File Size: 1095 KB
Print Length: 208 pages
Publisher: New Directions (September 17, 2004)
Publication Date: December 15, 2012
The play is set in the greatest mansion in the very heart of the wealthy farmland of the Mississippi delta, near Clarksville. There are three acts, nevertheless the time period is constant. ‘Big Daddy’ is now 65, and owner of the plantation. He is still “rough-hewed, ” having once been the movie director of the plantation that was owned by two “sisters” (gays), Jack Straw and Peter Ochello. Homosexuality, a “racy” topic in the 1950’s, is a composition throughout the play. ‘Big Daddy’s’ wife is, sure enough, ‘Big Mama. ’ They have got two sons, Brick and Gooper, who are each married, respectively, to Maggie and Mae. Each of the women have social pretenses, one raised in Memphis, and the other Nashville. Gooper is the oldest, and with Mae has five “no-neck” children, with a sixth on the way. Brick and Mae are childless. He is also a serious alcoholic, morose over his lost school athletic “glory times, ” and his partnership with his buddy, Skipper, now dead. The reason for Brick and Maggie’s childlessness – that he will not sleep with her ~ great probable homosexual partnership with Skipper is developed because the play progresses. ‘Big Mama’ frankly criticizes Maggie for failing to perform her “bed duties, ” and keep her son happy. They all stay in the mansion house, and are jockeying for the inheritance. It is a “heady” mix.
Mendacity, avarice, sexual longing are all themes woven throughout the play. About half this Kindle edition contains various essays of commentary, the most meaningful one from Tennessee Williams himself. The influence and relationship of Williams with the director Elia Kazan is described. I even learned that this play was the favorite of Fidel Castro, who greeted Williams on their first meeting with the exclamation: “Oh, that Feline! ” The play’s development and various versions are discussed (perhaps more than most people need to know), and an totally different 3rd act is also included.
Reading, or watching a performance of Williams’ plays is an important part of the “curriculum” of any student of American drama – whatever the age of that student. 5-stars for “The Feline. ”, This can be a superbly written play about that most basic of human issues, the desire to communicate honestly and openly with someone that you care about. At its core, Tn Williams' masterpiece is really about nothing more than that. Everyone wants and needs someone to listen to, and accept, you.
Most of Williams' plays are about lonely people when you come right down to it. Yet , "Cat on a Hot Container Roof" is unique in that these lonely character types are part of a huge family, and at times are literally tripping over each other. What makes us all lonely is our failure to communicate with those that we love. It is in that essential human drive that Williams creates the tragedy of this piece. A father is aware his son is a closeted gay man; this individual loves him, but aren't get the son to believe or accept that. A wife knows the truth about her spouse, but can't make herself believe it. (Actually that last one applies to two wives in the play, for different reasons. ) A guy faces death, in essence alone, because he can't admit how terrified he is. And the list goes on. These are the stories of the Pollitt group of the Mississippi Delta. Those particulars are different for all of us, nevertheless the essential worries and concerns over the members of this family are universal, and have been at the heart of a powerful drama for over 50 years.
The witting of this play is luminous and gorgeous. In fact, sometimes it reads like beautifully constructed wording. However, the power in this piece is also due in large part to the structure of this three act play. The first act is almost a solo from the character of Maggie. The second act is a painful and horrifying duet from the character types of Brick and Huge Daddy, and the ultimate act is the attire number that builds, and then ends on a slower drawn out note.
If you see "Cat on a Warm Tin Roof" in performance it is a long play, and at times painful. You will not feel the same strength unless you let yourself take a seat and devour it in a gulp. Read the play per day, and you will come closer to approximating seeing it in performance than you otherwise would. In the best of possible worlds, you will read it, and then a month or so later see it in a well done performance.
This play is the pinnacle of American Drama. You should know it. Make that the case if it is not too!, This was the first Tennessee Williams play that I've ever read, so I was really interested to check it out.
And wow. This work shocked me so much more than We was expecting. Released in the 1950s, this play never leaves the confines of the Maggie and Brick's bedroom but discusses issues of homosexuality, hypocrisy, marriage, escapism, love, is, and the confines of manliness.
Over the course of the novel the characters are constantly fighting with truths that creep just beneath the surface. Brick's love for his friend Skipper, Big Daddy's illness, and Maggie's worries of being a married female all work to create an image of 1950s southern America struggling to find it's footing in a shifting moral world. I adored how Big Mama believed that if Brick and Maggie just had a child, then these problems would melt off. This portrayal of the Southern ideals of traditional families and inheritances flying in the face of reality is merely as telling today as it was 6 decades ago.
Can't wait and learn more Williams., This is an amazing piece of work. Williams is a genious, and this play is absolutely fantastic.
That being said, I purchased the Kindle version of this after being cast in the play. I desired the Kindle version so my wife and I could read lines with the printed text.
All of us uncovered that although the text is very similar, it IS NOT A GOOD EXACT MATCH to the printed paper version of this. I am very disappointed with this, since I carefully matched ISBN amounts.
That being said, if you are just attempting to read the play, this is excellent. Nevertheless if you need it to fit the script to run lines, obtain a copy to have paper-in-hand.
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