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Crutches are used when things, namely bones, are broken. This crutch is a multi-tasking, Swiss-army knife of a tool – it's a means for Brick to move, get to his Echo Spring, and escape when he feels trapped. He also uses it to strike at people; in this way, it becomes a weapon. Critics have also likened Brick's crutch to a phallic symbol, a sign of his impotency, for Big Daddy and Maggie sure do know how to render the man immobile by taking his crutch away from him. When this happens, he really is stranded.