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Research Papers on Cat on a Hot Tin Roof

Tennessee Williams is one of the greatest play writes in American history. Research papers on Cat on a Hot Tin Roof can examine his works from many different angles due to the dynamic nature of his writing. For example, Paper Masters once did an explication of the play through the psychological construct of attribution theory. This worked out well for the student and she showed her professor a new and innovative way to dissect Williams' work.

The characters “Brick” and “Maggie” in Tennessee Williams' classic three-act play, Cat on a Hot Tin Roof, provide a fascinating study in interpersonal communication and more specifically, attribution theory.  Attribution theory is reflected in the following elements of the character's dynamics:

  • They are two people tattered by life
  • Both are at odds with one another
  • Both are strangely but permanently attached to each other:
    • One by her fierce will and the fear of being alone
    • The other out of utter resignation for anything better
Cat on a Hot Tin Roof

First Act of Cat on a Hot Tin Roof

The entire First Act of Cat on a Hot Tin Roof is an introduction to the complicated relationship of Maggie and Brick.  Throughout the Act, the dynamics of their partnership are revealed.  Through their dialogue, as well as their actions and other various subtleties, the audience is let in on many years of history between the two and their families.  But before we can understand the relationship between the two, we must first come to understand where they are coming from as individuals, a process that is helped along by William’s insightful and abundant stage directions.

Cat on a Hot Tin Roof - Plot

Brick, is the favorite son of wealthy Southern landowner, Big Daddy Pollitt, and a former football star whose career was cut short by injury.  He married Maggie, his boyhood sweetheart, when she gave him an ultimatum to marry her or lose her, a move that he continues to resent.  Brick is the archetypal hometown hero, the guy that everybody loves, and this sets up the plot.  Blessed with good looks, athletic talent, and a magnetic personality, the world was his oyster in his youth.  Once his playing days ended, he continued to win the public’s adoration as a sports announcer.  In short, he is the type of guy whom fortune has smiled upon, who never seems to have to work too hard for any of his success, and deservedly so.  However, somewhere along the line Brick lost his will and his aspirations for a happy and successful existence, and fell into a life of alcoholism.

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