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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 Mortality 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

Hell, do they ever know it? Nobody says, 'You're dying.' You have to fool them. They have to fool themselves. (I.51.126-127)

Maggie makes a complex point here about how people come to understand their own death. She seems to say it's not enough just to tell someone he is dying. People have to be tricked into reckoning with and understanding this fact. Death complicates things so much that comprehending it takes cunning and sophistication .

Quote #2

It's malignant and it's terminal. (I.51.824)

With these words, Maggie heralds quite boldly and clearly the unavoidable death to come. Her treatment of death reveals a strong woman who does not fear it, but sees it as a fact of life.

Quote #3

But Brick?!—Skipper is dead! I'm alive! (I.60.1144)

In a world full of three ghosts, a dying patriarch, a deteriorating family, a crumbling society, and a man hovering between life and death, Maggie is the outsider, and she glows with life. She beckons Brick out of his shadows and tries to help him see how he can live his life with truths instead of lies.

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