Cat on a Hot Tin Roof

by: Tennessee Williams

Act IV: Part two

Summary

Maggie moves to the center of the room and announces that she and Brick are to have a child. Sobbing, Mama flees jubilantly to tell Big Daddy; the responsibilities of fatherhood are sure to straighten him out. Maggie whispers something to Brick and pours him a drink.

Mae accuses Maggie of lying. She and Gooper press her for the name of the gynecologist. Mae begins to declare that she cannot conceive by a man who will not sleep with her unless she thinks something, but Brick turns on the phonograph, cutting her off. A cry of agony and rage fills the house. Maggie turns the phonograph to a whisper. Mae and Gooper exit to watch Daddy's suffering.

Maggie thanks Brick for saving her face. He replies that he has yet to get his click and asks her to put his pillow on the sofa. Maggie refuses, as she has put it on the bed. Brick puts down three shots and finds his click. Infinitely grateful, he exits onto the gallery. Maggie clutches the pillow forlornly and, upon some hesitation, gathers Brick's liquor bottles and runs out of the room.

Brick reappears. Turning out the lights, Maggie declares that now that he is a drunk, she is stronger than him and can love him more truly. It is her time to conceive. She has locked up his liquor and won't release it until he has sated her. Brick reaches for his crutch, and Maggie tosses it over the gallery rail.

Suddenly Mama bursts in sobbing. Maggie gives her the package of morphine. Brick turns from Mama's kisses. She rushes out.

Brick has nothing to say to Maggie's proposition. Maggie cries that people who give up only want someone to take hold of them with love. She loves him. Smiling with charming sadness, Brick replies: "Wouldn't it be funny if that was true?"