Mendacity: Lie and Brick Essay

Submitted By Nosheen-Naz
Words: 761
Pages: 4

Mendacity. Falsehood. Deception. Untruthfulness. Disregarding how you name these concepts, they are the one that take control over all of our lives and our actions. Mendacity is the main theme of Tennessee Williams’ 1955 play entitled "Cat on a Hot Tin Roof". The play "cat on a hot tin roof" refers to a fantasy of femininity and feminine desire. Cat on a Hot Tin Roof is a play about a Mississippi family and about the destructive, fatal power of lies, about how people lie in order to maintain their societal levels and about the difficulty families have with telling the truth. Tennessee Williams achieves the exploration of human frailty through his characters enforcing the major theme of the book being mendacity.

Every character is based on a spectrum of deceit, from self-deception, to taking advantage of others to save their social image. The character Brick’s name itself conceals the irony and deceit, being the leading man. The name Brick itself suggests a tough, strong man, but Brick's character suggests a weak, pathetic man who tries hard to forget his past by indulging in a life of alcohol. Brick claims that he drinks in order to escape mendacity and lies. However, Brick deceives himself more than anyone else. By drinking, Brick distances himself from the truth, the truth about his relationships with Skipper, Maggie, and the rest of his family. By drinking Brick tries to escape the inescapable in order to achieve that temporary "click." Not only is Brick an alcoholic, but he also lacks sincere relationships, since he lacks the inability to communicate effectively. The strongest relationship Brick had was his relationship with Skipper, which failed due to Brick's inability to communicate and confront the homosexuality that both Brick and Skipper feared. According to Brick, "any true thing between two people is too rare to be normal" (56).through, Brick's loss of Skipper, Williams creates sympathy for Brick. The reader feels and understands the intense feeling of loss he feels and sympathizes with Brick's inability to communicate effectively with Skipper.

One of the most important relationships in the book is of Maggie and Brick. Their relationship is based on lies and filled with mendacity which arises more problems for them. Maggie accuses Skipper for being attracted to Brick and wants Skipper out of her marriage and does not want Skipper to take Brick away from her. Maggie says "it was only Skipper that harboured even any unconscious desire for anything not perfectly pure between you too!" (43). and therefore she lies to Brick and tells him that she and Skipper had an affair "This time I’m going to finish what I have to say to you. Skipper and I made love, if love you could call it, because it made both of us feel a little bit closer to you."(41). Part of Maggie’s anxiety also comes from the fact that she is childless while Mae has 5 kids already and the sixth one