© 2016 Shmoop University, Inc. All rights reserved.
Cat on a Hot Tin Roof

Cat on a Hot Tin Roof


by Tennessee Williams

Cat on a Hot Tin Roof Wealth 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 #10

- the human animal is a beast that dies and if he's got money he buys and buys and buys and I think the reason he buys everything he can buy is that in the back of his mind he has the crazy hope that one of his purchases will be life everlasting!—Which it never can be… (II.89.607-612)

Again and again we see humans compared to animals throughout Cat. Big Daddy, the millionaire, understands humans' actions and desires in an animalistic sense, offering a profound explanation for the way in which humans feel the need to buy things constantly: the pursuit of eternal life. Big Daddy posits that humans use money as a weapon against death or against the great fear of death's sheer animal nature. Humans buy in the hopes of escaping death, in the hopes of becoming more than a "beast."

People who Shmooped this also Shmooped...