In the play Cat on a Hot Tin Roof, by Tennessee Williams Mae acts as the antagonist to both Maggie and Brick Pollitt. She is the wife of Gooper and she often spies on Maggie and listens to her personal conversations with Brick. In her scheme to convince Big Mama that she and Gooper should receive the estate she claims “Gooper is your first born. Why he always had to carry a bigger load of the responsibilities than Brick! Brick never carried a thing in his life but a football or a high ball” (119). Although this quote is not about Mae it represents her character throughout the play. She constantly tries to convince Big Mama and Big Daddy that she and Gooper are more responsible than Brick and Maggie so she attempts to guilt her in-laws into giving her and Gooper the family’s estate.
In the play Harvey Pollitt also known as Big Daddy has recently been diagnosed with cancer. He knows that he does not have that much longer to live so he tries to fix all of his relationships with his family members. He admits that Brick is his favorite son so he wants to give him everything on the estate, but Brick is not ready for that. He teaches Brick that he needs to find something productive to replace his drinking because just as drinking cant fully make you happy, neither can money. He tells Brick “there's one thing you can't buy at any European fire sale, or any other market on Earth. That's your life. You can't buy back your life when it's finished” (66). He wants his son to know that neither drinking nor money can satisfy him so he needs to work things out with Margaret and discover what love truly is.
In the play Cat on a Hot Tin Roof, Ida Pollitt also known as Big Mama portrays the typical southern housewife in the early 1950s. Throughout the play she tries to convince her husband that she truly loves him. Although she tells him she loves him all the time he always tells her that she is lying but she never gives up on him. While her sons and daughters- in law try to decide who will receive Big Daddy’s estate she exclaims “I'm talking in Big Daddy's language now. I'm his wife, not his widow. I'm still his wife”(124). From the beginning of the play until the end she remains in denial about the fact that Big Daddy will be dying soon.
Works Cited Adenhart,Nick. “Cat on a Hot Tin Roof.” Photo. fanpop.com 2 July 2008. 2 Dec. 2012 < http://www.fanpop.com>
Adenhart,Nick. “ Cat on a Hot Tin Roof Family Press Photo." Photo. fanpop.com 2 July 2008. 2 Dec. 2012 <http://www.fanpop.com>
Adenhart,Nick. “Jack Carson Vintage Original Photo.” Photo. fanpop.com 2 July 2008. 2 Dec. 2012 <http://www.fanpop.com>
Adenhart,Nick. “1968 Madeleine Sherwood "Invitation to a March Press Photo." Photo. fanpop.com 2 July 2008. 2 Dec. 2012 < http://www.fanpop.com>
Conner, Thomas. “Paul Newman as Brick Pollitt in the 1959 film version of Tennessee William's Pulitzer Prize- winning play ''Cat on a Hot Tin Roof.'' Photo. Suntimes.com 1 Oct. 2008. 2 Dec. 2012 < http://blogs.suntimes.com>
Williams, Tennessee. Cat on a Hot Tin Roof. New York: Penguin, 1985. Print.
Welcome to the Family!
In Tennessee Williams' Pulitzer Prize winning play Cat on a Hot Tin Roof, the main characters consists of Margaret, Brick, Mae, Gooper , Harvey and Ida Pollitt. Throughout the play each character, except for Brick and Big Daddy, goes through a series of events in attempt to inherit Big Daddy's estate. While attempting to scheme big Daddy into giving them the estate the family begins to face their own individual issues that they have always kept to themselves, which ultimately causes the family to become even more divergent rather than bringing them closer together. In the play Maggie is portrayed as the Cat on a Hot Tin Roof. Maggie grew up poor and she wants to ensure that she and Brick receive Big Daddy's fortune so that she never has to experience being poor ever again. Although she is married to Brick, she is often lonely because her husband constantly ignores her and she has no children. While attempting to seduce Brick he persistently tells her that she is making a fool of herself, but Margaret always replies: " I don't mind making a fool of myself over you"(Williams 27).Even though Brick shows no signs of treating her better she continues to throw herself at him because she is desperate for his love. Brick Pollitt is the husband of Margaret and the favorite son of both Big Mama and Big Daddy. Throughout the story he drinks in memory of his best friend Skipper. He continually deals with his inward struggle of admitting that he was in love with Skipper. Although he can finally admit it to himself, he denies it whenever Maggie or Big Daddy question him about their peculiar relationship. Despite the fact that he hasn't admitted his love for Skipper to Big Daddy, he still tells him that "I'm ashamed, Big Daddy. That's why I'm a drunk. When I'm drunk, I can stand myself "(99). When Brick finally admits this the audience begins to understand why he always drinks. Gooper Pollitt is the oldest son of Big Mama and Big Daddy although he is merely treated as an outcast. One would think that since Gooper is a successful cooperate lawyer that his parents would appreciate and congratulate his achievements yet they don't even consider him as their son. Gooper admits that he never had a close relationship with his father when he exclaims, "I don't give a damn whether Big Daddy likes me, or don't likes me. Or did or never did. Or will or will never"(121). Yet he still tries to convince them that since he and Mae have six children, and since he is more responsible than Brick that he deserves to recieve Big Daddy's estate.