Explore the ways in which Williams vividly portrays the difficult relationship between Brick and Big Daddy.

Expert Answers
Ashley Kannan eNotes educator| Certified Educator

Part of the way in which Williams is able to construct a relationship where there is so much in way of challenge and difficulty between the two men is to layer so much in their characterization that difficulties are inevitable.  Brick and Daddy are bound to one another because of their hatred of the inauthenticity that is within society.  Yet, from this point complexity  abounds.  

Brick is bound to his father by his own hatred for inauthenticity. However, Brick is immersed in such an "emotional paralysis" that the only real connection he seeks is the "click" from alcohol.  Brick's own desire to evade the truth's pain prevents him from fully embracing the reality of Big Daddy.  At the same time, Brick and Big Daddy are not able to fully overcome the perception of Brick as someone he is not.  Big Daddy does not hold any grudge or misgiving towards Brick, but the specter of Brick and Skipper's relationship is present in the bond that Big Daddy and Brick share.  This helps to enhance the difficulty that exists between them.  Additionally, it is difficult for Brick to experience a clear and lucid relationship with anyone as he lacks it with himself.  Essentially, the difficulty that Brick projects onto the rest of the world, including Big Daddy, is a result of the difficulty he experiences with himself.  For Brick, this becomes the root of his "spiritual disrepair."  Such an emotionally decrepit condition is where many of the challenges exist in the difficult relationship between Brick and Big Daddy.

Read the study guide:
Cat on a Hot Tin Roof

Access hundreds of thousands of answers with a free trial.

Start Free Trial
Ask a Question