Cat on a Hot Tin Roof


Tennessee Williams

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The Bed Symbol Icon
One of the main features of the set, the bed reminds the audience of all the sexual tension and marital strife that exists throughout the play. As Big Mama says, the rocks of Margaret and Brick’s marriage lie in that bed. Margaret sleeps there alone at night, as Brick avoids the area and stays on the couch. The very last struggle at the end of Act III takes place around the bed, as Margaret snatches Brick’s pillow up from the couch and places it on her territory, the bed. Additionally, Margaret and Brick are staying in the bedroom of the previous plantation owners, Jack Straw and Peter Ochello, and the ghost of the relationship between those two men hints at the homosexual tension Brick tries so hard to avoid and deny throughout the play.

The Bed Quotes in Cat on a Hot Tin Roof

The Cat on a Hot Tin Roof quotes below all refer to the symbol of The Bed. 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 2 Quotes

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
Related Symbols: The Bed
Page Number: 118
Explanation and Analysis:
Act 3 Quotes

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
Related Symbols: The Bed, The Console/Liquor Cabinet/Hi-Fi
Page Number: 173
Explanation and Analysis:
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The Bed Symbol Timeline in Cat on a Hot Tin Roof

The timeline below shows where the symbol The Bed appears in Cat on a Hot Tin Roof. The colored dots and icons indicate which themes are associated with that appearance.
Act 1
Unrequited Love and Sexuality Theme Icon
Difficulty of Communication Theme Icon
...Brick started drinking after he got married. She asks whether Margaret makes Brick happy in bed, to Margaret’s indignation. Pointing at the bed, Big Mama that when a marriage goes on... (full context)