Exploring Pain in Cat on a Hot Tin Roof
"Cat On A Hot Tin Roof," written by Tennessee Williams is a brilliant play about a dysfunctional family that is forces to deal with hidden deceptions and hypocrisy. The issues that this play revolves around transcend time and region.
By 1955 Tennessee Williams was already a well known and respected playwright. Theatergoers, as well as critics, had enthusiastically anticipated the arrival of "Cat On A Hot Tin Roof." Many loved the play, but they had difficulty with the play's resolution. (Winchell, 711)
...critics and ordinary theatre-goers have not always known what
to make of the play. Both the original and the Broadway versions
of the third act leave questions unanswered and an uneasy sense
that the answers suggested are willed and artificial. (Winchell, 711)
In addition, many people love Williams's play "Cat On A Hot Tin Roof" because the plot is intriguing and the character's secrets unfold slowly. His play's premise is unique and it is not a re-hashed drama. They enjoy that Williams entertains and enlightens. "Audiences go to his plays not to be shocked but to see the playwright's sympathetic portrayal of characters whose fears and loneliness reflect their own."" (The New Book of Knowledge, 174)
Tennessee Williams's plays have been praised and criticized by literary scholars. Most applaud his prose and mastery in developing characters, yet they are sometimes offended by his subject matter. Mark Royden Winchell wrote a compelling article analyzing Williams's play "Cat On A Hot Tin Roof." In his essay, Winchell states that the play "is a powerful work of art", yet he exclaims that it is perverse and "scandalous." (Winchell, 702)
The article is entitled "Come Back To The Locker Room Ag'in, Brick Honey", and the author discussed Williams's exploration of homosexuality in "Cat On A Hot Tin Roof." He states that "the ideal of male companionship is one of the most enduring myths in American literature." (Winchell, 702) He notes that Williams uses this theme when he describes the main character Brick's relationship with his friend Skipper. Yet, the author believes that Williams twists the myth and subverts it when he hints that his male characters have more than an innocent relationship. (Winchell, 702).
Furthermore, Winchell suggests that Williams has a dislike for Mae and Grooper's relationship and he had distaste for the traditional American family. (Winchell, 702) Although Williams actually abhorred the lies and deception inherent in many traditional families. Winchell also explores how Williams seems to favor the homosexual relationship between the former tenants of Big Daddy's plantation. Their names were Jack Straw and Peter Ochello, and Williams admires the fidelity they shared. (Winchell, 706)
Also, Winchell elaborates on the controversy surrounding the critics as well as the audience opinion of the...