Form and Structure in Cat on a Hot Tin Roof
Form and Structure in Cat on a Hot Tin Roof

Form and Structure in Cat on a Hot Tin Roof

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  • Published: June 25, 2018
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Cat on a hot tin roof isn’t a very structured play, in this traditional sense. A normal play has scenes, which divided up acts, but since there’s usually so much commotion on stage they would be pointless.

If you have to analyse it, it probably would be easier to break the acts down. It has acts, but the only other way it can be divided up is by when people enter an act. Another way the play can be divided is by getting the act’s and dividing them into three. There is continuous action most of the time, however there are some pauses put in deliberately.The continuous action’s probably the best way and only way to compare it to a normal family. It shows that the family, like most real-life families never stop fighting, playing, and being around each other’s usually a pain. The best place to compare the action is at the beginning of the two different act three’s. The original act three is more relaxed, there’s a lot less panic about the conversation.

Now look at the Broadway version. . There’s more shouting more rushing around; the conversation’s fast, as they’re all looking for Big Mama. The most important way to show that there’s continuous action is that there are no scenes. There are no cuts in acts. There’s always something going on on the stage. There’s lots of action. Violent action, loving action, sexual action, and Williams has made different characters react differently, as if they were people.

In terms of Juxtaposition there’s a combination of characters, emotion

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s, meaning’s and themes. There’s a contrast of acts and what they bring to the play. Act One shows the differences between the three couples, and what Mae and Gooper’s real intentions are. It introduces all the main characters and focus’s particularly on Maggie and Bricks relationship showing all the cracks early on. It is also when Skipper is first mentioned and where Brick’s drinking problem first shows. Against the indifferent Brick Maggie’s seems a frantic mad woman and Williams emphasizes Maggie’s feminity throughout act one.She’s the character that keeps the structure of act one stable. Williams changes her from a sex symbol to a frantic cat, and maybe this is what he meant to hold act one together.

Williams makes the audience fixated with her. Act one shows another familiar role in the play-lies. We’ve heard from Maggie that Big Daddy is dying from cancer-but then Big Mama walks in and yells that her husbands only got a spastic colon “Nothin’ a-tall’s wrong with him but some little functional thing called a spastic colon”. It seems the unnatural order of things that the man and his wife shouldn’t know about the illness, but their son and his wife do. Williams aims to interrupt Maggie and Brick as many times as possible. The other structure of act one, or indeed the play is love triangles. The one of Brick, Maggie, and Skipper, and the One of Big Daddy, Brick, and differing characters.Act two is mainly the lecture between Big Daddy and Brick and is a lecture Brick will repeat soon to

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his own son.

The lecture begins to elaborate the play’s parallel loves, another subject that keeps the structure together. This lecture shows that the father and son are more alike than they know. As Williams has noted Brick bears the same charmingly masculine indifference Daddy must have had in his youth. Brick is Daddy’s way of being after he goes. Brick mentions how he can’t take mendacity, because he feels’s Skipper lied to him. The irony here is he knows Big Daddy’s dying but isn’t being truthful about it.Act three is focused on lies. The lie, that is of Big Daddy’s illness and the lie of Maggie’s pregnancy.

Episodic Structure- The plays very un-naturalistic of the times. The play was set in the 1950’s but the character attitudes are wrong for the times. There wouldn’t be as much swearing, at least not from the female’s. There also wouldn’t be as much open talk of sex. The play is structured around sex and the gritty side of American upper class family life, and those things in that situation would exist but the problems wouldn’t be talked about in open conversation. Sex is one of the main things that holds the structure of the play together so it has to be talked about in the open in the play.There are incidents when people look back into their pasts and talk about the past all the way through the play showing that the past does shape the present, like Maggie talking about Skipper. If Skipper were still alive Maggie would still have the man she fell in love with.

If Big Daddy didn’t see that mother prostitute her child he probably wouldn’t have realised that he’s lucky now, and has forgotten how hard life is for others. The flashbacks are about a multitude of things and from the memory’s of different characters. Flashbacks show depth of a character and show the amount of time Williams gave to structuring the characters lives and what relation this would have to the other characters and the play.The first look back about three-quarters of the way through act one. It about Maggie being poor and her remembering life before she married Brick. She talks about how she had to suck up to her rich family for money and the rest of Brick’s family wouldn’t know what that feels like. She say’s that she’s poor because her Father “loved his liquor” and how her Mother tried to keep up appearances. That speech reflects how life will be for Brick and Maggie if they don’t get Big Daddy’s land and money and if Brick doesn’t stop drinking.

Maggie’s the cat on the hot tin roof because if that happens she’ll be back to where she started in life. Maggie then says “You can be young without money but you can’t be old without it.” This speech shows Maggie for what she feels and how desperate she is. It persuades the audience to think that it might be better if Brick and Maggie get the land and the money.The second flashback from Maggie is about how Skipper felt towards Brick from

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