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Cat on a Hot Tin Movie
You are required to write a final paper that demonstrates your understanding of the course discussions, required readings, recommended readings and at least one of the listed websites. The final paper contributes 20% to your final grade or 20 points. The final paper is required to be a minimum of six pages not including the title page or the list of references using a 12” font and double spaced.
Your final paper is based on the 1984 television movie “Cat on a Hot Tin Roof”.
Please note that this story is set in the Deep South of the USA in 1955 and depicts the racism, prejudice and oppression of people of color.
The film is posted to the course Moodle site. Students can elect to view any other movie version, filmed play or the written play for this assignment as well. You cannot include a summary of the movie or play as part of your final paper.
Students will assess the extended Pollet family as they try to cope with the father’s (Captain Pollit-Big Daddy) terminal illness diagnosis. Students will develop a variety of interventions to assist the entire family that includes Captain Pollit’s wife-Big Mama, their two adult aged sons, the oldest Gooper and his younger brother, Brick, their wives, Mae is Gooper’s wife and Maggie is Brick’s wife, and Gooper and Mae’s children. Student’s will use their textbooks (both required and recommended), at least one of the listed websites and material discussed in class related to the role plays* as their citations and references. In addition, as Captain Pollit has been diagnosed with terminal (end stage or metastatic) colon cancer, you will need to do additional research on the internet to discuss the kinds of symptoms, physical changes and comfort needs of Captain Pollit to be included in their paper.
*Gallo-Silver, L. (2021) In class role plays from Social Work Practice in End of Life Care, New York, NY, Adelphi School of Social Work
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Cat on a Hot Tin Movie
In this movie of “Cat on a Hot Tin movie”, we discover that in the extended family of Captain Pollit- who is referred to as the Dig Daddy, some of the family members know about his terminal illness that would later lead to his death while others are not aware of it. As they all gather, that is, Brick and Maggie, Mae and Gooper, Big Mama and Big Daddy, and the five children, to celebrate the old man's 65th birthday, it is clear that they are just about to face grief. Big Daddy and Big Mama are both not aware of the ailment that Big Daddy is suffering from, they only think that it is spastic colon cancer. However, Maggie, Gooper, and Mae are aware of the grieve that awaits them since they know that Big Daddy is suffering from a malignant colon cancer, and he is surely going to die. Nevertheless, Big Mama does not believe the information.
Since death is inevitable at this metastatic stage of colon cancer, there is a need to intervene and help the extended family of Captain Pollit to cope with the diagnosis of the terminal illness and death. Obviously, depending on the closeness of the members to Pollit, everyone is differently affected starting with his wife and sons. According to the book Understanding Death and Bereavement by Michael and George, different cultures in the world have different ways in which they partake matters concerning death, grief, and bereavement (Leming & Dickinson, 2021). In order for this family to overcome the death of their Big Daddy that is just about to happen after his birthday, they need to be sensitized about matters to do with dying, bereavement, and death (Leming & Dickinson, 2021). In addition, to help them adjust to the death of their father and, help them to examine their feelings and reactions about death.
One of the aspects to consider is the attachment the deceased and his family has in their entire life. Normally, people of the same family have developed affectional bonds that when they are shaken or endangered, withdrawals and despair ensue (Worden, 2018). There is a connection between attachments and psychology, and it goes to different lengths depending on the relationship with the deceased. It is normal for human beings to develop an emotional attachment with their loved ones, which creates affectionate bonds (Worden, 2018). Once the bonds are broken, for example by death, grief engulfs the ones left behind with a feeling of having lost their dear ones, just as what is about to happen with Captain Pollit’s family.
In addition, grief is not a disease, but it takes a healing moment (Worden, 2018). In an essay published in Psychosomatic Medicine, George Engel brings out the issue of grief whether it is a disease or not. He argued that losing someone close can traumatize someone psychologically and that psychology needs a healing process to get back to the normal state (Worden, 2018). For instance, Pollitt’s wife is obviously one of the most affected bearing in mind *h*t this is her husband’s death. Mourning is very necessary since it is the course taken to adapt to the event of death. It helps the family heal from the grief they experience. However, as Worden explains, there are few types of grief. For instance, there is normal grief where the affected only depicts the normal reactions and the common changes after the loss of their loved one.
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One of the most feelings that happen with the bereaved is sadness, which is more often than not, manifested through crying. Crying brings out sympathy according to Parkes and Weiss (Worden, 2018). However, some mourners may fear the intensity of sadness, which may not come during the day due to their different activities but comes at night. In addition, frustration from the fact that one could do nothing to prevent the death of the deceased could cause anger. Anger comes after a loss and worse, it can lead to difficult and complicated mourning (Worden, 2018). However, turning the anger against oneself is psychologically detrimental. For instance, the fact that Big Mama is not aware that her husband is suffering from a deadly illness can bring much sadness in her as she tries to comprehend the situation. According to Worden, in the case of losing a loved one, the bereaved have a tendency to feel helpless and a feeling of unable to exist without their loved one.
Captain Pollit, as the head of the family, had some fatherly roles. It is important to come in as a physical helper to provide support to his wife and sons to cover the void. The death of Big Daddy could bring more blame. The fact that some people have information about the state of the old man's ailment, Big Mama would blame them due to maybe, anger or sadness. She would direct the blame to Brick for not telling her earlier that her husband would die in a short period. According to Field and Bonanno, blames could be directed to the deceased, or the bereaved blaming themselves. In order to avoid more grief symptoms, the bereaved have to accept the loss (Worden, 2018). Those who blame themselves tend to experience worse grief than those that blame the deceased.
In addition, self-reproach and guilt can affect mourning and grief. For instance, the bereaved may experience the feeling of self-blame and shame. Mostly, they think that they would have been kinder to the deceased, maybe they would have taken him to the hospital earlier, or maybe something that they did not pay attention to in the time of death, and maybe would have prevented the death. On the other side, the bereaved can experience a slight sense of fear or insecurity, which is an abnormal reaction to grief. Anxiety can be in different forms. For instance, the bereaved may think that maybe, they will not be able to live and survive without the deceased. This kind of anxiety is caused by the bond or attachment that the bereaved had with the deceased.
To overcome the grief after a death, Big Mama and her family need to understand the mourning process. The bereaved come to terms with the loss of their loved one through this process. On the other side of the coin, the reaction to bereavement may comprise of thought, feelings, and the experienced behaviors that in an undefined period, according to the mourner, change. Worden defines it as a process that can be classified into different stages (Worden, 2018). In the process of mourning, the bereaved are able to accept the reality of the loss. That feeling that it has not happened. First, one has to believe that that the dead will never come back again, and that they will never reunite with them anymore (Worden, 2018). However, there are few cases of denial of the fact that the person is dead. For instance, the bereaved may keep the body of the dead for some days and be stuck on the mourning processes.
Additionally, mourning processes the pain of grief. Whenever someone loses their loved ones, they experience a lot of emotional pain and behavioral too. This pain can manifest itself in form of some physical symptoms or abnormal behavior. However, one of the most important things during this process is to acknowledge the loss to work out through this pain. According to Worden, different people experience different pain intensities, which can greatly be influenced by the relationship and closeness to the deceased (Worden, 2018). However, other factors too can influence the level of pain. Nevertheless, according to some research, has revealed that other people do not allow themselves emotionally attached to anyone and therefore do not experience much pain after the loss.
After a loss, the family needs to adjust themselves to live in the world without the deceased. There are different types of adjustments according to Worden, which include, physical adjustment, which involves day-to-day life functioning, internal adjustment, which refers to how the death affects the bereaved person’s self-sense and spiritual adjustment (Worden, 2018). Spiritual adjustments are the impact of the death on one's values, believes and general world perspectives. For instance, believes influenced by the family members and all life experiences. For the family to make peace with their past which is the death of their Daddy which happens later after the birthday, they must accept the world without him.
For the remembrance of the deceased, the family has to find a way to remember him as they embark on their daily life and the new normal. After mourning, one must withdraw the attachment energy from the dead and invest it in another relationship (Worden, 2018). Since it is nearly impossible to detach from the dead, one has to find a way to remember them. Besides, one can visit a counselor or any psychological specialist in the case of complicated situations. In some cases, the death may revive old scars. It may bring remembrance of someone who died a long time ago which would result in a complicated mourning. Complicated mourning may result in low self-esteem and self-blame (Worden, 2018). Besides, in the cases of abusive death methods, one can have a conflicted relationship with the abuser.
Grief counseling is also an important aspect of the bereaved family. One of the goals of grief counseling is to help the bereaved get used to the loss of their loved ones and accept the new reality. Different types of counselors can do grief counseling. For instance, there is one provided by professional doctors and psychologists or social workers. This type of counseling can be done to an individual or group. In addition, volunteers are trained and supported by individuals to help the new people with the same challenge. The family can begin the grief counseling like a week to the funeral. It is nearly impossible to do counseling after 24 hours since currently; the bereaved person is still in a state of shock from the death occurrence. Counseling can be done at any place, not necessarily in a professional office setting. One of the best is the home setting. Counselors who visit the bereaved at their homes find it to be one of the most convenient places for interventions (Worden, 2018). Phone calls are also not as effective as a physical visit.
On the flip of the coin, there are severe signs and symptoms associated with the metastatic (end-stage) colon cancer. Since it begins in the last part of the digestive tract, the colon mostly affects the areas surrounding the colon. For instance, in an article by Mayo Clinic, colon cancer growth starts as a non-cancerous and painless cell clump referred to as polyps forming in the inner parts of the colon ("Colon cancer - Symptoms and causes", 2021). As time goes, the polyps may develop into cancer growths, which now begin to have adverse effects on the body. In our case above, Captain Pollit-Big Daddy is diagnosed with metastatic colon cancer. As expected, there are signs and symptoms that he must experience such as a noticeable change in bowel patterns, which leads to problems such as diarrhea, constipation, and change of stool patterns. Besides, Captain Pollit could excrete bloody stool, abdominal discomfort caused by maybe gasses or other pains.
Weight loss could also follow with feelings of fatigue and weakness of the body. In addition, Captain Pollit could feel that the bowels are not completely emptying out since the illness affects the abdominal part of the body ("Colon cancer - Symptoms and causes", 2021). According to pain management routines, Captain Pollit, therefore, required attention and care to have the comfort to ease the illness pains. Just like any other end-stage colon cancer patient, he needed comfort and a lot of peace. However, we see that with the kind of tempestuous wife he has, the man is having quite a hard time. In addition, Captain Pollit needed adequate rest, sleep to relax and restore destroyed cells. He also needed to eat healthy and balanced food to boost his immune system to keep off other diseases that would make him as a cancer patient, weaker. A good exercise would be necessary for the ailing man, which would aid in upgrading his mood to feel good, as a pain management process.
Colon cancer - Symptoms and causes. Mayo Clinic. (2021). Retrieved 19 April 2021, from https://www.mayoclinic.org/diseases-conditions/colon-cancer/symptoms-causes/syc-20353669#:~:text=A%20persistent%20change%20in%20your,bowel%20doesn't%20empty%20completely.
Leming, M., & Dickinson, G. (2021). Understanding Dying, Death, and Bereavement (9th ed.).
Worden, J. W. (2018). GRIEF COUNSELING and GRIEF THERAPY (5th ed.). New York City: Springer publishing company.
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