Cat on a Hot Tin Roof
Study Questions and Essay Topics
What is the significance of the play's title?
What is Maggie's role in the triangle she shares with Brick and Skipper?
Compare and contrast the endings of Williams' original Cat and the Cat produced for the big screen.
Suggested Essay Topics
Consider the use of anecdote in the play. What is the thematic significance of the stories Maggie tells to Brick in Act I?
What fantasies of race appear in Cat on a Hot Tin Roof? You may want to consider, for example, Daddy's memories of Morocco and Barcelona, the role of the house servants, and the children's Indian costumes.
In a stage note from Act II, Williams observes that Maggie and Big Daddy are the only characters with a sense and appreciate for the grotesque. Discuss the role of the grotesque in the play. What is its thematic significance? What is its relation to the play's use of humor?
Discuss Williams's use of off-stage sound. Examples include the telephone conversations, and the shrieks of the children.
Discuss Williams's use of the interruption. Who interrupts, when, and why? Consider in particular Brick's extended dialogue with Maggie and Big Daddy, respectively.
Consider Williams's use of lighting. How does color, for example, function in the play? Try not to read for lighting's symbolic significance alone (i.e. "the color green symbolizes").
Why does Williams cripple his hero? How does Brick's injury function in the play? Consider his recount of the event and how various characters make use of it.
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