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Analysis

Literary Devices in Cat on a Hot Tin Roof

Symbolism, Imagery, Allegory

Crutches are used when things, namely bones, are broken. This crutch is a multi-tasking, Swiss-army knife of a tool – it's a means for Brick to move, get to his Echo Spring, and escape when h...

Setting

The play takes place on one of the largest cotton plantations in the Mississippi Delta during the 1950s. It is summer, and man is it hot. The play is centered in Brick and Maggie's bedroom, a bedro...

Narrator Point of View

Though all works of literature present the author’s point of view, they don’t all have a narrator or a narrative voice that ties together and presents the story. This particular piece o...

Genre

Cat on a Hot Tin Roof is just that—a play about a familial conflict over the wealth of the dying patriarch. We must remember when we read Cat that this is play, and meant to be performed on s...

Tone

In a world of cats on hot tin roofs, everyone knows how to scratch each other's eyes out...and they do just that. There is never a quiet moment in Cat; characters are always fighting tooth and nail...

Writing Style

It's hard to escape the Southern drawl that is built into Cat's language, and don't pretend like you don't hear a certain Southern, butter-loving gourmand when reading this play. Add to that the st...

What's Up With the Title?

We don't know about you, but for some reason, this title conjures up images of cats and heat – don't ask us why. Before we even start reading, or watching, we know this play is going to be ho...

What's Up With the Epigraph?

And you, my father, there on the sad height, Curse, bless, me now with your fierce tears, I pray. Do not go gentle into that good night. Rage, rage against the dying of the light!– Dylan Thomas L...

What’s Up With the Ending?

Cat ends with Maggie entrapping Brick in their bedroom and insinuating that it's baby-making time, or else no more Echo Spring. It's strangely akin to a black widow ensnaring prey in her web. The h...

Plot Analysis

Maggie the Cat sharpens her claws.When Maggie returns to the bedroom to change her clothes, she infawms (it's so much better to say that word aloud) Brick that Big Daddy is sick and dying and that...

Booker's Seven Basic Plots Analysis: Rebirth

Brick is haunted by a ghost that he doesn't want to acknowledge. In Booker's falling stage, we see the hero fall "under the shadow" of a power that is "mysterious" and "outside" of himself. It is t...

Three Act Plot Analysis

In this first act, we watch the distance grow between Brick and Maggie like two ships pulled by two separate winds. Alone in their bedroom at the Pollitt house, they discuss everything from Big Dad...

Trivia

Tennessee Williams hated the 1958 film version of Cat, and purportedly told moviegoers, "This movie will set the industry back 50 years. Go home!" (Source) Tennessee's real name is Thomas. He adop...

Steaminess Rating

We hope you like reading about sex, because this play is all about sex or about people not having sex. In fact, we earn an honorary degree in the Pollitt sex lives by the time we finish this play....

Allusions

The Vicksburg Tornado (II.859)The Abolition of Slavery (III.17-19)Wagnerian Opera or a Beethoven Symphony (II.65.58-59)
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