Study Guide

Cat on a Hot Tin Roof

by Tennessee Williams

Cat on a Hot Tin Roof Characters

Characters Discussed (Great Characters in Literature)

Margaret (Maggie) Pollitt

Margaret (Maggie) Pollitt, a young woman from a poor background married into a wealthy Southern family. Maggie’s hard life has given her the strength and determination to do whatever she must to survive. When she felt threatened by the closeness between her husband, Brick, and his friend Skipper, she accused Skipper of being in love with Brick, then tried to seduce Skipper, leading to Skipper’s suicide and Maggie’s estrangement from Brick. Because of Brick’s alcoholism and irresponsibility, as well as the fact that they have no children, Maggie fears that the Pollitt estate will go to Brick’s brother Gooper and his wife Mae, leaving Maggie and Brick at the financial mercy of their relatives. To prevent this, Maggie announces that she is pregnant, then blackmails Brick into sleeping with her by withholding liquor from him.

Brick Pollitt

Brick Pollitt, a young alcoholic former football player. Brick is tormented by guilt over the death of his former teammate and best friend, Skipper. Brick and Skipper shared an intimate and ambiguous relationship. When an emotionally distraught Skipper called Brick to confess his love for him, Brick hung up on Skipper, precipitating his suicide. Brick hates Maggie because she tried to seduce Skipper in an effort to come between the men. Brick is disgusted with the hypocrisy, lies, secrecy, and plotting he sees going on around him in the family. Having lost all ambition, he longs only for the blissful oblivion that sufficient amounts of alcohol can provide. Brick is the only member of the family who does not care about inheriting control of the Pollitt empire. Everyone around him plots and schemes for it, with Brick at the center of their manipulations.

Big Daddy Pollitt...

(The entire section is 737 words.)

Cat on a Hot Tin Roof Character Analysis

Big Daddy Pollitt

Big Daddy is the center of attention in the Pollitt family, not only because he holds the position of patriarch but because he is dying and...

(The entire section is 252 words.)

Brick Pollitt

Brick has made a virtue of indifference, first as a football star admired from afar by family and friends, then as a dreamy alcoholic, hiding...

(The entire section is 233 words.)

Ida Pollitt

Sincere, foolish, fat, always laughing "like hell at herself," Big Mama's idea of fun (pulling the Reverend Tooker onto her lap when he...

(The entire section is 174 words.)

Maggie Pollitt

Maggie is a pretty southern woman who comes from a humble family and sees a slim but promising hope of getting "something out of what Big...

(The entire section is 224 words.)

Other Characters

Doctor Bough
Doc Baugh's purpose in the play is to authenticate the fact that Big Daddy, does, indeed, have terminal...

(The entire section is 573 words.)