Brick’s crutch can take on several symbolic meanings. One explanation is that the crutch represents Brick’s dependency on alcohol; he relies heavily on both items to “maneuver” through the play. He also uses the crutch to throw up a defense against Margaret in the first scene, wielding it like a weapon—just like he uses alcohol as a defense against family, drinking to escape the family’s confrontations. The crutch can also symbolize Brick’s nostalgia and longing for the past, since he acquired his injury while jumping hurdles on a high school track field. Finally, critics have also noted that Brick’s crutch represents his sexual power or lack thereof, in the moments when Margaret and Big Daddy take his crutch away or threaten to.
Brick’s Crutch Quotes in Cat on a Hot Tin Roof
The Cat on a Hot Tin Roof quotes below all refer to the symbol of Brick’s Crutch. 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: Note: all page numbers and citation info for the quotes below refer to the New Directions edition of Cat on a Hot Tin Roof published in 2004.).
Brick’s Crutch Symbol Timeline in Cat on a Hot Tin Roof
The timeline below shows where the symbol Brick’s Crutch appears in Cat on a Hot Tin Roof. The colored dots and icons indicate which themes are associated with that appearance.
...out, sobbing. Brick attempts to hobble towards the gallery again, but Big Daddy takes his crutch again. Big Daddy demands to know why Brick drinks and refuses to return the crutch... (full context)