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Cat on a Hot Tin Roof

Cat on a Hot Tin Roof


by Tennessee Williams

Cat on a Hot Tin Roof Gender 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.

Quote #1

Her voice has range, and music; sometimes it drops low as a boy's and you have a sudden image of her playing boy's games as a child. (I.21.97-99)

Here we see clearly Maggie's ability to seem both girly and boyish. In order to survive, she must take charge and take care of Brick, and she must also use her feminine wiles to charm and manipulate others. She transgresses the stereotypical gender role assigned to her when she finds that the role does not aid her in her plan to secure wealth, security, and a baby.

Quote #2

And he can't stand Brother Man and Brother Man's wife, that monster of fertility, Mae […] (I.22.137-138)

Fertility becomes associated with monstrosity in Cat. Fertility is not only represented through Mae and Gooper's ability to deliver six children to the world, but it is also reflected in the plantation itself. Big Daddy tells us his land is the richest and most fertile land west of the Nile, but the fertility of the land is also tied up with the economic system and society that produced slavery.

Quote #3

Way he always drops his eyes down my body when I'm talkin' to him, drops his eyes to my boobs an' licks his old chops! Ha ha! (I.23.162-164)

Maggie is very aware of the ways in which she can use her body and her looks to get what she wants. She understands that her role in society is to look good; in many ways she adheres to this role, while also using it to further her own campaigns.

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