Character Analysis: Cat On A Hot Tin Roof

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Mary Joby Job HS12H028 Drama S. P. Dhanavel 19th October 2015 Cat on a Hot Tin Roof: The Paradox of the Absent Gay Character 1. Introduction In literature, paradoxes, an anomalous juxtaposition of contradictory ideas are often used in order to bring to light an unexpected insight. As Cleanth Brooks, a member of the ‘New Critical’ mentions in her seminal work, Language of Paradox, paradoxes can be used as tools of critical interpretation. Understanding Paradox talks about how there is a constant need to study literature from the perspective of paradox and about how paradox is life and literature itself. Tennessee Williams’s Cat on a Hot Tin Roof is a play that presents a number of paradoxes in front of its readers,…show more content…
Examining these absent characters, Susan Koprince-wrongly, I believe4oncludes that “In all likelihood [. . .] the issue of sexual preference is peripheral; for Williams, the primary motive in creating these unseen characters was to demonstrate the power of human relationships, to reveal the incredible hold that one individual can have over another” (87). Quite to the contrary, Skipper is the sexual barometer in Cat on a Hot Tin Roof. Nowhere is this more evident than in his name. Onomastically, Skipper underscores the major sexual conflicts at the heart of Williams’s script. The first association the name “Skipper” calls to mind is the nautical: his name and title (captain) link him with sailors, among the primary agents of sexual desire in Williams’s homoerotic sphere. A sailor at the very beginning of A Streetcar Named Desire (in both the stage and the 1951 film versions) unites Blanche (one of Williams’s selves) with this symbolic figure of sexual prodigiousness. Williams spent his life fascinated with assignations with sailors, as witnessed in his Memoirs and in his revelatory, postmodern memory play Something Cloudy,…show more content…
Hobbling on a crutch because of a broken leg he suffered jumping hurdles, as Skipper and he did to prepare for their football games, Brick is a skipper, a halting, wounded athlete, friend, and lover. In skipping, jerky motions across the stage, his crutch becomes the phallic stigma of his guilty relationship with Skipper. Yet another symbolic implication of Skipper’s name reflects Williams’s sardonic sense
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