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.
Yeah? What is that!
- the click…. (II.97.782-785)
As Brick flounders in a world stuck between life and death, he searches for a click that will drown out the feelings of guilt for having lived so long with mendacity. The funny thing is, though, that the longer he chases this click, the faster he expedites his own death. The click only arrives when he has enough alcohol in his blood. Instead of fighting to make his lies true, Brick is in a No Man's Land, numbing his guilt.
Sit in a glass box watching games I can't play? Describing what I can't do while players do it? Sweating out their disgust and confusion in contests I'm not fit for? Drinkin' a coke, half bourbon, so I can stand it? That's no goddamn good any more, no help… (II.113.1095-1099)
While Brick used to be the hero and athlete, his football injury forced him into the passive role of watching and commenting on others. He says that this new lifestyle is "no help," that it only reveals the lies that sustain him and that once sustained him. He becomes a commentator and thus becomes part of the "society" that once heralded him as a hero-athlete. This comment further reveals how much Brick's self-image is wrapped up in his former athleticism.
Oh, my, my! This is Big Daddy's dream, his dream come true!
I'm going to tell him right now before he— (III.158.637-638)
Big Daddy loves Brick and so, in this way, the news of Brick and Maggie's baby would make him happy. However, in his conversation with Brick, we learn that life everlasting is really what Big Daddy longs for. In this quote, we see Big Mama project a hope onto Big Daddy, shining big spotlights onto the web of lies that forms their relationship and their world. In this way, we see again how little Big Mama and Big Daddy know each other. Big Mama is happy in this moment because, in her eyes, Brick and Maggie are no longer an abnormal, childless couple, but have conformed to the lifestyle that society deems proper.