Maggie's dispossession also rests in her childlessness. Certainly her childlessness calls her status as "normal" wife and woman into question. Without a child, moreover, her and Brick's place in Big Daddy's household is not assured. The child functions entirely here to assure their bid as Daddy's rightful heirs.

The Father and Son

In Cat, the father and son appear in a decidedly narcissistic relation. Daddy's narcissistic love for Brick is clear. As Williams notes, Brick bears the charmingly masculine indifference Daddy must have in his youth. As Mama will note at the close of the play, Daddy wants above all that Brick provide him a grandson who is as much like his son as Brick is like himself. Brick is his rightful heir, his means of immortality.

The mirror relation between the men becomes especially clear Brick and Daddy will "show-down" over their respective secrets. Both Daddy's sojourn in "death's country" and Brick's being "almost not alive" in his drunkenness make them "accidentally truthful." Thus, unlike the characters about them, they present themselves as the only ones who have never lied to each other. Both stand on polar limits of the system of mendacity that is life, Brick being the drunkard and Daddy the dead man.

Father and son will come to double each other in their roles as revealer and recipient of the other's "inadmissible thing." Thus Daddy will force Brick to confront the desire in his friendship with Skipper and receive his death sentence in return. In matching the revelation of his repressed desire with that of Daddy's death, Brick turns things "upside down." Daddy comes to stand in the place he just occupied. The revelation is a violent act, robbing Daddy of his second life. As Brick the duality of the exchange that has just ensued: "You told me! I told you!"

Brick and Daddy's final struggle marks the reverse side of the narcissistic love between them, the aggressive logic of "either you go or I go" between those who mirror each other too closely.

The Children

Against the beautiful, childless couple, the image of the family, and the mother in particular, will appear hilariously grotesque. Mae and Gooper have spawned a litter of "no-necked monsters" fit for the county fair; Mae, the cotton carnival queen besmirched by proxy, is a "monster of fertility"; and the sounds of the screeching children continually invade the scene. This side of the family will continually stage burlesques of familial love and devotion, such as Daddy's birthday party in Act II.