Cat on a Hot Tin Roof
by Tennessee Williams
Cat on a Hot Tin Roof Language and Communication 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.
Because it's got to be told, and you, you!—you never let me! (I.57)
Brick and Maggie's relationship breaks down when one retreats from life and the other runs towards it. Their marriage malfunctions when Brick suppresses or tries to quiet Maggie so as not to disturb his mind-numbing alcohol-binging experience. Maggie cannot be suppressed, but must tell the truth about her history with Skipper.
Why is it so damn hard for people to talk? (II.85)
Big Daddy and Brick talk in circles and come close to accomplishing nothing with their conversation. Only Big Daddy's insistence and his new-found strength afforded by his brush with death provide something meaningful to discuss. Talking is hard for Brick and Big Daddy because they are too afraid of what they might discover should they bring up real issues and latent truths. They might lose control if they were to discuss the truths that haunt them.
I've been quiet here lately, spoke not a word, just sat and stared into space. I had something heavy weighing on my mind but tonight that load was took off me. That's why I'm talking—
The sky looks diff'rent to me…. (II.89)
Death quiets Big Daddy and forces him into self-reflection. The release of death's shadow compels Big Daddy to talk constantly and affords him with a new strength to hunt down truths within both himself and his favorite son.