Williams' Cat on a Hot Tin Roof

2153 Words9 Pages
Williams' "Cat on a Hot Tin Roof" In 'Cat on a Hot Tin Roof' Williams presents the audience with w world of mendacity. Every fibre of the character's being is based on a spectrum of deceit, from self-deception, to exploitation to social lies. The characters' names themselves conceal the irony and deceit, for example Brick, the leading man. The name Brick itself suggests a tough, strong man, but Brick's character suggests a weak, pathetic man who tries hard to forget his past by indulging in a life of alcohol. Brick is mentally insecure, he lies to himself and those around him, in the first scene he pretends not to hear his wife, 'did you say something, Maggie?' The other members of the household refer to Brick as the brick house that sheltered the 'three little pigs', the strong structure that cannot be easily blown down. The 'no-neck monsters', Mae and Goopers children are the pigs, sheltered by the security of Brick. In the play lying is used to 'protect' other people's feelings because 'the truth hurts'. A web of lies covers the truth about the state of Big Daddy's health. This is to 'protect' Big Daddy and his wife from the painful reality, 'Nothin' a-tall's wrong with him but' 'a spastic colon'. Lies are used to disguise the characters real feelings, they live a lie putting on 'jewelled sandals' and 'cream silk underwear' to stop their feelings being shown. Gooper and Mae are partners in games of lies and deceit, working together to get their wishes, the inheritance from Big Daddy. The name Big Daddy suggests a physically imposing man with a big ego and Big Mama suggests a frightening woman, head of the family, a matriarch. Their names suggest how they would like others to see them but they do not... ... middle of paper ... .... She builds herself up by putting Maggie down, by the end her comments have worn thin and she is ignored when she questions Maggie's 'pregnancy', Big Mama only believes what she wants to hear. It is this pressure to fit in to the family that is the source of most of the lies in the play; the audience is constantly left guessing the future, the family's lives beyond the death of 'the boss', Big Daddy. Williams leaves the end of the play open to this guessing, will Maggie get pregnant by Brick? The real question though is will Brick be able to face up to the responsibility of replacing Big Daddy and will the uncovered lies mean a truthful future for the family? I think that this is an interesting way to leave the play as it does not end 'happily ever after' but there is finally hope for the future for Maggie and Brick now they have faced up to the truth.
Open Document