The play tells the story of greed and deception within a patriarchal souther family. Specifically, the plot focuses on the turbulent relationship of a wife and husband, Maggie "The Cat" and Brick Pollitt, and their interaction with Brick's family over the course of one evening gathering at the family estate in Mississippi, ostensibly to celebrate the birthday of patriarch and tycoon "Big Daddy" Pollitt. Maggie, through wit and beauty, has escaped a childhood of desperate poverty to marry into the wealthy Pollitt family, but finds herself suffering in an unfulfilling marriage. Brick, an aging football hero, has neglected his wife and further infuriates her by ignoring his brother's attempts to gain control of the family fortune. Brick's indifference and his near-continuous drinking, date back to the recent suicide of his friend Skipper. Big Daddy is unaware that he has cancer and will not live to see another birthday; his doctors and his family have conspired to keep this information from him and his wife. His relatives are in attendance and attempt to present themselves in the best possible light, hoping to receive the definitive share of Big Daddy's enormous wealth.