Homosexual Theme in Tennessee William's Cat On A Hot Tin Roof

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Homosexual Theme in Tennessee William's Cat On A Hot Tin Roof

In his essay "Come back to the Locker Room Ag'in, Brick Honey!" Mark Royden Winchell discusses several aspects of the homosexual theme in Tennessee William's play Cat On A Hot Tin Roof. Winchell describes the play as subversive because it casts doubt onto the innocence of male companionship, the two most tolerant characters are the most overtly heterosexual characters, and homosexuality is depicted as a personal rather than social or political problem, despite the time period of this play. I think that Winchell is correct in all these thoughts, but what I want to know is what was Williams' approach, and that is never answered.

In Cat On A Hot Tin Roof
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Brick asks, "Why can't exceptional friendship, real, real, deep, deep friendship! between two men be respected as something clean and decent without being thought of as...Fairies," (89).

Unfortunately, the answer to Brick's question is the fact that Skipper killed himself and Brick is drowning in a bottle because of something in that "clean and decent" friendship.

What I found interesting about Winchell's essay is how he related Brick to Blanche from A Streetcar Named Desire. He states that Skipper and Brick did not conform to the stereotypes of homosexuality like Blanche's husband did, and he goes further in the comparisons:

Like Blanche, Brick drives a Homosexual to self-destruction by withholding love and understanding. (In response, both Blanche and Brick seem intent on righting the balance by destroying themselves.)The audience reaction to their situations would have been different, however, especially in an age when homosexuality was thought a curable affliction. (703)

Winchell goes on to discuss the idea that in the 50s, homosexuality was thought as curable and that Blanche should have saved her husband, but Brick was not in the position to save Skipper. Furthermore, this relates to the idea that Williams does not attack society's view of homosexuality, but rather keeps the issue as a personal matter (Winchell 701).

Finally, Winchell discusses the treatment of Big Daddy and Maggie, as opposed to Mae and Gooper. Big Daddy and Maggie reek

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