节选评论 Big Daddy: I suddenly noticed that you don't call me Big Daddy any more. Ah, if you needed a Big Daddy, why didn't you come to me? You wanted somebody to lean on. Why Skipper and why not me? I'm your father! I'm Big Daddy. Me! Why didn't you come to your kinfolks, the peoples that love ya? Brick: You don't know what love means. To you, it's just another four letter word. Big Daddy: Why, you've got a mighty short memory. What was there that you wanted that I didn't buy for ya. Brick: You can't buy love! You bought yourself a million dollars worth of junk. Look at it. Does it love you? Big Daddy: Who'd you think I bought it for? Me? It's yours. The place, the money, every rotten thing is yours! Brick: I don't want things! [pushes down and smashes vases, an old athletic trophy and other accumulated objects] Waste! Worthless! Worthless! [destroys a life-sized poster of himself throwing a football and then breaks down in a fit of uncontrollable tears] Big Daddy: Don't, son. Please don't cry, boy. That's funny. I never saw you cry before. How's that? Did you ever cry? Brick: Can't you understand? I never wanted your place or your money or any—... I don't wanna own anything. All I wanted was a father, not a boss — I wanted you to love me. Big Daddy: I did and I do. Brick: No. Not me, and not Gooper, and not even Mama. Big Daddy: That's a lie. I did love her. I give her anything, everything she wanted. Brick: Things. Things, Papa. You gave her things. A house, a trip to Europe, all this junk, some jewelry, things. You gave her things, Papa, not love. Big Daddy: I gave, I gave her an empire, boy. Brick: The men who build empires die, and empires die, too. Big Daddy: No. No, it won't. That's why I've got you and Gooper. Brick: Look at Gooper. Look at what he's become. Is that what you wanted him to be? And look at me. You put it very well indeed. I'm a thirty-year-old kid, and pretty soon I'm gonna be a fifty-year-old kid. I don't know what to believe in. Now what's the good of livin' if you've got nothin' to believe in? There's gotta be some, some purpose in life, some meanin.' Look at me. For the sake of God, look at me before it's too late. For once in your life, look at me as I really am. Look at me. I'm a failure. I'm a drunk. On my own in the open market, I'm not worth the price of a decent burial.
In this dialogue between Brick and Big Daddy, the reader is able to perceive the nature of the father and son’s relationship. Big Daddy's loves Brick in a narcissistic way. Since the play was rooted in the culture and traditions of the pre-Civil War south, Cat on a Hot Tin Roof shows the ideals of the southern aristocratic family. This included gentility and the succession of land and wealth. The importance of gentility is planted into Big Daddy’s love toward Brick; he is constantly concerned about the future generation without evening noticing, which is linked with the succession of land and wealth. When Brick demises Big Daddy’s idea of love by saying, “the men who build empires die, and empires die, too” with his touch of existentialism, Big Daddy refutes this statement, at the same time consoling himself, saying “No. No, it won't. That's why I've got you and Gooper.” As Tennessee Williams notes, Brick bears the charmingly masculine indifference Daddy must have in his youth. As Mama will note at the close of the play, Daddy wants above all that Brick provide him a grandson who is as much like his son as Brick is like himself. Brick is his rightful heir, his means of immortality, preventing the “empire” from dying. Big Daddy wants to live on through Brick. Similarly, Maggie wishes to consolidate her grip on the hot tin roof which she has clambered with such effort through loving Brick. It is not that this is the only source of energy, but it is the focus of that energy. Brick regards his role of inheriting the “empire” as a waged job presented to him coated with “love”. Brick feels insulted by the offer. “I don't wanna own anything. All I wanted was a father, not a boss” Big Daddy’s over-reliance on materials in his life is presented through Brick’s frustrated accusations. Big Daddy claims that he would “give her anything, everything she wanted.” While Brick sees otherwise: “Things, Papa. You gave her things. A house, a trip to Europe, all this junk, some jewelry, things. You gave her things, Papa, not love.” Ironically, though Brick seems to be judging Big Daddy’s attitude of love, he too does not value Maggie. They both seem cynical about the love offered by a woman, and they doubt its sincerity. While Big Daddy is materialistic, his state of mind the further highlights his fear towards mortality. He puts is as, a rich man keeps spending his money on material goods because somehow, "in the back of his mind he has the crazy hope that one of his purchases will be life everlasting!-Which it can never be." Brick’s attitude towards a family is revealed as well when he claimed Big Daddy did not love “me, and not Gooper, and not even Mama”. “Not even Mama” shows that Brick regards the healthy relationship between the husband and wife to be the essential foundation of a family. Since Brick is utterly unable to achieve the ideal state of that healthy relationship, he gives up altogether. Brick chooses to hid behind the illusions of drunkenness, and passively gives up life: “I'm a failure. I'm a drunk. On my own in the open market, I'm not worth the price of a decent burial.” Brick, unlike his father, was unable to cope. Brick seems stuck in adolescence, unable to make the transition to maturity, which is shown as well in this dialogue “I'm a thirty-year-old kid, and pretty soon I'm gonna be a fifty-year-old kid.”