Southern Values In Cat On A Hot Tin Roof

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Southern Values in Cat on a Hot Tin Roof

"The weight of Southern history, the power of social and racial divisions and its rituals and taboos often make self-determination and moral choice unachievable" (King). This statement from Kimball King perfectly summarizes the point Tennessee Williams strove to exemplify in many of his works. Thomas Lanier Williams, better known as Tennessee Williams, was born on March 26, 1911 in Columbus Mississippi. He spent the first seven years of his life in the south, and the people, experiences, and lifestyles there greatly influenced his most famous works. Williams trained in playwriting at the University of Iowa and graduated in 1938 (Shuman 1652). In 1955, his play Cat on a Hot Tin Roof received a Pulitzer Prize, The New York Drama Circle Award and the Donaldson Award. He was a prolific author and playwright, but he began a personal downward spiral. By the mid 1950s he was dependant on alcohol and drugs. In 1969 his brother had him committed to a St. Louis mental ward, but Tennessee continued to
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Brick drinks until he feels the "click." It is only after drinking in excess that he can relax, because he refuses to deal with his emotions. Multiple characters show concern for Brick, but Big Mama also feels the need to defend him. She says, "Other people drink and have drunk an ' will drink as long as they make the stuff an ' put it in bottles." When Maggie comments, "I never trusted a man who didn 't drink." Her clueless sister-in-law proudly states, "Gooper never drinks." Maggie doesn 't even need to respond, as the other characters on stage and the audience realize the meaning of this statement (Holditch). When Big Daddy decides to drink a "whiskey highball" we know the pain in his intestines is severe, thus confirming the fact that the cancer is killing him. Maggie 's drink of choice is Dubonnet on ice, which she sips slowly, revealing her patient, calculating side

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