Cat on a Hot Tin Roof

What Is The Signifiance Of The Play's Title ?

The meaning Of The Title

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Maggie is often referred to as Maggie the Cat. Whoa, that's some tricky title-character-symbolism stuff. It's almost as though Tennessee Williams would like us to associate Maggie with Well, could it be that Maggie is the cat on that tin roof? And this "tin roof" is her marriage to Brick. She proclaims to Brick, "I feel all the time like a cat on a hot tin roof." And Brick replies, "then jump off." Their marriage is hot, because it is full of anger, hatred, and argument incited by Brick, and it is full of Maggie's lust and, to put it mildly, sexual frustration.

Their marriage is like tin because it conducts heat from the ensuing emotion-firestorms. This roof of a marriage is also tin-like because it is flimsy, and it does not protect or cover the "house," or truths, beneath it. We think it's slightly akin to packing an entire Thanksgiving dinner, replete with drumsticks and pumpkin pie, into a Tupperware container, and trying to close the lid securely. We know that Maggie and Brick's marriage is basically a lie, because Brick doesn't really love Maggie and Maggie has basically made Brick marry her – it's kind of a flimsy union if you catch our drift. Also, tin roofs seem far, far away from the opulent Pollitt mansion, and they remind us of the bleak poverty away from which Maggie runs. Cats are also widely known to have nine lives, meaning they're tough cookies.