You 're childless and my son drinks! (Act 1, pg. 48)
Maggie’s obligatory role as the wife is to be a sexually pleasing, childbearing factory. Her in-laws repeatedly analyze Maggie’s fruitlessness as her failing to her wifely duties. Maggie defies her feminine voice and shows a shockingly progressive edge when she questions why Big Mama (another female and wife in this household) doesn 't inquire after her sexual satisfaction rather than her husband 's. Big Mama expresses a bigger societal concern when she points to the abnormal behavior and nature of Maggie and Brick 's marriage: they are deviating from the roles that have been assigned to them.
Brick’s expectation as the husband is to be a working father figure and a husband. But with no job or child, he already is considered a weak representation of his predetermined role as head of the house. It is neither his sexual orientation or his lack of physical attraction that force Brick to be considered weak; yet it is his addiction to alcohol and his lack of emotional stability that defines him as less than the man he could be. His inability to perform intimately and his absent desire for economic success highlight how much stronger of a role Maggie plays in their relationship. Brick, fueled by his haunting torment and verbally abusive ways, questions Maggie’s complexing loyalty as to why she would want to have a child with a man who hates her. Ironically, to the 1950s society, ‘it was that characteristic …show more content…
As the opening states, ‘In other words, the room must evoke some ghosts; it is gently and poetically haunted by a relationship that must have involved a tenderness which was uncommon’. Brick is haunted by his attraction and deep affection for his greatest confidante Skipper, who he could never fully have. Maggie is haunted by Brick’s presence and the fact the she also won’t ever fully have him. No matter how hard they fight to live up to their roles as husband and wife, their marriage will never be fulfilling. It’s not that Maggie doesn’t want kids, it’s that she can’t have them. Just the same, it’s not that Brick didn’t want an intimate relationship with Skipper, it’s that he couldn’t allow himself to have one. It is the frustration for both Maggie and Brick that forces them both to be like a cat on a hot tin roof; angry and unsatisfied. Lost and doomed within a haunted holy matrimony that will undoubtedly never progress, they both are forced to fight their gender specific roles as man and