Thursday, February 11, 2016
Journal Entry 2/11/16: Cat On a Hot Tin Roof
"The bird that I hope to catch in the net of this play is not the solution of one man's psychological problem. I'm trying to catch the true quality of experience in a group of people, that cloudy, flickering, evanescent - fiercely charged! - interplay of live human beings in the thundercloud of a common crisis. Some mystery should be left in the revelation of character in a play, just as a great deal of mystery is always left in the in the revelation of character in life, even in one's own character to himself" (Williams 116-117)
One doesn't often see a hefty set of stage directions when reading through an average play script. However, Tennesse Williams manipulates his stage directions to conceal the meaning and tone of the entire play. Aside from assigning just mere movements for the characters, Williams goes on to describe his exact goal for the play's tone. He crafts the stage directions more as if he were composing a novel instead, with powerful diction and excited syntax.
The surprise insertion of these meaningful directions are in no way unintentionally placed. At this moment in the play, the atmosphere is taut, tense and awkward, which prompts Williams to be specific with how he sets the scene. He uses colorful words like "flickering" and "evanescent" in an excitable tone to paint the perfect picture of how naturally the scene is supposed to play out. Williams wants to capture the central emotion of people struggling through the chaos of the real world while also still leaving a sense of mystery behind.
As the reader progresses through the play, the reader should expect to see those wise directions applied. As the scene builds up tension, it becomes obvious that these directions have set the tone universally.
Word Count: 200