Cat on a Hot Tin Roof

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Themes and Colors
Lies Theme Icon
Unrequited Love and Sexuality Theme Icon
Death Theme Icon
Difficulty of Communication Theme Icon
Memory, Nostalgia, Regret Theme Icon
Wealth Theme Icon
LitCharts assigns a color and icon to each theme in Cat on a Hot Tin Roof, which you can use to track the themes throughout the work.
Wealth Theme Icon

Wealth is the biggest issue for Margaret, Mae, and Gooper, bringing them together for Big Daddy’s birthday celebration. Mae and Gooper cozy up to Big Mama and Big Daddy, hoping to inherit the plantation, while Margaret desperately tries to keep the family from judging Brick’s alcoholism and her own childlessness, so that Big Daddy will still choose to hand his land over to his favorite son, Brick. Margaret, in particular, mentions that she has been poor before, and that avoiding that state is the source of her desperation—she also mentions that being poor has made her honest.

Big Daddy, for his part, describes wealth and greed as failed attempts to acquire immortality. Although he can buy European clocks, sex, and diamonds, he can’t buy more life, as his actual health report ultimately proves. Margaret’s final lie is also inspired by her desperation to acquire the family’s wealth—the moment that she finally stands up to Brick and throws out his alcohol is when Big Daddy’s inheritance is on the line; she will have their child, even if she has to manipulate Brick using his alcoholism.

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Wealth ThemeTracker

The ThemeTracker below shows where, and to what degree, the theme of Wealth appears in each act of Cat on a Hot Tin Roof. Click or tap on any chapter to read its Summary & Analysis.
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Wealth Quotes in Cat on a Hot Tin Roof

Below you will find the important quotes in Cat on a Hot Tin Roof related to the theme of Wealth.
Act 2 Quotes

Oh, but St. Paul's in Grenada has three memorial windows, and the latest one is a Tiffany stained-glass window that cost twenty-five hundred dollars, a picture of Christ the Good Shepherd with his Lamb in his arms.

Related Characters: Reverend Tooker (speaker)
Page Number: 65
Explanation and Analysis:

Cat on a Hot Tin Roof points out many instances of hypocrisy, and this quote represents one of the most comic and blatant. As a preacher, Reverend Tooker should be counseling a family that has just learned of their patriarch's fatal illness. Instead, he is excited about the idea that Big Daddy may leave behind money to make his church more flashy and gaudy.

Indeed, Reverend Tooker is not only greedy, but also envious. He covets the riches of another church--"St. Paul's in Grenada"--and even knows how much their "memorial windows" cost. Although he wears the costume of a man of the church, it is obvious that Tooker is just as money-hungry as any other character onstage, and that he hopes to use Big Daddy's death for his own personal gain. 


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