Illusion and Mendacity

1706 Words Feb 8th, 2014 7 Pages
Peter Tim Soriano
Mr. Chalmers
ENG 4U
16 December 2013
Illusion and Mendacity In Tennessee Williams’ plays Cat on a Hot Tin Roof and A Streetcar Named Desire, several characters suffer by lying and by being unaware of reality. Both plays demonstrate and signify the themes of illusion vs. reality and mendacity through past trauma, alcohol abuse, and through strained family and marital relationships. In Cat on a Hot Tin Roof, Brick is an example to all of these factors through his past with his friend skipper, his abuse of alcohol, and the lack of love he shows for his wife, while in A Streetcar Named Desire, Blanche encounters similar problems as Brick with her past trauma and her alcohol problem. The two plays share many similarities
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She could not give him the help he needed and as a result, he committed suicide. Since then, Blanche has been living her life based on lies and does not know what reality is anymore as she says, “I don’t want realism. I want magic!” (117) After Mitch finds out that she has been hiding her age from him, Blanche confesses that she does not want reality instead she wants magic. In the same quote, she also confesses that she does not tell the truth, but tells what ought to be truth. Blanche’s past traumas relates Brick’s past trauma’s in a way that they both lost someone important in their lives. When Blanche lost her husband, and when Brick lost his friend Skipper, both Brick and Blanche find themselves living in illusion to escape reality, through abuse of alcohol. The abuse of alcohol is shown in both plays with Brick, and Blanche. From the beginning of the play Cat on a Hot Tin Roof, it reveals that Brick is an alcoholic. He uses alcohol to escape from reality ever he lost his friend Skipper. At one point, Big Daddy talks to Brick about his issues and he asks Brick if the doctor had lied to him about the cancer results, Brick answers by saying that “Mendacity is a system that we live in. Liquor is one way out an’ death’s the other….” (94) Brick reveals to Big Daddy that the doctors lied to him