Tennessee Williams’ on-stage characters have been given much attention by the critics, yet the off-stage characters that exist only as a memory are sometimes forgotten. The theme homosexuality is shown through Williams’ off-stage characters, as well as the homophobia we encounter, which is triggered by the deaths of these two. My main objective is to look at Allan Grey in A Streetcar Named Desire and Skipper in Cat on a Hot Tin Roof and their function in the two plays. It is remarkable how Williams has incorporated these characters in the play to influence the turn of events, but never to appear in front of the audience’s/reader’s eyes. Why are their homosexuality and their deaths highlighted as the two main issues?
The first part of Chapter One will discuss what kind of role Allan Grey and Skipper’s masculinity has in the plays, and how these two characters function in opposition to the other, heterosexual, masculine men. The second part of Chapter One will focus its discussion on how Allan Grey and Skipper’s homosexuality comes across, how their homosexuality is revealed and how their relationships with the other characters are affected by their sexual identity. The first part of Chapter Two will discuss how Allan Grey and Skipper’s homosexuality functions outside themselves; how their earlier presence generates a discussion about sexuality between the other characters in Streetcar and Cat. In the second part of Chapter Two, I will direct special attention to how and why the two off-stage characters create fear within the protagonists Blanche and Brick, who clearly express their “disgust” with Allan Grey and Skipper’s sexuality.