Cat on a Hot Tin Roof
by Tennessee Williams
Character Role Analysis
While Big Daddy is not always the chipper old chap that warms our hearts, we do feel that, beneath the random Europe stories, his lech for women, and his tendency to wax repetitive about his newfound appreciation for life, Big Daddy does want to get to the bottom of the Brick mystery. When Brick starts talking about chasing the click, Big Daddy realizes that his son is an alcoholic and says, "Expecting death made me blind [....]. You're my son and I'm going to straighten you out now that I'm straightened out" (II.816.840-843).
What follows is your basic father/son chat, during which Big Daddy acts like (could it be?) a real father. He wants to know why Brick is ruining his body with alcohol: "Why are you throwing your life away, boy, like somethin' disgusting you picked up on the street?" (II.925-927). Big Daddy is even more persistent and aggressive than Maggie in eliciting a response and in forging a conversation with Brick. Thanks to Big Daddy, Brick exorcises his guilt, shame, and disgust. Because of Big Daddy the ghost and the shadow that haunt Brick are revealed.
We have a conspiracy theory about Doc Baugh. We think he's really Tennessee Williams dressed up like a doctor, and wondering the Pollitt family. Doc Baugh is just so...normal. It's amazing! It's like functioning in a world composed only of various shades of blue, only to have a cheetah arrive, making us realize how blue the blue world really is. Basically, Doc Baugh is a doctor, a healer, and a man who can chat about vitamin injections with Mae Pollitt. He is also the messenger of death and the truth teller. He prophesies and confirms the death of the patriarch. He guides the family toward death, and then leaves as quietly as he enters the play. A tad bit creepy.