Cat on a Hot Tin Roof
by Tennessee Williams
Cat on a Hot Tin Roof Dreams, Hopes, and Plans Quotes
How we cite our quotes: Citations follow this format: (Act.Page.Line). Every time a character talks counts as one line, even if what they say turns into a long monologue. We used the New Directions edition of the play, published in 1971.
Jumping the hurdles, Big Daddy, runnin' and jumpin' the hurdles, but those high hurdles have gotten too high for me, now. (II.74.278-280)
Instead of running around a track or throwing footballs around on his high school football field, Brick chooses to jump hurdles. It seems strange that he would choose such a difficult task for his drunken self.
Life is important. There's nothing else to hold onto. A man that drinks is throwing his life away. Don't do it, hold onto your life. There's nothing else to hold onto…. (II.84.496-498)
Big Daddy tells this as a way of inspiring and motivating Brick, but he also says that life is constructed out of lies. Thus, according to Big Daddy, lies are the only things to hold onto.
I think the reason he buys everything he can buy is that in the back of his mind he has the crazy hopes that one of his purchases will be life everlasting!—Which it never can be…. (II.89.608-611)
Big Daddy echoes Maggie's observation about the human desire for life everlasting, something that he himself would kill to have. Unlike Brick, he wants to live and live, even in spite of hating so many elements within his life (Big Mama, his grandchildren, church, clubs, etc.).