Homosexual Theme in Tennessee William's Cat On A Hot Tin Roof
In his essay "Come back to the Locker Room Ag'in, Brick Honey!" Mark Royden Winchell discusses several aspects of the homosexual theme in Tennessee William's play Cat On A Hot Tin Roof. Winchell describes the play as subversive because it casts doubt onto the innocence of male companionship, the two most tolerant characters are the most overtly heterosexual characters, and homosexuality is depicted as a personal rather than social or political problem, despite the time period of this play. I think that Winchell is correct in all these thoughts, but what I want to know is what was Williams' approach, and that is never answered.
In Cat On A Hot Tin Roof Williams goes out of his way to question whether a very close male friendship can be purely and completely innocent. Winchell discusses this idea throughout his essay, but never gets to the simple point that literature up until the time of this play may have questioned the innocence of a female companionship, although even this was rarely overt, but,literature had never outright accused two men of a perverse relationship. Cat On A Hot Tin Roof does just that. Brick asks, "Why can't exceptional friendship, real, real, deep, deep friendship! between two men be respected as something clean and decent without being thought of as...Fairies," (89).
Unfortunately, the answer to Brick's question is the fact that Skipper killed himself and Brick is drowning in a bottle because of something in that "clean and decent" friendship.
What I found interesting about Winchell's essay is how he related Brick to Blanche from A Streetcar Named Desire. He states that Skipper and Brick did not conform to the stereotypes of homosexuality like Blanche's husband did, and he goes further in the comparisons:
Like Blanche, Brick drives a Homosexual...