Critical essays on cat on a hot tin roof

Although Pluto is a neutral character at the beginning of the story, he becomes antagonistic in the narrator’s eyes once the narrator becomes an alcoholic. The alcohol pushes the narrator into fits of intemperance and violence, to the point at which everything angers him – Pluto in particular, who is always by his side, becomes the malevolent witch who haunts him even while avoiding his presence. When the narrator cuts Pluto’s eye from its socket, this can be seen as symbolic of self-inflicted partial blindness to his own vision of moral goodness . [7]

The resuscitation—that is, Pilenz’s writing of the novel—is a complicated matter. Time has dimmed and confused his memory, so his story is as much a reconstruction of the past as a recollection of it; it is as much the re-creation of Mahlke, and of that part of himself Mahlke represents, as it is memory. A self-conscious artist, Pilenz realizes that his story, written out of inner necessity, is like all art: a fusion of reality and imagination. What he remembers most vividly, providing him with a grip on the past and himself, is a boyhood scene in which he or one of his friends—he remembers it differently each time he returns to it—encouraged a black cat to pounce on Mahlke’s mouse, that is, his Adam’s apple, while he lay asleep. About this fablelike incident, Pilenz constructs his tale of how the beast of death eventually kills Mahlke’s mouse. Cat and Mouse is a definition and revival of the spiritual qualities that were lost with Mahlke’s disappearance, the dialogue of recollection being a way of making...

Critical essays on cat on a hot tin roof

critical essays on cat on a hot tin roof

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