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Cat on a Hot Tin Roof: What do you learn about Maggie from the way Tennessee Williams has presented her so far?

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Introduction

Cat on a Hot Tin Roof: What do you learn about Maggie from the way Tennessee Williams has presented her so far? The character Margaret is married to Brick, the son of Big Daddy. They live together in Big Daddy's house, along with his wife, Big Mama. We, as readers learn a lot about her character from the way she speaks, by what is said about her and by the stage directions. We also gain a good insight into her relationships with the people around her. Margaret's relationship with Brick comes across as quite bizarre. His lack of interest in what she has to say gives the impression that he doesn't care and also shows a slight lack of respect. For example, when Brick replies to Maggie's first line in the play, he says "Wha'd you say, Maggie?..." ...read more.

Middle

When she catches Brick staring at her, she asks him continuously what he's thinking when he stares at her like that. On page twenty-five, Maggie says "...I wish you would lose your looks..." This is a particular strange request to make of one's partner. It makes readers assume she doesn't want to be attracted to Brick any longer. This assumption is soon backed up with further lines on page twenty-eight when the couple talk of the "conditions" Maggie has to follow in order for Brick to continue living with her. They also refer to their bedroom as a cage, giving the sense of entrapment. Margaret's relationship with Mae seems strained and false. Maggie's continuous insulting of Mae's children gives the impression that they don't get along particularly well. The topic of children in Maggie and Brick's relationship also seems awkward. ...read more.

Conclusion

Margaret is obviously very aware of her sexuality. On the first page of the play, a stage direction says "She steps out of her dress, stands in a slip of ivory satin lace." She also cares a lot about her appearance and what Brick thinks of her. I feel this because of her asking Brick what he thinks of her when he looks at her and because of stage directions such as "She adjusts the angle of a magnifying mirror to straighten an eyelash..." Her relationship with her husband seems one sided and cruel. It seems as thought she wants children and a happy marriage like her sister in law however it's made obvious that Brick doesn't share the same passion. We know from the continuous talk of Big Daddy's will that she has dreams of being rich. So far, Williams has made Maggie seem like a desperate, hurt character that covers her pain up with her loud personality. ...read more.

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