Tennessee Williams’s play Cat on a Hot Tin Roof presents a day in a life of a family living in a plantation home and debating on the matters of existence, marriage, heritage, and sexual orientation. One of the main personages, Brick, is a man of misguiding conduct, and, starting from the next sentence, the following is a monologue consisting of advice for the character. Brick, upon pondering your story, I believe it is time for you to stop blaming others, learn to accept yourself and take responsibility for your decisions.
It appears that you feel resentment towards those surrounding you, and if you wish to get a life, you should discontinue putting the fault on other people. You say that you are disgusted by mendacity, but it seems that you are the one who is not being truthful. Perhaps, it is easier for you to condemn those around you because your own words and actions contradict one another. For example, consider your wife, Maggie, to whom you have told, “you could leave me” (Williams 23). You neither accept her affection and attempt to maintain your relationship nor let her go. Maybe, you repel Maggie for her connection with Skipper and what she thinks about the two of you. However, if you cannot forgive your wife, you should set her free rather than telling her to “take a lover” (Williams 16). Your decision to conceive a child does not signify a solution to the issues between you and Maggie because you and she cannot even have a civil conversation.
Furthermore, you blame society for being full of lying, but you are not being genuine with your wife, and you reject people when they try to be honest with you. For instance, you justify repulsing Skipper by calling your friend’s confession “his truth, not mine” (Williams 67). Consequently, you act angry at those who love you instead of facing and resolving problems. Brick, I assume you desire to see only the reality you fancy and regard everything else as deceit and a reason to be rude to others.
If you acknowledge that those surrounding you do not intend to mislead or harm you, you can learn to accept yourself. I suppose you remember Big Daddy declaring that “disgust with mendacity is disgust with yourself” (Williams 66). Perhaps, you feel confused about your identity, especially when stating, “I have lied to nobody, nobody but myself” (Williams 94). Brick, you are allowed not to know who you are or what you have to do, but you should not run away from challenges. For example, you say you need liquor because you “want to dodge away from” life (Williams 57). According to your father, your drinking habits are related to Skipper’s demise, but I do not believe your friend’s death is the only reason you are uninterested in anything. Think of how Maggie justifies her and Skipper resorting to the affair to “feel a little bit closer to you” (Williams 26). You tend to distance yourself from everything, and such behavior is not solely due to losing Skipper. I presume you are not certain about your personality, and such indecisiveness makes you discern insecurely.
Maybe, you always try to act indifferent to hide that you care a lot. You refuse to return to sports announcing due to feeling inferior to players, as sitting in a glass box “is no goddamn good anymore” (Williams 59). Your lack of affection towards your wife may be due to your decision to marry “into society” rather than choosing someone you like (Williams 40). You appear to be quite concerned with how the public perceives you, so instead of facing possible failures, you either seek the easiest solution or quit and end up hurting those who love you. Brick, you need to accept that you are likely to make mistakes, but those temporary defeats do not define you as long as you endeavor to improve.
By acknowledging that you cannot avoid errors, you can take responsibility for your actions and begin getting a life. I understand that you enjoy drinking because alcohol, as you state, “makes me peaceful” (Williams 51). However, liquor should not be the only thing giving you the “click” (Williams 51). Conceivably, you can find relaxation in reading, horse riding, or hunting, especially considering that you and Maggie have a “special archers’ license” (Williams 14). You suggest you consume spirits because you are no longer “young an’ believing” (Williams 59). You are getting older, but you need to be committed to doing something and not stop until you get results that would satisfy you and make you happy. For instance, although you are not fond of being an announcer, you are “one of the best-known ones in the country” (Williams 82). If you have become prosperous in one field, you can succeed in other occupations, but you must be determined.
Finally, it would help if you took accountability for your feelings. In particular, you must be open with yourself and Maggie about the “thing with Skipper” (Williams 26). You are concerned with what people think, but you and your loved ones matter the most. Discussing the situation between you and your wife, who is carrying your child, does not make you and Skipper look like “a pair of dirty old men” (Williams 63). You should allow yourself to reflect on your emotions and, when ready, talk to Maggie or, perhaps, let me guide the conversation. You need to control your resentment towards others, accept that you cannot be perfect, and take responsibility to strive for happiness by finding joy in a career and being at ease with your feelings.
Williams, Tennessee. Cat on a Hot Tin Roof. Penguin Books, 1957. Shsdavisapes,