Cat on a Hot Tin Roof
by Tennessee Williams
Cat on a Hot Tin Roof Visions of America 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.
I think this house is the coolest house in the Delta.—Did you all know that Halsey Banks' widow put air-conditioning units in the church and rectory at Friar's Point in memory of Halsey? (III.133.101-104)
Here we see the intersection between religion and modern technology. America's love for earthly comfort and ease has reached even the religious circles. It's as though religion is also a bit wonky and misguided. There is no attention given to God or to a higher being in the play. The concern is for the here and the now.
WHY DIDN'T THEY CUT IT OUT OF HIM? HANH? HANH?
Involved too much, Big Mama, too many organs affected.
Big Mama, the liver's affected and so's the kidneys, both! It's gone way past what they call a—
A surgical risk.
Yes, it's gone past the knife. (III.141.279-288)
If the Pollitt family is a microcosm of the Old South, then this cancer in the patriarch of the family can be compared to the corruption, mendacity, and slavery at the heart of the Old South. The cancer affects two vital organs within Big Daddy, both organs designed to protect the human body from toxins. But the cancer cannot be cut out, because it has become part of Big Daddy's body and is killing him. By following this comparison, we understand the death of the Old South and the ways in which racism permeates every aspect of society.