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'Williams explores the effect of mendacity upon human relations'. Discuss

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'Williams explores the effect of mendacity upon human relations' discuss 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'. ...read more.


Big Mama also lies to herself, pretending that Big Daddy's insults are not meant to hurt her and laughs the comments off as if they don't affect her. Big Daddy is living in a fantasy world outside his marriage to Big Mama, he fantasises about sleeping with other women, 'smother her in Minks and choke her in diamonds'. The birthday is woven with lies and deceit, the 'no-neck monsters' also put on a front to the family, singing songs about their love for their grandparents, which like the kindness of their parents is a front to make themselves look bigger and better than Maggie and Brick. The truth about Brick's feelings for his late friend Skipper are finally un-earthed by the strong conversations Brick shares with Maggie and Big Daddy. Brick has so far been unable to admit that he is gay and had feelings for Skipper but his conversation with Big Daddy is full of revelations. Big Daddy's 'feelings' for Big Mama are let out and so are Brick's feelings and the thoughts in his mind. Maggie knows about the connection between Brick and Skipper, she is nostalgic, telling stories of the past. She forceful, 'I said, 'SKIPPER! ...read more.


These two threaten her and tease her because of her lack of children this questions her life as a woman, looked down on because she cannot conceive. Mae is controlling of Gooper, she digs him in the ribs to stop him telling the truth and shares 'quick violent looks' with him. She begins the play socially accepted within the family but by the end is not in the same position. 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. Beth Hill 10SP ...read more.

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