Cat on a Hot Tin Roof by Tennessee Williams

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In Tennessee Williams' Cat on a Hot Tin Roof, how have Mae's and Maggie's "hyper-feminine" gender expressions hampered them? In what ways are they constrained by the way they present themselves in the...

In Tennessee Williams' Cat on a Hot Tin Roof, how have Mae's and Maggie's "hyper-feminine" gender expressions hampered them? In what ways are they constrained by the way they present themselves in the world?

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In Tennessee Williams’s Cat on a Hot Tin Roof , the women are a reflection of the playwright’s Southern heritage and of his story’s repressed emotionalism.  While the character of Mae represents the more vulgar and abrasive perception of feminism, however, that of Margaret, or Maggie, represents the more seething, unrequited feminism prevalent in Southern literature.  Maggie is two people, a common phenomenon amongst the more genteel of society.  In public, she is the endearing, proper wife and daughter-in-law; in private, with Brick, she is a deeply wounded, embittered individual unable to connect with her husband, who conceals his own bitterness and repressed homosexuality beneath a thinly veiled layer of disgust at the hypocrisies around him cushioned by the alcohol that numbs her to his life’s realities.  Maggie is accustomed to walking on the proverbial egg shells around Brick, and around her in-laws, but is reaching the limits of her endurance.  Maggie also lives with...

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