Mendacity vs Truth in Cat on a Hot Tin Roof

1540 words 7 pages
Mike Morreale American Literature 2 Dr. Treis Cat on a Hot Tin Roof

Mendacity vs Truth Tennessee Williams’ book Cat on a Hot Tin Roof takes place entirely in the plantation home of the Pollitt family in the Mississippi Delta. The plantation once belonged to a pair of bachelors, and “Big Daddy” Pollitt had worked for them as an overseer, but he is now the owner of the plantation, which he has built into a dynastic empire. Big Daddy’s family has met at the house to celebrate his birthday. Maggie, a beautiful and witty girl, has escaped a childhood of poverty to marry into the wealthy Pollitt family, but finds herself in an unfulfilling marriage. She is married to Big Daddy’s son, Brick. He is an aging
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Brick however, didn’t say a word, and just hung up. This ended up being the last time Brick ever heard Skipper’s voice, and because of this, Brick drinks heavily to deal with the pain of taking his best friends life. This moment in the book is very impactful for it is one of the only times that mendacity isn’t in the air, as Brick and Big Daddy are being real with each other, with no veil of lies to hide behind, perfectly put as Big Daddy says, "then there is at least two people that never lied to each other."

The big deception throughout the play is that of Big Daddy’s health. The entire family and the Doctor are all in on this, and each person becomes split into 2 or 3 individuals because of all the deceit. Big Daddy’s other son Gooper and his wife Mae are both guilty of mendacity. To Big Daddy and Big Momma’s faces, they put on the guise as loving people, when in fact it is all an attempt to get Big Daddy to sign over the land and money to them in his will. They constantly bring up that they have children while Maggie and Brick don’t, and that Brick is an alcoholic. Basically pointing out all the flaws of their “competition” to try and better themselves in Big Daddy’s eyes. Big Mama lies to herself by thinking that a child from Maggie and Brick would turn Brick into a non-drinking, family man qualified to take over the family place. Big Mama had to have been distraught by the fact that her husband has less than a year left to live,


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