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A critic has written that a family at the centre of the party "is clothed with the atmosphere of the south as with a garment." How important is the setting of "Cat on a Hot Tin Roof" to the play's dramatic impact? You may consider:

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Introduction

A critic has written that a family at the centre of the party "is clothed with the atmosphere of the south as with a garment." How important is the setting of "Cat on a Hot Tin Roof" to the play's dramatic impact? You may consider: - The bed sitting room of the stage set - The wider, geographical setting of the Mississippi Delta - The values of the play of the society revealed in the play In my opinion, the setting of the play is vital to the level of dramatic impact for a number of reasons. The main themes behind "Cat on a Hot Tin Roof" are represented and shown through the setting of the play. For example, the whole play is situated around the bedroom sitting area to put forward a key theme of the play: sexuality. If the setting wasn't relevant to themes of the play, the audience would find it difficult to fully understand key elements of the play that Tennessee Williams was trying to put across. The bed sitting room in which the play is based around belongs to Brick and Maggie, two main characters. ...read more.

Middle

The plantation itself is relevant to meanings behind the play and its dramatic impact. Being built on very fertile land, the plantation shows the irony of Maggie's great desire to become pregnant, contrasting with Mae who has six, irritating children. It also reinforces that the family are staying on Big Daddy's property. Big Daddy has the power over both his wife and his sons, for it's his decision as to who will inherit the land. "I'll tell you what they're up to, boy of mine! - They're up to cutting you out of your father's estate..." The question of which son gains Big Daddy's estate occurs regularly, causing conflict between the two couples. Whilst enhancing dramatic impact, it also represents the themes of mendacity and money. The history of the plantation itself relates strongly to the theme of homosexuality. Two homosexual men (Peter Ochello and Jack Straw) used to own and live on the plantation whilst Big Daddy worked there. With no family to pass the land onto, they handed it over to their loyal employee, Big Daddy. Knowing the history behind the place, the audience almost expects the theme of homosexuality to occur once again and indeed it does, this time with Brick and his friend Skipper. ...read more.

Conclusion

The homosexual value of the play is quite relevant as Brick finds refuge in his bedroom and by drinking large amounts of alcohol to escape his homosexual feelings. Both women being expected to have lots of children and Brick having to turn to drink in an attempt to block out unwanted feelings are due to the time that the play was set and what was expected in society. The religious values of the play are to reflect Williams' own feelings on the matter, creating great dramatic impact at the same time. Reverent Tucher, the family's local reverent doesn't even take religion seriously. He says "Did you all know that Halsey Bank's widow put air-conditioning in the church..." The reverend's main worries are of money and his personal comfort in the church which contradicts everything Christianity stands for. Williams illustrates the characters of Brick and Big Daddy as being intelligent men, with lots of general knowledge and common sense. Therefore when he makes it apparent that neither of them believes in religion, he's making a very controversial statement, especially among the outwardly religious society of 1950s Southern America. To conclude, the overall setting of the play has proven to affect the plot of the play, hidden symbolism, qualities of the characters and the key themes behind the play. ...read more.

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