Big Daddy's Hidden Identity In Cat On A Hot Tin Roof

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Big Daddy’s Hidden Identity
In the 1954 play, Cat on a Hot Tin Roof, Tennessee Williams delves into the stereotypes of a white southern family living in Mississippi during the fifties. Williams uses very detailed stage directions which requires the audience to re-evaluate their notions about every character. The dialogue portrays Big Daddy as a homophobic, opinionated, white male; However, the stage directions suggest that he is actually an understanding emotional man. Through stage directions, William displays, Big Daddy’s longing for a special companionship with Brick, using physical affection to do so. He breaks the stereotypes by having an uncomfortable and sensitive conversation with Brick about his sexuality. Additionally, he shows
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That being said, Bricks detached and unapproachable personality does not make it easy to have a conversation. Big Daddy however is emotionally invested in his relationship with Brick and therefore creates conversation about Brick’s sexuality. In the midst of an intense conversation in which Big Daddy sincerely confronts Bricks sexuality, Williams brilliantly placed a stage direction which describes Big Daddy’s sensitivity and emotional state: “The thing they’re discussing, timidly and painfully on the side of Big Daddy, fiercely, violently on Bricks side”(116). It is clear that Big Daddy is interested in whether his son is gay or not, but more important then that Big Daddy is letting Brick know that if he is gay, he would understand. Additionally, the intensity of the conversation is later reiterated in the same stage direction by stating that, “The following scene should be played with great concentration, with most of the power leashed but palpable in what is left unspoken”(117). Tenessee Williams uses these stage directions to emphasize how important the “untouchable” conversation about Bricks sexual orientation is to Big

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