act Three Big Daddy is absent altogether and is only heard from offstage crying in agony as the pain kicks in. I feel that the dramatic tension of the original version is strong enough not to need the somewhat obvious theatricality of a storm. Tennessee Williams fe...

    Read More
  • Cat on a Hot Tin Roof

    ...http://www.shmoop.com http://www.enotes.com http://www.onlinereviewlondon.com “A play is always a reflection of its time. Social, political, economic and theatrical influences, all have their expression in theater” Tenessee Williams The play Cat on a Hot Tin Roof truly reflects its time but more then that it reflects the play write. Th...

    Read More
  • Cat on a Hot Tin Roof

    ...Cat on a Hot Tin Bed Space is an important element in drama since the stage itself represents a space where action is presented. Plays can differ significantly with regard to how space is presented and how much information about space is offered. The analysis of places and settings in plays can help one get a better feel for character...

    Read More
  • cat on a hot tin roof

    ... Cat on a Hot Tin Roof The play Cat on a Hot Tin Roof is a tragedy written by Tennessee Williams. The play takes place in the summer of the mid 1950’s in the bed room of a Mississippi plantation owned by one of the characters named Big Daddy. There are three major characters in the play: Big Daddy, his son Brick, and Brick’s wife Ma...

    Read More
  • Cat on a Hot Tin Roof

    ...Theme of Sexual Repression in Cat on a Hot Tin Roof The play Cat on a Hot Tin Roof, written by Tennessee Williams in 1955, portrays the homosexuality through the conversations Brick has with Maggie and Big Daddy. The film Cat on a Hot Tin Roof, by screenwriters Richard Brooks and James Poe released in 1958, removes the homosexuality in the mov...

    Read More
  • Cat on a hot tin roof

    ...but not the Least: Cat on a Hot Tin Roof I find it funny that Cat on a Hot Tin Roof by Tennessee Williams is the last play we viewed in class because it sums up each and every play I have seen in this English 100 and Drama 235 class. All four plays tie-in with Cat on a Hot Tin Roof for it talks about: Lies (Oedipus Rex), jealousy (Othello), s...

    Read More
  • Cat on a hot tin roof

    ...Cat on a Hot Tin Roof After watching the film “Cat on a Hot Tin Roof”, I was able to find an example of a minor character, bit player, and a character role. First, Reverend Tooker can reflect an example of a bit player. The reason for this is due to the fact that Rev. Tooker does not speak much but just enough in order to not be an ext...

    Read More
  • Archetypes of Cat on a Hot Tin Roof

    ...stated that “archetypes are a tendency or instinctive trend in the human unconscious to express certain motifs or themes” (“Dreams, Health, Yoga, Mind & Spirit”). In the play Cat on a Hot Tin Roof by Tennessee Williams, Williams uses many archetypal images and personas, such as the tragic hero or the stern father figure, to convey the ov...

    Read More

Discover the Best Free Essays on StudyMode

Conquer writer's block once and for all.

High Quality Essays

Our library contains thousands of carefully selected free research papers and essays.

Popular Topics

No matter the topic you're researching, chances are we have it covered.