Problems Amongst Families Dysfunction and volatility is common amongst families. These families dislike their kin and often resent them. In the play, Cat on a Hot Tin Roof, by Tennessee Williams, the Politt family does not function as a normal family. Brick, Maggie, and Big Daddy are three members of the family that have the most problems that affect the whole family. Brick, Maggie's alcoholic husband, is an uncaring man who has no good feelings toward his wife. For example, when Maggie buys a gift for Brick to give to Big Daddy on his birthday and Maggie wants Brick to sign the card, he says "No...
I don't have to do anything I don't want to do" (28). Even on Big Daddy's last birthday, Brick refuses to make Big Daddy happy. He is very selfish in his decision. In addition, when Maggie wants to have a little privacy with Brick and he refuses, Maggie responds by saying she can't live under those circumstances, Brick then states "You agreed to...
Accept that condition" (32). Maggie wants to love Brick but is shunned because of his insensitivity. Brick's alcohol seems to float his boat more than being with his spouse. Brick has no compassion and feelings for his family and for anyone else.
Margaret (Maggie), a young, beautiful woman has a marriage on the rocks and a strong dislike towards Mae and her children. For instance, when Maggie starts talking about Skipper during her conversation with Brick, and he says to shut up about Skipper, she replies by saying "Skipper and I made love... because it made us feel a little bit closer to you" (43). Maggie feels terribly unloved in her marriage with Brick.
Because of her unfulfilling marriage with Brick, she seeks affection and attention with someone close to Brick. In addition, when Mae interrupts Maggie and Brick from conversing by talking about her own children and how adorable they are, Maggie says, "why did y'give dawgs names to all your kiddies... sounds like four dogs and a parrot" (29). Maggie has a grudge Mae because she has many children with Go oper. Maggie feels insecure about having children, so she mocks Mae and her offspring to reassure herself and make her self feel better. Margaret has a dreadful relationship with Brick and also with Mae and her kids.
Big Daddy, an old man with cancer, plays favorites with members of his family and dislikes his wife. For example, when Big Daddy is talking with Brick, and finds Mae at the door, Big Daddy says, "I don't want you, I want some privacy here... with my son Brick" (62). Big Daddy only likes Brick and shows disgust for everyone else.
Even though they are family, Big Daddy acts like they are the scum of the earth. Furthermore, when Big Mama tries to walk into Big Daddy and Brick's talk, Big Daddy doesn't let her in and says that "all [he] ask[s] of that woman is that she leave [him] alone [and that] she makes [him] sick" (71-2). The woman he vowed to be with forever is now completely repulsive to him. Big Daddy can't even stand being in the same room with her and share the same air. Big daddy only loves Brick and dislikes his wife, causing turmoil within the Politt family. Brick, Maggie, and Big Daddy affect the family members, causing everyone to hate or begrudge at least one person within that family.
Brick is unfeeling to everyone and his wife, Maggie has a very bad relationship with her husband, Mae and her children, and Big Daddy favors Brick above all and is sickened by his wife. Because of incompatible personalities and large egos, families are always most likely to fall apart and never come together again.