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Cat on a Hot Tin Roof

Cat on a Hot Tin Roof

by Tennessee Williams

Sexuality and Sexual Identity Quotes

How we cite our quotes:

Quote #7

BRICK
You think so, too? You think so, too? You think me an' Skipper did, did, did!—sodomy!—together? (II.117.1208-1209)

Brick uses the word, "sodomy," which evokes biblical and legal language. He is deeply concerned with violating any societal codes or values. Brick is outraged at Big Daddy's questions and insinuations and wants to know who exactly is perpetrating such gossip. He is almost obsessed with discovering who exactly believes him to be gay.

Quote #8

BRICK
[…] Why, at Ole Miss when it was discovered a pledge to our fraternity, Skipper's and mine, did a, attempted to do a, unnatural thing with—
We not only dropped him like a hot rock—We told him to git off the campus, and he did, he got!—All the way to—
BIG DADDY
- Where?
BRICK
- North Africa, last I heard! (II.119.1240-1248)

As Brick relates the hazing and intolerance of a gay fraternity brother, he speaks in vague, fractured sentences and has a hard time getting the words out. This moment is seared into his memory, and it has become almost an allegory for himself. When Big Daddy wants to know where that fraternity brother is now, Brick seems to choose at random the farthest place on earth that he can come up with. The way in which he says, "last I heard," evokes the image of a wandering man, constantly moving away from the intolerance of others. In this moment, we peek into Brick's imagination and see his understanding of the consequences of admitting one's sexual orientation.

Quote #9

BRICK
No!—It was too rare to be normal, any true thing between two people is too rare to be normal. (II.121.1271-1273)

Brick indicts society here, saying that conformity involves lies. His relationship with Skipper was true because it did not obey societal designations of appropriate, normal behavior. At this moment he distances himself from the norms of a society that once loved him so much and that he loves so dearly.

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