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Illusion and Mendacity

In: English and Literature

Submitted By timsoriano333
Words 1690
Pages 7
Peter Tim Soriano
Mr. Chalmers
ENG 4U
16 December 2013
Illusion and Mendacity In Tennessee Williams’ plays Cat on a Hot Tin Roof and A Streetcar Named Desire, several characters suffer by lying and by being unaware of reality. Both plays demonstrate and signify the themes of illusion vs. reality and mendacity through past trauma, alcohol abuse, and through strained family and marital relationships. In Cat on a Hot Tin Roof, Brick is an example to all of these factors through his past with his friend skipper, his abuse of alcohol, and the lack of love he shows for his wife, while in A Streetcar Named Desire, Blanche encounters similar problems as Brick with her past trauma and her alcohol problem. The two plays share many similarities in terms of themes but at the same time also share significant difference. In the play Cat on a Hot Tin Roof, Brick is troubled with his past memories that he tries to keep a secret. He mourns the death of his best friend Skipper and the death pushes Brick into a world of imagination and mendacity. He avoids talking about Skipper and when his wife Margaret who is been trying to fix her relationship with Brick brings up the memory of his friend Skipper. Brick gets upset and says, “One man has one great good true thing in his life. One great good thing which is true! – I had a friendship with Skipper. – You are naming it dirty!” (Williams 44) Brick is furious with Margaret as he threatens her with physical abuse before he mentions the one greatest thing that values the most to him in his life is his friend Skipper which is an insult to Margaret. While in A Streetcar Named Desire, Blanche is characterized as an individual who lives her life based on mendacity and is lost in the world of fantasy. She is also faced with past issues as well. As Blanche talks to Mitch, she claims that she lost her husband when “He was a boy, just a boy,...

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