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Cat on a Hot Tin Roof

Cat on a Hot Tin Roof


by Tennessee Williams

Cat on a Hot Tin Roof Theme of Wealth

Wealth is a corrupting force in Cat on a Hot Tin Roof. Wealth is the only force capable of bringing the vultures, er the Pollitt family, together, and it the force that divides them as well. There is much tension and anxiety around affluence, as several characters in the play know acutely what it means to be poor. Wealth is closely linked with social standing, and is the means by which a person of disreputable past can elevate herself and earn the respect of the society around her. When faced with the prospect of losing wealth, characters go mad. Ultimately, we learn that money can’t buy you love. Can’t buy you loooo-ove. Everybody tells you so. We also learn that a person can sit on a gold mine, but all that golden goodness will not keep death at bay. Gold, while a powerful societal weapon, is futile and useless in the face of death.

Questions About Wealth

  1. From where did Big Daddy get his money?
  2. What is the nature of Big Daddy's wealth?
  3. How does each character relate to wealth?
  4. Is everyone in Cat greedy?

Chew on This

Try on an opinion or two, start a debate, or play the devil’s advocate.

The wealth in Cat is indicative of the excess that characterizes the Pollitt plantation.

Wealth and fertility have negative connotations and repercussions in the context of the play.

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