Cat on a Hot Tin Roof

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Brick Character Analysis

Brick is Margaret’s husband. Attractive, charming, and once a professional athlete, Brick is now an alcoholic who drinks out of disgust for all the lies people tell to preserve societal harmony. He struggles with his friend Skipper’s death, his own role in that death, and the homosexual tensions surrounding their relationship. Despite his alcoholism, Brick is still the favorite child of Big Daddy and Big Mama, who both believe he most resembles Big Daddy.

Brick Quotes in Cat on a Hot Tin Roof

The Cat on a Hot Tin Roof quotes below are all either spoken by Brick or refer to Brick. For each quote, you can also see the other characters and themes related to it (each theme is indicated by its own dot and icon, like this one:
Lies Theme Icon
).
Act 1 Quotes

Yes, I made my mistake when I told you the truth about that thing with Skipper. Never should have confessed it, a fatal error, tellin' you about that thing with Skipper.

Related Characters: Margaret (speaker), Brick

But Brick?!—Skipper is dead! I'm alive!

Related Characters: Margaret (speaker), Brick

One man has one great good true thing in his life. One great good thing which is true!—I had a friendship with Skipper.—You are naming it dirty!

Related Characters: Brick (speaker), Margaret

Born poor, raised poor, expect to die poor unless I manage to get us something out of what Big Daddy leaves when he dies of cancer!

Related Characters: Margaret (speaker), Brick, Big Daddy
Act 2 Quotes

Jumping the hurdles, Big Daddy, runnin' and jumpin' the hurdles, but those high hurdles have gotten too high for me, now.

Related Characters: Brick (speaker), Big Daddy

No!—It was too rare to be normal, any true thing between two people is too rare to be normal.

Related Characters: Brick (speaker)

Why are you so anxious to shut me up?

Well, sir, every so often you say to me, Brick, I want to have a talk with you, but when we talk, it never materializes. Nothing is said. […] Communication is—awful hard between people an'—somehow between you and me, it just don't—

Related Characters: Brick (speaker), Big Daddy (speaker)

We talk, you talk, in—circles! We get nowhere, nowhere! It's always the same, you say you want to talk to me and don't have a ruttin' thing to say to me!

Related Characters: Brick (speaker), Big Daddy

You been passing the buck. This disgust with mendacity is disgust with yourself. You!—you dug the grave of your friend and kicked him in it!—before you'd face the truth with him!

Related Characters: Big Daddy (speaker), Brick

Sit in a glass box watching games I can't play? Describing what I can't do while players do it? Sweating out their disgust and confusion in contests I'm not fit for? Drinkin' a coke, half bourbon, so I can stand it?

Related Characters: Brick (speaker)

Maybe that's why you put Maggie and me in this room that was Jack Straw's and Peter Ochello's, in which that pair of old sisters slept in a double bed where both of 'em died!

Related Characters: Brick (speaker), Margaret, Big Daddy

A drinking man's someone who wants to forget he isn't still young an' believing.

Related Characters: Brick (speaker)

Why, at Ole Miss when it was discovered a pledge to our fraternity, Skipper's and mine, did a, attempted to do a, unnatural thing with—We not only dropped him like a hot rock—We told him to git off the campus, and he did, he got!—

Related Characters: Brick (speaker)

Maybe it's being alive that makes them lie, and being almost not alive makes me sort of accidentally truthful…

Related Characters: Brick (speaker)
Act 3 Quotes

Tonight Brick looks like he used to look when he was a little boy, just like he did when he played wild games and used to come home all sweaty and pink-cheeked and sleepy, with his—red curls shining….

Related Characters: Big Mama (speaker), Brick

Oh, Brick, son of Big Daddy! Big Daddy does so love you! Y’know what would be his fondest dream come true? If before he passed on, if Big Daddy has to pass on, you gave him a child of yours, a grandson as much like his son as his son is like Big Daddy!

Related Characters: Big Mama (speaker), Brick, Big Daddy

Brick, I used to think that you were stronger than me and I didn’t want to be overpowered by you. But now, since you’ve taken to liquor—you know what? –I guess it’s bad, but now I’m stronger than you and I can love you more truly!

Related Characters: Margaret (speaker), Brick

And so tonight we're going to make the lie true, and when that's done, I'll bring the liquor back here and we'll get drunk together, here, tonight, in this place that death has come into….

Related Characters: Margaret (speaker), Brick
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Brick Character Timeline in Cat on a Hot Tin Roof

The timeline below shows where the character Brick appears in Cat on a Hot Tin Roof. The colored dots and icons indicate which themes are associated with that appearance.
Act 1
Difficulty of Communication Theme Icon
Margaret marches into the bedroom, undressing, while Brick showers in the connecting bathroom. She complains that one of Gooper’s “no-neck monsters” hit her... (full context)
Death Theme Icon
Wealth Theme Icon
Margaret says that Mae and Gooper aim to cut Brick out of Big Daddy’s estate, now that they have a report confirming that Big Daddy... (full context)
Unrequited Love and Sexuality Theme Icon
Difficulty of Communication Theme Icon
Wealth Theme Icon
However, Margaret says that Brick still has one big advantage—Big Daddy dotes on him and dislikes Gooper and Mae. Margaret... (full context)
Difficulty of Communication Theme Icon
Memory, Nostalgia, Regret Theme Icon
...of Mae’s title as a former cotton carnival queen, she suddenly notices the way that Brick is staring at her. Frightened, she asks Brick why he’s looking at her like that.... (full context)
Unrequited Love and Sexuality Theme Icon
Difficulty of Communication Theme Icon
When Margaret recovers and gets Brick’s attention again, she tells him that she gets lonely. Brick tells her that everyone gets... (full context)
Unrequited Love and Sexuality Theme Icon
Difficulty of Communication Theme Icon
Memory, Nostalgia, Regret Theme Icon
...he might have gotten better looking since he started to drink. She starts to mention Brick’s friend Skipper before abruptly interrupting herself and apologizing. She starts reminiscing about how wonderful Brick... (full context)
Difficulty of Communication Theme Icon
Margaret again asks what Brick was thinking of when he was looking at her. She asks whether he was thinking... (full context)
Difficulty of Communication Theme Icon
Margaret tells Brick that they mustn’t shout because the walls have ears—but she believes that a crack in... (full context)
Lies Theme Icon
Difficulty of Communication Theme Icon
Brick asks Margaret for a favor and tells her to keep her voice down. Margaret whispers... (full context)
Difficulty of Communication Theme Icon
Brick says that they decided on certain conditions when Brick agreed to continue living with Margaret,... (full context)
Difficulty of Communication Theme Icon
Memory, Nostalgia, Regret Theme Icon
Mae enters, carrying the bow of an archery set. She asks whether it belongs to Brick, and Margaret responds that the bow is her Diana Trophy, won at an intercollegiate archery... (full context)
Unrequited Love and Sexuality Theme Icon
Brick tells Margaret that being catty doesn’t help matters, and Margaret says she knows that—but she’s... (full context)
Unrequited Love and Sexuality Theme Icon
Difficulty of Communication Theme Icon
Margaret locks the door, and Brick tells her not to make a fool of herself. He tells her that she agreed... (full context)
Death Theme Icon
Difficulty of Communication Theme Icon
Big Mama says she has wonderful news about Big Daddy. Margaret opens the door while Brick hobbles into the bathroom, but Big Mama meanwhile has entered through the other entrance, Gooper... (full context)
Death Theme Icon
Difficulty of Communication Theme Icon
Big Mama yells for Brick again and then discloses that the results of Big Daddy’s health report were all negative—he’s... (full context)
Unrequited Love and Sexuality Theme Icon
Difficulty of Communication Theme Icon
...Mama leaves the room, she jerks her finger towards the liquor cabinet to ask whether Brick’s been drinking, and Margaret pretends not to understand. Big Mama rushes back and tells her... (full context)
Unrequited Love and Sexuality Theme Icon
Margaret straightens when Brick exits the bathroom. She announces that she believes their sex life will revive as suddenly... (full context)
Lies Theme Icon
Unrequited Love and Sexuality Theme Icon
Death Theme Icon
Wealth Theme Icon
Brick tells Margaret that she could leave him, but she refuses and adds that he wouldn’t... (full context)
Unrequited Love and Sexuality Theme Icon
Difficulty of Communication Theme Icon
Memory, Nostalgia, Regret Theme Icon
...about the room as she says that she made her fatal mistake when she told Brick about the “thing with Skipper.” Brick warns her to stop talking about Skipper, but Maggie... (full context)
Unrequited Love and Sexuality Theme Icon
Difficulty of Communication Theme Icon
Memory, Nostalgia, Regret Theme Icon
...a double date they had in school, during which it seemed more like Skipper and Brick were on a date, and the girls were chaperoning. Brick interrupts the memory, threatening to... (full context)
Unrequited Love and Sexuality Theme Icon
Death Theme Icon
Difficulty of Communication Theme Icon
Memory, Nostalgia, Regret Theme Icon
Brick continues to try to attack Margaret with his crutch as she tells this story. She... (full context)
Memory, Nostalgia, Regret Theme Icon
Ignoring Margaret, Dixie asks Brick why he’s on the floor. Brick responds that he tried to kill her Aunt Margaret,... (full context)
Unrequited Love and Sexuality Theme Icon
Difficulty of Communication Theme Icon
...she can’t have children herself. This leaves Margaret shaken, and after Dixie exits, Margaret tells Brick that she went to see a gynecologist in Memphis, and the doctor confirmed that she... (full context)
Act 2
Death Theme Icon
Difficulty of Communication Theme Icon
Wealth Theme Icon
...laughs awkwardly, as Mae and Doctor Baugh appear, talking about the children’s immunizations. Margaret tells Brick to turn on the Hi-Fi. When he ignores her, she turns it on herself, and... (full context)
Lies Theme Icon
Unrequited Love and Sexuality Theme Icon
Big Mama fusses over Brick and flops down on the couch, pulling the reverend onto her as a joke. Big... (full context)
Lies Theme Icon
Death Theme Icon
Difficulty of Communication Theme Icon
Wealth Theme Icon
...launches into a speech about the wonderful results of the health report. Margaret interjects, asking Brick whether he’s given Big Daddy his birthday present yet. Gooper bets that Brick doesn’t know... (full context)
Unrequited Love and Sexuality Theme Icon
Difficulty of Communication Theme Icon
As the atmosphere in the room grows uncomfortable, Big Daddy turns to Brick and asks what he was doing on the high school track field last night. In... (full context)
Unrequited Love and Sexuality Theme Icon
Death Theme Icon
Wealth Theme Icon
Big Daddy asks to speak to Brick, and Margaret delivers him, exiting onto the gallery with a kiss, which Brick wipes off.... (full context)
Lies Theme Icon
Difficulty of Communication Theme Icon
Big Daddy tells Brick that Mae and Gooper have reported that Brick won’t sleep with Margaret. He asks whether... (full context)
Death Theme Icon
Memory, Nostalgia, Regret Theme Icon
Wealth Theme Icon
Meanwhile, the clock chimes, and Brick remarks on how pleasant the chiming sound is. Big Daddy says that he and Big... (full context)
Unrequited Love and Sexuality Theme Icon
Death Theme Icon
Difficulty of Communication Theme Icon
Brick pours himself another drink and informs Big Daddy that he’s talking a lot tonight. Brick... (full context)
Unrequited Love and Sexuality Theme Icon
Death Theme Icon
Difficulty of Communication Theme Icon
Big Daddy announces to Brick that he’s contemplating "pleasure with women." He says that he slept with Big Mama until... (full context)
Unrequited Love and Sexuality Theme Icon
Death Theme Icon
Difficulty of Communication Theme Icon
...women, talking about how he plans to use his wealth to secure a young woman, Brick rises with effort. Big Daddy asks Brick what makes him so restless, and Brick responds... (full context)
Lies Theme Icon
Unrequited Love and Sexuality Theme Icon
Difficulty of Communication Theme Icon
...yelling is about. Big Daddy tells her to get out, and she runs out, sobbing. Brick attempts to hobble towards the gallery again, but Big Daddy takes his crutch again. Big... (full context)
Lies Theme Icon
Unrequited Love and Sexuality Theme Icon
Death Theme Icon
Difficulty of Communication Theme Icon
...family, but Big Daddy shuts him out. He demands to know who’s been lying to Brick. Big Daddy says he knows all about mendacity, having had to lie about caring for... (full context)
Unrequited Love and Sexuality Theme Icon
Death Theme Icon
Difficulty of Communication Theme Icon
Wealth Theme Icon
Big Daddy informs Brick that that’s not living. He says that he couldn’t decide who to make his will... (full context)
Unrequited Love and Sexuality Theme Icon
Memory, Nostalgia, Regret Theme Icon
Big Daddy suggests that Brick goes back to sports announcing, but Brick responds that he hates to sit in a... (full context)
Unrequited Love and Sexuality Theme Icon
Difficulty of Communication Theme Icon
Memory, Nostalgia, Regret Theme Icon
Brick yells at Big Daddy for accusing him, his son, of being a queer. As Big... (full context)
Lies Theme Icon
Unrequited Love and Sexuality Theme Icon
Death Theme Icon
Difficulty of Communication Theme Icon
Memory, Nostalgia, Regret Theme Icon
Brick says that there was a pledge at his former fraternity who was found attempting to... (full context)
Lies Theme Icon
Unrequited Love and Sexuality Theme Icon
Difficulty of Communication Theme Icon
Big Daddy continues to press Brick, believing that he purposefully left something out of the story. Finally, Brick admits that Skipper... (full context)
Lies Theme Icon
Death Theme Icon
Brick says that no one—Big Daddy included—can face the truth. Brick blurts out that everyone but... (full context)
Act 3
Lies Theme Icon
Death Theme Icon
Difficulty of Communication Theme Icon
Everyone but Brick trickles back into the room, calling for Big Daddy. Big Mama says that she believes... (full context)
Lies Theme Icon
Unrequited Love and Sexuality Theme Icon
Death Theme Icon
Margaret tells Brick to sit with Big Mama as they deliver the news, but he tells Margaret to... (full context)
Unrequited Love and Sexuality Theme Icon
Death Theme Icon
Difficulty of Communication Theme Icon
Memory, Nostalgia, Regret Theme Icon
Wealth Theme Icon
Big Mama tells Margaret that she’s got to help get Brick sober again so that he can take hold of the estate, which sends Gooper and... (full context)
Lies Theme Icon
Unrequited Love and Sexuality Theme Icon
Death Theme Icon
Difficulty of Communication Theme Icon
Memory, Nostalgia, Regret Theme Icon
Meanwhile, Brick is drinking and singing to the moon. Big Mama says that he looks just like... (full context)
Lies Theme Icon
Death Theme Icon
Difficulty of Communication Theme Icon
...is lying about her pregnancy. Mae says that she and Gooper can hear Maggie and Brick in the room and know that Brick won’t sleep with her. Suddenly, a cry of... (full context)
Lies Theme Icon
Unrequited Love and Sexuality Theme Icon
Death Theme Icon
Difficulty of Communication Theme Icon
Margaret thanks Brick for not exposing her. Meanwhile, Brick continues to drink and finally obtains his “click.” As... (full context)