AP English Literature and Composition
08 December 2011
Carl Jung, an analytical psychologist, stated that “archetypes are a tendency or instinctive trend in the human unconscious to express certain motifs or themes” (“Dreams, Health, Yoga, Mind & Spirit”). In the play Cat on a Hot Tin Roof by Tennessee Williams, Williams uses many archetypal images and personas, such as the tragic hero or the stern father figure, to convey the overall complexity of the plays many themes and characters as a way for the audience to connect with and recognize the familiar structures and personas seen in everyday society and family.
An archetype, or “an original model or pattern from which
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But as Frye predicted, Brick, being the highest up, was more likely to be struck by the lightning bolt of pain when his friend Skipper died which led to his depression and drinking problem. With this he lost all that he had, including the respect for and from his family and wife. Because of the enormity of his downfall, this tragedy allows and entices sympathy towards Brick from the audience and offers a connection, which places him as the tragic hero, one of the many archetypes of the play. Brick can also be considered an unbalanced hero, which is “The Protagonist who has (or must pretend to have) mental or emotional deficiencies” (“Archetypes to Help With Literary Analysis”) based on his inability to emotionally cope with the loss of his friend and his feelings of guilt over his last actions toward Skipper when he simply hung up the phone and refused to resolve the conflict between them. This emotional block is what led to the reliance on the numbing of his thoughts, or finding his click, with alcohol. Because of this deficiency, Brick is dedicated to finding his click to deal with his daily life and his family, which creates a problem among the other family members. Big Daddy is a very dynamic character in Cat on a Hot Tin Roof; he can be characterized as both a wise old man, and a stern father figure. A wise old man would be considered one who “represent[s] knowledge, reflection, insight, wisdom, cleverness, and intuition on the