Study Guide

Cat on a Hot Tin Roof Truth

By Tennessee Williams


Cat on a Hot Tin Roof is a play about the destructive, fatal power of lies, about how people lie in order to maintain societal harmony and to not disturb preconceived notions, and about the difficulty families have with telling the truth. Brick Pollitt is stuck in a constant state of disgust and discontent due to a lie he perpetuated, and to a truth he suppressed in the service of adhering to proper societal codes. We find that a family functions in much the same way that society does: it possesses strict definitions of what one should or should not be. The lie that eats away at the heart of the play is Brick's denial of Skipper's love for him.

Questions About Truth

  1. If Brick were not so hung up on Skipper, would things be different?
  2. What happens when Brick tells Big Daddy about Skipper?

Chew on This

The encroachment of death in Cat inspires honesty and truth-telling.

In order for characters to tell the truth in Cat, they must be willing to deviate from society's vision of "normal" and "appropriate."