Death is the reason why the family has come together. Death brings out the worst in the family. It gives renewed spirit and perspective to Big Daddy at first, but it also steals them from him and makes him disappear from the play. Death is the cause for unhappiness in Brick, and it is the thing he most desires. On the contrary, Death is what Maggie runs from, and is the block upon which she sharpens her tools of survival.
The death of the patriarch, Big Daddy, signals the end of an era.
The presence of death in Cat forces characters to be honest.