Literary Quotations
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TENNESSEE WILLIAMS QUOTES


Cat on a Hot Tin Roof (1955)

There ain't nothin' more powerful than the odor of mendacity...You can smell it. It smells like death.

BIG DADDY

What is the victory of a cat on a hot tin roof?--I wish I knew. . . . Just staying on it, I guess, as long as she can.

MAGGIE

Silence about a thing just magnifies it.

MAGGIE

The human animal is a beast that dies but the fact that he's dying don't give him pity for others, no sir.

BIG DADDY

Time goes by so fast. Nothin' can outrun it.

BIG MAMA

You can be young without money, but you can't be old without it.

MAGGIE

Death commences too early--almost before you're half acquainted with life--you meet the other.

BIG MAMA

Mendacity is a system that we live in. Liquor is one way out an’ death’s the other.

BRICK

The Glass Menagerie (1945)

In memory everything seems to happen to music.

TOM

All pretty girls are a trap, a pretty trap, and men expect them to be.

AMANDA

Yes, I have tricks in my pocket, I have things up my sleeve. But I am the opposite of a stage magician. He gives you illusion that has the appearance of truth. I give you truth in the pleasant disguise of illusion.

TOM

Girls that aren't cut out for business careers usually wind up married to some nice man.

AMANDA

Man is by instinct a lover, a hunter, a fighter, and none of those instincts are given much play at the warehouse!

TOM

No girl can do worse than put herself at the mercy of a handsome appearance!

AMANDA

People are not so dreadful when you know them.

JIM

I pass the lighted window of a shop where perfume is sold. The window is filled with pieces of colored glass, tiny transparent bottles in delicate colors, like bits of a shattered rainbow. Then all at once my sister touches my shoulder. I turn around and look into her eyes. Oh, Laura, Laura, I tried to leave you behind me, but I am more faithful than I intended to be!

TOM

A Streetcar Named Desire (1947)

A woman's charm is fifty per cent illusion.

BLANCHE

I don't go in for that stuff ... compliments to women about their looks. I never met a woman that didn't know if she was good-looking or not without being told.

STANLEY

Sorrow makes for sincerity, I think.

BLANCHE

I can't stand a naked light bulb, any more than I can a rude remark or a vulgar action.

BLANCHE

In some kinds of people some tenderer feelings have had some little beginning! That we have to make grow! And cling to, and hold as our flag!

BLANCHE

Poker shouldn't be played in a house with women.

MITCH

He acts like an animal, has an animal's habits! Eats like one, moves like one, talks like one! There's even something -- sub-human -- something not quite to the stage of humanity yet! Yes, something -- ape-like about him, like one of those pictures I've seen in -- anthropological studies! Thousands and thousands of years have passed him right by, and there he is -- Stanley Kowalkski -- survivor of the stone age!

BLANCHE

Men don’t want anything they get too easy. But on the other hand, men lose interest quickly.

BLANCHE

I don’t want realism. I want magic!

BLANCHE

Whoever you are--I have always depended on the kindness of strangers.

BLANCHE

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