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.
Just keep your voice down! (I.33)
In a house where the doors are kept unlocked, and where guests are strategically assigned rooms to facilitate optimal eavesdropping, communication is a difficult process. Brick is constantly trying to silence Maggie or at least quiet her down, whereas Maggie believes in the power of words and the articulation of truths.
You just have to scribble a few lines on this card.
You scribble something, Maggie
It's got to be your handwriting; it's your present, I've given him my present; it's got to be your handwriting! (I.34)
Maggie's insistence on having Brick write Big Daddy's card reflects her desire for authenticity. She wants to articulate truths and help others articulate truths; she knows the power of authentic (and not forged) communication of love and well-wishing. She knows the simple act of having Brick sign Big Daddy's birthday card would help her immensely in her quest to secure a piece of Big Daddy's wealth.
But I could make her hear me just by sayin' each word slowly, distinctly, close to her ear. I read her the Commerical Appeal ev'ry night, read her the classified ads in it, even, she never missed a word of it. (I.46.686-689)
Here again we further understand Maggie's ability to make people understand her as well as her desire to be understood perfectly. She does not run from truths, but seeks to articulate them in full color and detail.