Dysfunctional Families in Cat on a Hot Tin Roof, by Tennessee Williams

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Dysfunctional Families in Cat on a Hot Tin Roof, by Tennessee Williams

Dysfunction and volatility is common amongst families. These families dislike their kin and often resent them. In the play, Cat on a Hot Tin Roof, by Tennessee Williams, the Politt family does not function as a normal family. Brick, Maggie, and Big Daddy are three members of the family that have the most problems that affect the whole family.

     Brick, Maggie’s alcoholic husband, is an uncaring man who has no good feelings toward his wife. For example, when Maggie buys a gift for Brick to give to Big Daddy on his birthday and Maggie wants Brick to sign the card, he says “No… I don’t have to do anything I don’t want to do”(28). Even on Big
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Maggie feels terribly unloved in her marriage with Brick. Because of her unfulfilling marriage with Brick, she seeks affection and attention with someone close to Brick. In addition, when Mae interrupts Maggie and Brick from conversing by talking about her own children and how adorable they are, Maggie says, “why did y’give dawgs names to all your kiddies... sounds like four dogs and a parrot”(29). Maggie has a grudge Mae because she has many children with Gooper. Maggie feels insecure about having children, so she mocks Mae and her offspring to reassure herself and make her self feel better. Margaret has a dreadful relationship with Brick and also with Mae and her kids.

     Big Daddy, an old man with cancer, plays favorites with members of his family and dislikes his wife. For example, when Big Daddy is talking with Brick, and finds Mae at the door, Big Daddy says, “I don’t want you, I want some privacy here… with my son Brick”(62). Big Daddy only likes Brick and shows disgust for everyone else. Even though they are family, Big Daddy acts like they are the scum of the earth. Furthermore, when Big Mama tries to walk into Big Daddy and Brick’s talk, Big Daddy doesn’t let her in and says that “all [he] ask[s] of that woman is that she leave [him] alone [and that] she makes [him] sick”(71-2). The woman he vowed to be with forever is now completely repulsive to him. Big Daddy can’t even
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