Cat on a Hot Tin Roof

Brick's Isolation 12th Grade

In a play, characters are rarely isolated, as they must interact to progress. However, in Tennessee Williams’ Cat on a Hot Tin Roof, the protagonist, Brick, is indeed isolated. This isolation leads to self-knowledge and self-destruction. Self-knowledge is the understanding of oneself or one’s own motives. Self-destruction, on the other hand, may be defined as a process of causing irreparable damage to oneself. Brick, the prime focus of the essay, is an enigma. He possesses an inexplicable yet irresistible charm, while at the same time is irresponsible and indifferent. His characterization is portrayed as he develops from a quiet, aloof man with a quality of cool detachment to one openly discussing his disgust with mendacity and the truth behind his drinking. However, though he proclaims his distaste for lies, his isolation causes self-deception more than for anyone else. By drinking and distancing himself from others, he distances himself from the truth about his relationships with Skipper, Maggie, and his family. Throughout the play, his physical, social, and psychological isolation lead to both internal self-knowledge and self-destruction.

Brick experiences pronounced physical isolation in the course of the drama. The room,...

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