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Dramaturgical procedures of representation of the American South in Cat on a Hot Tin Roof, by Tennessee Williams

Grant number: 19/02524-3
Support Opportunities:Scholarships in Brazil - Master
Effective date (Start): July 01, 2019
Effective date (End): August 31, 2021
Field of knowledge:Linguistics, Literature and Arts - Arts - Theatre
Principal Investigator:Maria Sílvia Betti
Grantee:João Victor Pereira da Silva
Host Institution: Faculdade de Filosofia, Letras e Ciências Humanas (FFLCH). Universidade de São Paulo (USP). São Paulo , SP, Brazil


The objective of this work is to analyze the dramaturgical procedures of representation of the American South in the play Cat on a Hot Tin Roof (1955), by American playwright Tennessee Williams. This play, a recipient of the 1955 Pulitzer Prize for Drama and one of Williams's more famous works, dramatizes the quarrelsome relationship between Maggie the Cat and her husband Brick, members of the Southern agrarian elite, over the course of one evening's gathering to celebrate the birthday of patriarch Big Daddy, at the family estate in Mississippi. Since the play premiered, critics have praised the text mostly for the psychological complexity of its characters, which are commonly analyzed through a psychoanalytical focus on their sexuality and psyche. By characterizing the play as a prototype of the trends of "psychological realism" in American theater, these studies assume there is little or no connection between the characters' psychological dimension and the social structure in which they exist. The purpose of this dissertation is to analyze the dramaturgical expediences employed in the representation of the American South as a constituent part of the economic system in the United States and as an embodiment of the country's historical and cultural characteristics. Drawing from Szondi's (2001) theories on the forms of modern drama, this work aims at examining the non-dramatic nature of the play and intends to investigate the ways through which the drama can encompass social-historical content relating to the South of the United States, which is a recurrent setting for Williams's plays and a distinctive aspect between his work and that of other playwrights, such as Arthur Miller, Eugene O'Neill and Lillian Hellman, who wrote about the urbanized North of the country. (AU)

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Academic Publications
(References retrieved automatically from State of São Paulo Research Institutions)
SILVA, João Victor Pereira da. On hot tin land: the American South in Cat on a Hot Tin Roof, by Tennessee Williams. 2022. Master's Dissertation - Universidade de São Paulo (USP). Faculdade de Filosofia, Letras e Ciências Humanas (FFLCH/SBD) São Paulo.

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