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Understanding 'A Cat on a Hot Tin Roof' Along Gender Lines

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Communication and the challenges that it is associated with are the central themes in William’s Cat on a Hot Tin Roof as most of the characters are surrounded by yelling noise and anger. The break-in communication helps in blocking the real issues that are a result of gender roles, which have continually defined the society. The drama that revolves around the lives of Maggie, Daddy, Mama, Brick, Gooper, Mae, and others can only be understood if one base it on gender lines. Concisely gender plays a central role in defining how the different characters communicate about their feelings and issues. An analysis into this drama establishes that a reader will be able to gain great insight into this drama only when he or she shifts attention to how gender shapes the events of this film.

Cat on a Hot Tin Roof is a play that is revolved around femininity desire and femininity which a major aspect of gender with Maggie being the focus. In spite of Maggie taking such a central role, she is presented as a hysterical and dissatisfied character that even goes to the extremes of prostrating herself before Brick. Looking at this scenario, one can deduce that women are still viewed as weaker beings that get their strengths by getting credit from their male counterparts. The hysteria that is associated with Maggie is gendered, as this character is prone to bitterness and anxiety because the man she wants does not want her. The audience identifies with this hero, but they are bound to be disappointed seeing that she is helpless when it comes to her love life.

The men in this play display a lot of masculinity in their relationships, as each of them is keen on stamping his authority. Daddy and Brick present what many would view as a narcissistic relationship considering that the latter has the same masculine indifference his father had in his youth. Daddy pressures his son Brick to give him a grandson who bears the same qualities as Brick as well as his own to ensure that Daddy remains immortal. This kind of pressure is bound to break their communication as it forces both to have a showdown about the secrets they have been keeping for themselves.

Brick’s drunkenness has made him become almost dead as he is a repressed man in spite of another viewing whom as the symbol of masculinity. On the other hand, Daddy’s journey in the death country almost removes him from the scene. While these two characters seem to have a duality, they are enemies of one another, as they become either the recipient or the revealer of each other’s inadmissible secret. In this looming showdown of masculinity, Daddy is keen on forcing Brick to admit that he desires a relationship with Skipper, his dead friend so that Daddy can get a death sentence (Williams 34). Instead of allowing his father another chance at life, Brick lays out Daddy’s secrets, which is considered as a violent act on the side of Brick. From this fact, it is clear that the two characters are keen on outdoing each other’s in a masculinity showdown as their communication is trained and cannot work together to resolve their issues

Williams’ Cat on a Hot Tin Roof rides on gendered ideas of what true marriage should be mainly a heterosexual one. However, Brick, the main character is this film has deviated this gendered norm, as he is a homosexual. This kind of lifestyle seems to come in the way of manliness, which is measured by the ability to subdue women in relationships. In particular, being a homosexual in this society equals broken manliness, as this choice tends to come in the way of being a real man (Wensbay 14). Brick is constantly reminded of his relationship with Skipper, his dead fried and this comes in the way of healthy communications. From the look of things, Brick is a broken man in spite of being the favorite son of a wealthy plantation owner. He would rather resort to liquor so that he can run away from the world that is keen on judging him for the choices he has made. Brick mourns the love he had for Skipper though he imagined he feels that this is the only good and true thing to have happened in his life. Nonetheless, he dares not to confess his feelings as the society would place him in the category of epithets and fairies as his acts do not fall within gender precincts.

Women are tasked with the responsibility of building up families and must do whatever they can to deal with rogue men who are not naturally as domestic. When mama realizes that the two men in her life are at loggerheads, she takes it upon herself to put her family in order before it comes to ruin. She is still hopeful that Brick in spite of his abnormal sexual affiliations has the capability of turning into a family man. Mama hopes that the responsibilities that come with having a family that looks up to brick will be a major factor in ending Bricks’ alcoholism. As a result, their estate would fall in the hands of the rightful heir who would ensure the perpetuation of the family line.

From the look of things, it is clear that the sons and not the daughters have the responsibility of continuing a family lineage something that is highly gendered. Mae and Gooper who are considered the monster of fertility as they have five children already and who belong to this family are not considered for the position. The reason is that they did not have effective communication with Daddy, which made Brick and not them the most, preferred heir. Mama is just following her husband’s orders, as many women in a gendered society ought to do. The women must support their husbands’ decisions even if they are unconventional as they are expected to do so.  

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Understanding ‘A Cat On A Hot Tin Roof’ Along Gender Lines. (2022, April 11). GradesFixer. Retrieved January 31, 2023, from https://gradesfixer.com/free-essay-examples/understanding-a-cat-on-a-hot-tin-roof-along-gender-lines/
“Understanding ‘A Cat On A Hot Tin Roof’ Along Gender Lines.” GradesFixer, 11 Apr. 2022, gradesfixer.com/free-essay-examples/understanding-a-cat-on-a-hot-tin-roof-along-gender-lines/
Understanding ‘A Cat On A Hot Tin Roof’ Along Gender Lines. [online]. Available at: <https://gradesfixer.com/free-essay-examples/understanding-a-cat-on-a-hot-tin-roof-along-gender-lines/> [Accessed 31 Jan. 2023].
Understanding ‘A Cat On A Hot Tin Roof’ Along Gender Lines [Internet]. GradesFixer. 2022 Apr 11 [cited 2023 Jan 31]. Available from: https://gradesfixer.com/free-essay-examples/understanding-a-cat-on-a-hot-tin-roof-along-gender-lines/
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