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Cat on a Hot Tin Roof

Cat on a Hot Tin Roof

by Tennessee Williams

The Phone

Symbolism, Imagery, Allegory

We never see the phone, since it is somewhere offstage in the hallway of the Pollitt house. The constant ringing and calls from distant relatives help to punctuate the steady encroachment of death upon the household. Every time the dratted thing rings, we recall the famous Skipper phone conversation that continues to torment Brick. The phone calls are from relatives inquiring after Big Daddy's medical condition, and, throughout the majority of the play, we hear the lie surrounding Big Daddy's health being perpetuated. The phone, a product of modernity and a symbol of the facility with which people can connect, is a means by which mendacity is kept alive.

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