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					           ‫ביה"ס ע"ש זיו ומרקס‬
        Sieff and Marks School




Anthology of Stories and Poems
            Part 2

            2 ‫מקראה באנלגית חלק‬




For internal use only          ‫לשימוש פנימי בלבד‬
                        2009
All My Sons by Arthur Miller



   ALL MY SONS BY ARTHUR MILLER ..................................................................................................... 3
      Act One ........................................................................................................................................... 4
      Act Two ......................................................................................................................................... 24
      Act Three ....................................................................................................................................... 41
   TRIFLES BY SUSAN GLASPELL ............................................................................................................ 48
      Questions - Section A .................................................................................................................... 49
      Section B – Questions ................................................................................................................... 53
      Section C – Questions ................................................................................................................... 56
      Questions about the whole play .................................................................................................... 56
   EVELINE BY JAMES JOYCE .................................................................................................................. 58
   GASTON BY WILLIAM SAROYAN ........................................................................................................ 61
      Gaston - Questions........................................................................................................................ 65
   PRISCILLA AND THE WIMPS BY RICHARD PECK .................................................................................. 66
      Priscilla and the Wimps – Questions ............................................................................................ 67
   THE LAST SPIN BY EVAN HUNTER...................................................................................................... 68
      The Last Spin – Questions............................................................................................................. 73
   THE NECKLACE BY GUY DE MAUPASSANT......................................................................................... 74
      The Necklace - Questions.............................................................................................................. 79
   TWO FRIENDS BY GUY DE MAUPASSANT ........................................................................................... 80
      Two Friends – Questions .............................................................................................................. 85
   LAMB TO THE SLAUGHTER BY ROALD DAHL...................................................................................... 86
      Lamb to the Slaughter – Questions ............................................................................................... 92
   THROUGH THE TUNNEL BY DORIS LESSING ........................................................................................ 93
      Through the Tunnel – Questions ................................................................................................... 98
   LOYALTIES BY ADEWALE MAJA-PEARCE ........................................................................................... 99
   THE GOLD CADILLAC BY MILDRED TAYLOR ................................................................................... 101
      Before Reading ........................................................................................................................... 101
      The Gold Cadillac – Questions ................................................................................................... 107
   HOPE IS THE THING WITH FEATHERS BY EMILY DICKINSON ............................................................. 108
      Hope - Questions......................................................................................................................... 108
   FRIENDSHIP BY KAHLIL GIBRAN ...................................................................................................... 109
   STILL I RISE BY MAYA ANGELOU..................................................................................................... 110
   O WHAT IS THAT SOUND BY W. H. AUDEN....................................................................................... 111
   TECHIYA – RENEWAL BY HARAV KOOK ................................................................................... 112
   THE POISON TREE BY WILLIAM BLAKE ............................................................................................ 113
   THE SICK ROSE BY WILLIAM BLAKE ................................................................................................ 113
   POETIC TERMS.................................................................................................................................. 114
ELEMENTS OF A SHORT STORY ................................................................................................ 115
       SETTING ..................................................................................................................................... 115
       PLOT........................................................................................................................................... 115
       CONFLICT ................................................................................................................................. 115
       CHARACTER .............................................................................................................................. 115
       POINT OF VIEW ........................................................................................................................ 116
       THEME ....................................................................................................................................... 116




                                                                           2
All My Sons by Arthur Miller


All My Sons by Arthur Miller
A play in three acts

Characters:

Joe Keller (Keller)

Kate Keller (Mother)

Chris Keller

Ann Deever

George Deever

Dr. Jim Bayliss (Jim)

Sue Bayliss

Frank Lubey

Lydia Lubey

Bert




                               3
     All My Sons by Arthur Miller


     Act One
     The back yard of the Keller home in the outskirts of an American town. August of our era.
     The stage is hedged on right and left by tall, closely planted poplars which lend the yard a secluded
     atmosphere. Upstage is filled with the back of the house and its open, unroofed porch which
     extends into the yard some six feet. The house is two stories high and has seven rooms. It would
 5   have cost perhaps fifteen thousand in the early twenties when it was built. Now it is nicely painted,
     looks tight and comfortable, and the yard is green with sod, here and there plants whose season is
     gone. At the right, beside the house, the entrance of the driveway can be seen, but the poplars cut
     off view of its continuation downstage. In the left corner, downstage, stands the four-foot-high
     stump of a slender apple tree whose upper trunk and branches lie toppled beside it, fruit still
10   clinging to its branches.
     Downstage right is a small, trellised arbor, shaped like a sea shell, with a decorative bulb hanging
     from its forward-curving roof. Carden chairs and a table are scattered about. A garbage pail on the
     ground next to the porch steps, a wire leaf-burner near it.
     On the rise: It is early Sunday morning. Joe Keller is sitting in the sun reading the want ads of the
15   Sunday paper, the other sections of which lie neatly on the ground beside him. Behind his back,
     inside the arbor, Doctor Jim Bayliss is reading part of the paper at the table.
     Keller is nearing sixty. A heavy man of stolid mind and build, a business man these many years,
     but with the imprint of the machine-shop worker and boss still upon him. When he reads, when he
     speaks, when he listens, it is with the terrible concentration of the uneducated man for whom there
20   is still wonder in many commonly known things, a man whose judgements must be dredged out of
     experience and a peasant-like common sense. A man among men.
     Doctor Bayliss is nearly forty. A wry self-controlled man, an easy talker, but with a wisp of
     sadness that clings even to his self-effacing humor.
     At curtain, Jim is standing at left, staring at the broken tree. He taps a pipe on it, blows through the
25   pipe, feels in his pockets for tobacco, then speaks.
     Jim: Where's your tobacco?
     Keller: I think I left it on the table.
     Jim goes slowly to table on the arbor, fings a pouch, and sits there on the bench, filling his pipe.
     Keller: Gonna rain tonight.
30   Jim: Paper says so?
     Keller: Yeah, right here.
     Jim: Then it can't rain.
     Frank Lubey enters, through a small space between the poplars. Frank is thirty two but balding. A
     pleasant, opinionated man, uncertain of himself, with a tendency toward peevishness when crossed,
35   but always wanting it pleasantly and neighborly. He rather saunters in, leisurely, nothing to do. He
     does not notice Jim in the arbor. On his greeting, Jim does not bother looking up.
     Frank: Hya.
     Keller: Hello, Frank. What's doin'?
     Frank: Nothin'. Walking off my breakfast. {looks up at the sky} That beautiful? Not a cloud in the
40   sky.
     Keller: {looking up} Yeah, nice.
     Frank: Every Sunday ought to be like this.
     Keller: {indicating the sections beside him} Want the paper?
     Frank: What's the difference, it's all bad news. What's today's calamity?
45   Keller: I don't know, I don't read the news part anymore. It's more interesting in the want ads.
     Frank: Why, you trying to buy something?
     Keller: No, I'm just interested. To see what people want, y'know? For instance here's a guy is
     lookin' for two Newfoundland dogs. Now what's he want with two Newfoundland dogs?


                                                     4
     All My Sons by Arthur Miller

     Frank: That is funny.
     Keller: Here's another one. Wanted, old dictionaries. High prices paid. Now what's a man going to
     do with an old dictionary?
     Frank: Why not? Probably a book collector.
 5   Keller: You mean he'll make a living out of that?
     Frank: Sure, there's a lot of them.
     Keller: {shaking his head} All the kind of business goin' on. In my day, either you were a lawyer,
     or a doctor, or you worked in a shop. Now...
     Frank: Well, I was going to be a forester once.
10   Keller: Well, that shows you. In my day, there was no such think. {Scanning the page, sweeping it
     with his hand} You look at a page like this you realize how ignorant you are. {softly, with wonder,
     as he scans page} Psss!
     Frank: {noticing tree} Hey, what happened to your tree?
     Keller: Ain't that aweful? The wind must've got it last night. You heard the wind didn't you?
15   Frank: Yeah, I got a mess in my yard, too. {goes to tree} What a pity. {turning to Keller} What
     did Kate say?
     Keller: They're all asleep yet. I'm just waiting for her to see it.
     Frank: {struck} You know? Its funny.
     Keller: What?
20   Frank: Larry was born in August. He'd be twenty-seven this month. And his tree blows down.
     Keller: {touched} I'm surprised you remember his birthday, Frank. That's nice.
     Frank: Well, I'm working on his horoscope.
     Keller: How can you make him a horoscope? That's for the future, ain't it?
     Frank: Well, what I'm doing is this, see. Larry was reported missing on November twenty-fifth,
25   right?
     Keller: Yeah?
     Frank: Well, then, we assume that if he was killed it was on November twenty-fifth. Now, what
     Kate wants...
     Keller: Oh, Kate asked you to amke a horoscope?
30   Frank: Yeah, what she wants to find out is whther November twenty-fifth was a favorable day for
     Larry.
     Keller: What is that, favorable day?
     Frank: Well, a favorable day for a person is a fortunate day, according to the stars. In other words it
     would be practically impossible for him to have died on his favorable day.
35   Keller: Well, was that his favorable day? November twenty-fifth?
     Frank: That's what I'm working on to find out. It takes time! See, the point is, if November twenty-
     fifth was his favorable day, then it's completely possible he's alive somewhere, because, I mean, it's
     possible. {he notices Jim now. Jim is looking at him as though at an idiot. To Jim, with an
     uncertain laugh:} I didn't even see you.
40   Keller: {to Jim} Is he talkin' sense?
     Jim: He's alright. He's just completely out of his mind, that's all.
     Frank: {peeved} The trouble with you is, you don't believe in anything.
     Jim: And your trouble is that you believe in anything. You didn't see my kid this morning, did you?
     Frank: No.
45   Keller: Imagine? He walked off with his thermometer. Right out of his bag.
     Jim: {getting up} What a problem. One look at a girl and he takes her temperature. {goes to the
     driveway, looks upstage toward street}


                                                    5
     All My Sons by Arthur Miller

     Frank: That boy's going to be a real doctor. He's smart.
     Jim: Over my dead body he'll be a doctor. A good beginning, too.
     Frank: Why? It's an honorable profession.
     Jim: {looking at him tiredly} Frank, will you stop talking like a civics book?
 5   Keller laughs
     Frank: Why, I saw a movie a couple of weeks ago, reminded me of you. Here was a doctor in that
     picture...
     Keller: Don Ameche!
     Frank: I think it was, yeah. And he worked in his basement discovering things. That's what you
10   ought to do. You could help humanity instead of ...
     Jim: I would love to help humanity on a Warner Brothers salary.
     Keller: {pointing at him, laughing} That's very good, Jim.
     Jim: {looking toward house} Well, where's the beautiful girl that was supposed to be here?
     Frank: {excited} Annie came?
15   Keller: Sure, sleepin' upstairs. We picked her up on the one o'clock train last night. Wonderful
     thing. Girl leaves here, a scrawny kid. Couple of years go by, she's a regular woman. Hardly
     recognized her, and she was running in and out of this yard all her life. That was a very happy
     family used to live in your house, Jim.
     Jim: Like to meet her. The block can use a pretty girl. In the whole neighborhood there's not a
20   damned thing to look at. {Sue, Jim's wife, enters. She is rounding forty, an overweight woman who
     fears it. On seeing her, Jim wryly adds:} except my wife, of course.
     Sue: {in same spirit} Mrs. Adams is on the phone, you dog.
     Jim: {to Keller} Such is the condition which prevails. {going to his wife} My love, my light.
     Sue: Don't sniff around me. {pointing to their house:} And give her a nasty answer. I can smell the
25   perfume over the phone.
     Jim: What's the matter with her now?
     Sue: I don't know dear. She sounds like she's in terrible pain. Unless her mouth is full of candy.
     Jim: Why don't you just tell her to lay down?
     Sue: She enjoys it more when you tell her to lay down. And when are you going to see Mr.
30   Hubbard?
     Jim: My dear, Mr. Hubbard is not sick, and I have better things to do than to sit there and hold his
     hand.
     Sue: It seems to me that for ten dollars you could hold his hand.
     Jim: {to Keller} If you son wants to play golf tell him I'm ready. Or if he'd like to take a trip
35   around the world for about thirty years. {he exits}
     Keller: Why do you needle him? He's a doctor, women are supposed to call him up.
     Sue: All I said was Mrs. Adams is on the phone. Can I have some of your parsley?
     Keller: Yeah, sure. {Sue goes to parsley box and pulls some parsley} You were a nurse too long,
     Susie. You're too ... too ... realistic.
40   Sue: {laughing, pointing at him} Now you said it!
     Lydia Lubey enters. She is a robust, laughing girl of twenty-seven.
     Lydia: Frank, the toaster ... {sees the others} Hya.
     Keller: Hello!
     Lydia: {to Frank} The toaster is off again.
45   Frank: Well, plug it in, I just fixed it.
     Lydia: {kindly, but insistently} Please, dear, fix it back like it was before.
     Frank: I don't know why you can't learn to turn on a simple thing like a toaster! {He exits}


                                                   6
     All My Sons by Arthur Miller

     Sue: {Laughing} Thomas Edison.
     Lydia: {apologetically} He's really very handy. {she sees broken tree} Oh, did the wind get your
     tree?
     Keller: Yeah, last night.
 5   Lydia: Oh, what a pity. Annie get in?
     Keller: She'll be down soon. Wait'll you meet her, Sue, she's a knockout.
     Sue: I should've been a man. People are always introducing me to beautiful women. {to Joe:} Tell
     her to come over later: I imagine she'd like to see what we did with her house. And thanks. {she
     exits}
10   Lydia: Is shee still unhappy, Joe?
     Keller: Annie? I don't suppose she goes around dancing on her toes, but she seems to be over it.
     Lydia: She going to get married? Is there anybody ... ?
     Keller: I suppose... say, it's a couple of years already. She can't mourn a boy forever.
     Lydia: It's so strange. Annie's here and not even married. And I've got three babies. I always
15   thought it'd be the other way around.
     Keller: Well, that's what a war does. I had two sons, now I got one. It changed all the tallies. In
     my day when you had sons it was an honor. Today, a doctor could make a million dollars if he
     could figure out a way to bring a boy into the world without a trigger finger.
     Lydia: You know, I was just reading...
20   Enter Chris Keller from house, stands in doorway.
     Lydia: Hya, Chris.
     Frank shouts from offstage.
     Frank: Lydia, come in here! If you want the toaster to work don't plug in the malted mixer.
     Lydia: {embarrassed, laughing} Did I?
25   Frank: And the next time I fix something don't tell me I'm crazy! Now come in here!
     Lydia: {to Keller} I'll never hear the end of this one.
     Keller: {calling to Frank} So what's the difference? Instead of toast have a malted!
     Lydia: Sh! sh! {she exits, laughing}
     Chris watches her off. He is thirty-two. Like his father, solidly built, a listener. A man capable of
30   immense affection and loyalty. He has a cup of coffee in one hand, part of a doughnut in the other.
     Keller: You want the paper?
     Chris: That's all right, just the book section.
     He bends down and pulls out part of the paper on porch floor.
     Keller: You're always reading the book section and you never buy a book.
35   Chris: {coming down to settee} I like to keep abreast of my ignorance.
     He sits on the settee.
     Keller: What is that, every week a new book comes out?
     Chris: Lots of new books.
     Keller: All different?
40   Chris: All different.
     Keller shakes his head, puts knife down on bench, takes oilstone up to the cabinet.
     Keller: Psss! Annie up yet?
     Chris: Mother's giving her breakfast in the dining room.
     Keller: {looking at the broken tree} See what happened to the tree?
45   Chris: {without looking up} Yeah.
     Keller: What's mother going to say?


                                                    7
     All My Sons by Arthur Miller

     Bert runs up from driveway. He is about eight. He jumps on stool, then on Keller's back.
     Bert: You're finally up.
     Keller: {swinging him around and putting him down} Ha! Bert's here! Where's Tommy? He's got
     his father's thermometer again.
 5   Bert: He's taking a reading.
     Chris: What!
     Bert: But it's only oral.
     Keller: Oh, well, there's no harm in oral. So what's new this morning, Bert?
     Bert: Nothin'. {He goes to the broken tree, walks around it}
10   Keller: Then you couldn't've made a complete inspection of the block. In the beginning, when I
     first made you a policeman you used to come in every morning with something new. Now, nothin's
     ever new.
     Bert: Except some kids from Thirtieth Street. They started kicking a can down the block, and I
     made them go away because you were sleeping.
15   Keller: Now you're talkin', Bert. Now you're on the ball. First thing you know I'm liable to make
     you a detective.
     Bert: {pulling him down by the lapel and whispering in his ear} Can I see the jail now?
     Keller: Seein' the jail ain't allowed, Bert. You know that.
     Bert: Aw, I betcha there isn't even a jail. I don't see any bars on the cellar windows.
20   Keller: Bert, on my word of honor there's a jail in the basement. I showed you my gun, didn't I?
     Bert: But that's a hunting gun.
     Keller: That's an arresting gun!
     Bert: Then why don't you ever arrest anybody? Tommy sad another dirty word to Doris yesterday,
     and you didn't even demote him.
25   Keller chuckles and winks at Chris, who is enjoying all this.
     Keller: Yeah, that's a dangerous character, that Tommy. {beckons him closer} What word does he
     say?
     Bert: {backing away quickly in great embarrassment} Oh, I can't say that.
     Keller: {grabbing him by the shirt and pulling him back} Well, gimme an idea.
30   Bert: I can't. It's not a nice word.
     Keller: Just whisper it in my ear. I'll close my eyes. Maybe I won't even hear it.
     Bert, on tiptoe, puts his lips to Keller's ear, then in unbearble embarrassment, steps back.
     Bert: I can't, Mr. Keller.
     Chris: {laughing} Don't make him do that.
35   Keller: Okay, Bert. I take your word. Now go out, and keep both eyes peeled.
     Bert: {interested} For what?
     Keller: For what! Bert, the whole neighborhood is depending on you. A policeman don't ask
     questions. Now peel them eyes!
     Bert: {mystified, but willing} Okay. {he runs offstage back of arbor}
40   Keller: {calling after him} And mum's the word, Bert.
     Bert stops and sticks his head through the arbor.
     Bert: About what?
     Keller: Just in general. Be v-e-r-y careful.
     Bert: {nodding in bewilderment} Okay. {he exits}
45   Keller: {laughing} I got all the kids crazy!
     Chris: One of these days, they'll all come in here and beat your brains out.


                                                  8
     All My Sons by Arthur Miller

     Keller: What's she going to say? Maybe we ought to tell her before she sees it.
     Chris: She saw it.
     Keller: How could she see it? I was the first one up. She was still in bed.
     Chris: She was out here when it broke.
 5   Keller: When?
     Chris: About four this morning. {indicating window above them} I heard it cracking and I woke up
     and looked out. She was standing right there when it cracked.
     Keller: What was she doing out here four in the morning?
     Chris: I don't know. When it cracked she ran back into the house and cried in the kitchen.
10   Keller: Did you talk to her?
     Chris: No, I... I figured the best thing was to leave her alone.
     Pause.
     Keller: {deeply touched} She cried hard?
     Chris: I could hear her right through the floor of my room.
15   Keller: {after slight pause} What was she doing out here at that hour? {Chris silent. With an
     undertone of anger showing} She's dreaming about him again. She's walking around at night.
     Chris: I guess she is.
     Keller: She's getting just like after he died. {slight pause} What's the meaning of that?
     Chris: I don't know the meaning of it. {slight pause} But I know one thing, Dad. We've made a
20   terrible mistake with Mother.
     Keller: What?
     Chris: Being dishonest with her. That kind of thing always pays off, and now it's paying off.
     Keller: What do you mean, dishonest?
     Chris: You know Larry's not coming back and I know it. Why do we allow her to go on thinking
25   that we believe with her?
     Keller: What do you want to do, argue with her?
     Chris: I don't want to argue with her, but it's time she realized that nobody believes Larry is alive
     any more. {Keller simply moves away, thinking, looking at the ground} Why shouldn't she dream
     of him, walk the nights waiting for him? Do we contradict her? Do we say straight out that we
30   have no hope any more? That we haven't had any home for years now?
     Keller: {frightened at the thought} You can't say that to her.
     Chris: We've got to say it to her.
     Keller: How're you going to prove it? Can you prove it?
     Chris: For God's sake, three years! Nobody comes back after three years. It's insane.
35   Keller: To you it is, and to me. But not to her. You can talk yourself blue in the face, but there's no
     body and no grave, so where are you?
     Chris: Sit down, Dad. I want to talk to you.
     Keller looks at him searchingly a moment
     Keller: The trouble is the Goddam newspapers. Every month some boy turns up from nowhere, so
40   the next one is going to be Larry, so...
     Chris: All right, all right, listen to me. {slight pause. Keller sits on settee} You know why I asked
     Annie here, don't you?
     Keller: {he knows, but} Why?
     Chris: You know.
45   Keller: Well, I got an idea, but... What's the story?
     Chris: I'm going to ask her to marry me. {slight pause. Keller nods}



                                                    9
     All My Sons by Arthur Miller

     Keller: Well, that's only your business, Chriss.
     Chris: You know it's not only my business.
     Keller: What do you want me to do? You're old enough to know your own mind.
     Chris: {asking, annoyed} Then it's all right, I'll go ahead with it?
 5   Keller: Well, you want to be sure Mother isn't going to...
     Chris: Then it isn't just my business.
     Keller: I'm just sayin' ...
     Chris: Sometimes you infuriate me, you know that? Isn't it your business, too, if I tell this to Mother
     and she throws a fit about it? You have such a talent for ignoring things.
10   Keller: I ignore what I gotta ignore. The girl is Larry's girl.
     Chris: She's not Larry's girl.
     Keller: From Mother's point of view he is not dead and you have no right to take his girl. {slight
     pause} Now you can go on from there if you know where to go, but I'm tellin' you I don't know
     where to go. See? I don't know. Now what can I do for you?
15   Chris: I don't know why it is, but every time I reach out for something I want, I have to pull back
     because other people will suffer. My whole bloody life, time after time after time.
     Keller: You're a considerate fella, there's nothing wrong in that.
     Chris: To hell with that.
     Keller: Did you ask Annie yet?
20   Chris: I wanted to get this settled first.
     Keller: How do you know she'll marry you? Maybe she feels the same way Mother does?
     Chris: Well, if she does, then that's the end of it. From her letters I think she's forgotten him. I'll
     find out. And then we'll thrash it out with Mother? Right? Dad, don't avoid me.
     Keller: The trouble is, you don't see enough women. You never did.
25   Chris: So what? I'm not fast with women.
     Keller: I don't see why it has to be Annie.
     Chris: Because it is.
     Keller: That's a good answer, but it don't answer anything. You haven't seen her since you went to
     war. It's five years.
30   Chris: I can't help it. I know her best. I was brought up next door to her. These years when I think
     of someone for my wife, I think of Annie. What do you want, a diagram?
     Keller: I don't want a diagram... I...I'm... She thinks he's coming back Chris. You marry that girl
     and you're pronouncing him dead. Now what's going to happen to mother? Do you know? I don't.
     {pause}
35   Chris: All right, then, Dad.
     Keller: {thinking Chris has retreated} Give it some more thougth.
     Chris: I've given it three years of thought. I'd hoped that if I waited, Mother would forget Larry and
     then we'd have a regular wedding and everything happy. But if that can't happen here, then I'll have
     to get out.
40   Keller: What the hell is this?
     Chris: I'll get out. I'll get married and live some place else. Maybe in New York.
     Keller: Are you crazy?
     Chris: I've been a good son too long, a good sucker. I'm through with it.
     Keller: You've got a business here. What the hell is this?
45   Chris: The business! The business doesn't inspire me.
     Keller: Must you be inspired?



                                                    10
     All My Sons by Arthur Miller

     Chris: Yes. I like it an hour a day. If I have to grub for money all day long at least at evening I
     want it beautiful. I want a family, I want some kids, I want to build something that I can give
     myself to. Annie is in the middle of that. Now ... where to I find it?
     Keller: You mean... {goes to him} Tell me something, you mean you'd leave the business?
 5   Chris: Yes. On this I would.
     Keller: {after a pause} Well... you don't want to think like that.
     Chris: Then help me stay here.
     Keller: All right, but... but don't think like that. Because what the hell did I work for? That's only
     for you, Chris, the whole shootin' match is for you!
10   Chris: I know that, Dad. Just you help me stay here.
     Keller: {putting a fist up to Chris's jaw} But don't think that way, you hear me?
     Chris: I am thinking that way.
     Keller: {lowering his hand} I don't understand you, do I?
     Chris: No, you don't. I'm a pretty tough guy.
15   Keller: Yeah, I can see that.
     Mother appears on porch. She is in her early fifties, a woman of uncontrolled inspirations and an
     overwhelming capacity for love.
     Mother: Joe?
     Chris: {going toward porch} Hello, Mom.
20   Mother: {indicating house behind her. To Keller} Did you take a bag from under the sink?
     Keller: Yeah, I put it in the pail.
     Mother: Well, get it out of the pail. That's my potatoes.
     Chris bursts out laughing. Goes up into alley.
     Keller: {laughing} I thought it was garbage.
25   Mother: Will you do me a favor, Joe? Don't be helpful.
     Keller: I can afford another bag of potatoes.
     Mother: Minnie scoured that pail in boiling water last night. It's cleaner than your teeth.
     Keller: And I don't understand why, after I worked forty years and I got a maid, why I have to take
     out the garbage.
30   Mother: If you would make up your mind that every back in the kitchen isn't full of garbage you
     wouldn't be throwing out my vegetables. Last time it was the onions.
     Chris comes on, hands her bag.
     Keller: I don't like garbage in the house.
     Mother: Then don't eat. {she goes into the kitchen with bag}
35   Chris: That settles you for today.
     Keller: Yeah, I'm in last place again. I don't know, once upon a time I used to think that when I got
     money again I would have a maid and my wife would take it easy. Now I got money, and I got a
     maid, and my wife is workin' for the maid. {he sits in one of the chairs}
     Mother comes out on last line. She carries a pot of string beans.
40   Mother: It's her day off, what are you crabbing about?
     Chris: {to Mother} Isn't Annie finished eating?
     Mother: {looking around preoccupiedly at yard} She'll be right out. {moves} That wid did some
     job on this place. {of the tree} So much for that, thank Got.
     Keller: {indicating chair beside him} Sit down, take it easy.
45   Mother: {pressing her hand to top of her head} I've got such a funny pain on the top of my head.
     Chris: Can I get you an aspirin?



                                                    11
     All My Sons by Arthur Miller

     Mother picks a few petals off ground, stands there smelling them in her hand, then sprinkles them
     over plants.
     Mother: No more roses. It's so funny... everything decides to happen at the same time. This month
     is is birthday, his tree blows down, Annie comes. Everything that happened seems to be coming
 5   back. I was just down the cellar, and what do I stumble over? His baseball glove. I haven't seen it
     in a century.
     Chris: Don't you think Annie looks well?
     Mother: Fine. There's no question about it. She's a beauty... I still don't know what brought her
     here. Not that I'm not glad to see her, but...
10   Chris: I just thought we'd all like to see each other again. {mother just looks at him, nodding ever so
     slightly, almost as though admitting something} And I wanted to see her myself.
     Mother: {as her nods halt, to Keller} The only think is I think her nose got longer. But I'll always
     love that girl. She's one that didn't jump into bed with somebody else as soon as it happened with
     her fella.
15   Keller: {as though that were impossible for Annie} Oh, what're you...
     Mother: Never mind. Most of them didn't waid till the telegrams were opened. I'm just glad she
     came, so you can see I'm not completely out of my mind. {sits, and rapidly breaks string beans in
     the pot}
     Chris: Just because she isn't married doesn't mean she's been mourning Larry.
20   Mother: {with an undercurrent of observation} Why then isn't she?
     Chris: {a little flustered} Well... it could have been any number of things.
     Mother: {directly at him} Like what, for instance?
     Chris: {embarrassed, but standing his ground} I don't know. Whatever it is. Can I get you an
     aspirin?
25   Mother puts her hand to her head. She gets up and goes aimlessly toward the trees on rising.
     Mother: It's not like a headache.
     Keller: You don't sleep, that's why. She's wearing out more bedroom slippers than shoes.
     Mother: I had a terrible night. {she stops moving} I never had a night like that.
     Chris: {looking at Keller} What was it, Mom? Did you dream?
30   Mother: More, more than a dream.
     Chris: {hesitantly} About Larry?
     Mother: I was fast asleep and... {raising her arm over the audience} Remember the way he used to
     fly low past the house when he was in training? When we used to see his face in the cockpit going
     by? That's the way I saw him. Only high up. Way, way up, where the clouds are. He was so real I
35   could reach out and touch him. And suddenly he started to fall. And crying, crying to me...Mom,
     Mom! I could hear him like he was in the room. Mom! ...it was his voice! If I could touch him I
     knew I could stop him, if I could only... {breaks off, allowing her outstretched hand to fall} I woke
     up and it was so funny. The wind... it was like the roaring of his engine. I came out here... I
     must've still been half asleep. I could hear that roaring like he was going by. The tree snapped
40   right in front of me... and I like... came awake. {she is looking at tree. She suddenly realizes
     something, turns with a reprimanding finger shaking slightly at Keller.} See? We should never
     have planted that tree. I said so in the first place. It was too soon to plant a tree for him.
     Chris: {alarmed} Too soon!
     Mother: {angering} We rushed into it. Everybody was in such a hurry to bury him. I sad not to
45   plant it yet. {to Keller:} I told you to...!
     Chris: Mother, Mother! {she looks into his face} The wind blew it down. What significance has
     that got? What are you talking about? Mother, please... Don't go through it all again, will you? It's
     no good, it doesn't accomplish anything. I've been thinking, y'know? ...maybe we ought to put our
     minds to forgetting him?



                                                    12
     All My Sons by Arthur Miller

     Mother: that's the third time you've said that this week.
     Chris: Because it's not right. We never took up our lives again. We're like at a railroad station
     waiting for a train that never comes in.
     Mother: {pressing the top of her head} Get me an aspirin, heh?
 5   Chris: Sure, and let's break out of this, heh, Mom? I thought the four of us might go out to dinner a
     couple of nights, maybe go dancing out at the shore.
     Mother: Fine. {to Keller} We can do it tonight.
     Keller: Swell with me!
     Chris: Sure, let's have some fun. {to Mother} You'll start with this aspirin. {he goes up and into the
10   house with new spirit. Her smile vanishes}
     Mother: {with an accusing undertone} Why did he invite her here?
     Keller: Why does that bother you?
     Mother: She's been in New York three and a half years, why all of a sudden...?
     Keller: Well, maybe... maybe he just wanted to see her.
15   Mother: Nobody comes seven hundred miles "just to see".
     Keller: What do you mean? He lived next door to the girl all his life, why shouldn't he want to see
     her again? {Mother looks at him critically} Don't look at me like that, he didn't tell me any more
     than he told you.
     Mother: {a warning and a question} He's not going to marry her.
20   Keller: How do you know he's even thinking about it?
     Mother: It's got that about it.
     Keller: {sharply watching her reaction} Well? So what?
     Mother: {alarmed} What's going on here Joe?
     Keller: Now listen, kid...
25   Mother: {avoiding contact with him} She's not his girl, Joe. She knows she's not.
     Keller: You can't read her mind.
     Mother: Then why is she still single? New York is full of men, why isn't she married? {pause}
     Probably a hundred people told her she's foolish, but she's waited.
     Keller: How do you know why she waited?
30   Mother: She knows what I know, that's why. She's faithful as a rock. In my worst moments, I think
     of her waiting, and I know again that I'm right.
     Keller: Look, it's a nice day. What are we arguing for?
     Mother: {warningly} Nobody in this house dast take her faith away, Joe. Strangers might. But not
     his father, not his brother.
35   Keller: {exasperated} What do you want me to do? What do you want?
     Mother: I want you to act like he's coming back. Both of you. Don't think I haven't noticed you
     since Chris invited her. I won't stand for any nonsense.
     Keller: But, Kate...
     Mother: Because if he's not coming back, then I'll kill myself! Laugh. Laugh at me. {She points to
40   tree} But why did that happen the very night she came back? She goes to sleep in his room and his
     memorial breaks in pieces. Look at it. Look. {She sits on bench} Joe...
     Keller: Calm yourself.
     Mother: Believe with me, Joe. I can't stand all alone.
     Keller: Calm yourself.
45   Mother: Only last week a man turned up in Detroit, missing longer than Larry. You read it yourself.
     Keller: All right, all right, calm yourself.



                                                   13
     All My Sons by Arthur Miller

     Mother: You above all have got to believe, you...
     Keller: {rising} Why me above all?
     Mother: Just don't stop believing.
     Keller: What does that mean, me above all?
 5   Bert comes rushing on.
     Bert: Mr. Keller! Say, Mr. Keller... {pointing up the driveway} Tommy just said it again!
     Keller: {not remembering any of it} Said what? Who?
     Bert: The dirty word.
     Keller: Oh. Well...
10   Bert: Gee, aren't you going to arrest him? I warned him.
     Mother: {with suddenness} Stop that, Bert. Go home. {Bert backs up, as she advances} There's no
     jail here.
     Keller: {as though to say, "Oh-what-the-hell-let-him-believe-there-is"} Kate...
     Mother: {turning on Keller furiously} There's no jail here! I want you to stop that jail business!
15   {he turns, shamed, but peeved}
     Bert: {past her to Keller} He's right across the street.
     Mother: Go home, Bert. {Bert turns around and goes up driveway. She is shaken. Her speech is
     bitten off, extremely urgent.} I want you to stop that, Joe. That whole jail business!
     Keller: {alarmed, and therefore angered} Look at you, look at you shaking.
20   Mother: {trying to control herself, moving about clasping her hands} I can't help it.
     Keller: What have I got to hide? What the hell is the matter with you Kate?
     Mother: I didn't say you had anything to hide, I'm just telling you to stop it! Now stop it! {as Ann
     and Chris appear on the porch. Ann is twenty-six, gentle but despite herself capable of holding fast
     to what she knows. Chris opens door for her}
25   Ann: Hya, Joe! {She leads off a general laugh that is not self-conscious because they know one
     another too well. Chriss, bringing Ann down, with an outstretched, chivalric arm} Take a breath of
     that air, kid. You never get air like that in New York.
     Mother: {genuinely overcome with it} Annie, where did you get that dress!
     Ann: I couldn't resist. I'm taking it right off before I ruin it. {swings around} How's that for three
30   weeks' salary?
     Mother: {to Keller} Isn't she the most ...? {To Ann} It's gorgeous, simply gor...
     Chris: {to Mother} No kidding, now, isn't she the prettiest gal you ever saw?
     Mother: {caught short by his obvious admiration, she finds herself reaching out for a glass of water
     and aspirin in his hand and ...} You gained a little weight, didn't you, darling? {she gulps pill and
35   drinks.}
     Ann: It comes and goes.
     Keller: Look how nice her legs turned out!
     Ann: {as she runs to fence} Boy, the poplars got thick, didn't they? {Keller moves to settee and
     sits.}
40   keller: Well, it's three years, Annie. We're gettin' old, kid.
     Mother: How does Mom like New York? {Ann keeps looking through trees}
     Ann: {a little hurt} Why'd they take our hammock away?
     Keller: Oh, no, it broke. Couple of years ago.
     Mother: What broke? He had one of his light lunches and flopped into it.
45   Ann: {laughs and turns back toward Jim's yard} Oh, excuse me!
     Jim has come to fence and is looking over it. He is smoking a cigar. As she cries out, he comes on
     around on stage.


                                                   14
     All My Sons by Arthur Miller

     Jim: How do you do? {to Chris} She looks very intelligent!
     Chris: Ann, this is Jim ... Doctor Bayliss.
     Ann: {shaking Jim's hand} Oh, sure, he writes a lot about you.
     Jim: Don't you believe it. He likes everybody. In the battalion he was known as Mother McKeller.
 5   Ann: I can believe it. You know ...? {to Mother} It's so strange seeing him come out of that yard.
     {to Chris} I guess I never grew up. It almost seems that Mom and Pop are in there now. An you
     and my brother are doing algebra, and Larry trying to copy my homework. Gosh, those dear dead
     days beyond recall.
     Jim: Well, I hope that doesn't meen you want me to move out?
10   Sue: {calling from offstage} Jim, come in here! Mr. Hubbard is on the phone!
     Jim: I told you I don't want ...
     Sue: {commandingly sweet} Please, dear! Please!
     Jim: {resigned} All right, Susie. {trailing off} All right, all right... {to Ann} I've only met you,
     Ann, but if I may offer you a piece of advice... When you marry, never, even in your mind, never
15   count your husband's money.
     Sue: {from offstage} Jim?
     Jim: At once! {Turns and goes off} At once. {He exits}
     Mother: {Ann is looking at her. She speaks meaningfully} I told her to take up the guitar. It'd be a
     common interest for them. {they laugh} Well, he loves the guitar!
20   Ann, as though to overcome Mother, becomes suddenly lively, crosses to Keller on settee, sits on
     his lap.
     Ann: Let's eat at the shore tonight! Raise some hell around here, like we used to before Larry went!
     Mother: {emotionally} You think of him! You see? {triumphantly} She thinks of him!
     Ann: {with an uncomprehending smile} What do you mean, Kate?
25   Mother: Nothing. Just that you ... remember him, he's in your thoughts.
     Ann: That's a funny thing to say ... how could I help remembering him?
     Mother: {it is drawing to a head the wrong way for her. She starts anew. She rises and comes to
     Ann} Did you hang up your things?
     Ann: Yeah ... {to Chris} Say, you've sure gone in for clothes. I could hardly find room in the
30   closet.
     Mother: No, don't you remember? That's Larry's room.
     Ann: You mean ... they're Larry's?
     Mother: Didn't you recognize them?
     Ann: {slowly rising, a little embarrassed} Well, it never occurred to me that you'd ... I mean the
35   shoes are all shined.
     Mother: Yes, dear. {slight pause. Ann can't stop staring at her. Mother breaks it by speaking with
     the relish of gossip, putting her arm around Ann and walking with her} For so long I've been aching
     for a nice conversation with you, Annie. Tell me something.
     Ann: What?
40   Mother: I don't know. Something nice.
     Chris: {wryly} She means do you go out much?
     Mother: Oh, shut up.
     Keller: And are any of them serious?
     Mother: {laughing, sits in her chair} Why don't you both choke?
45   Keller: Annie, you can't go into a restaurant with that woman any more. In five minutes thirty nine
     strange people are sitting at the table telling her their life storie.
     Mother: If I can't ask Annie a personal question ...


                                                  15
     All My Sons by Arthur Miller

     Keller: Asking her is all right, but don't beat her over the head. You're beatin' her, you're beatin'
     her. {they are laughing}
     Ann takes pan of beans off the stool, buts them on floor under chair and sits.
     Ann: {to Mother} Don't let them bulldoze you. Ask me anything you like. What do you want to
 5   know, Kate? Come on, let's gossip.
     Mother: {to Chris and Keller} She's the only one is got any sense. {to Ann} Your Mother ... She's
     not getting a divorce, heh?
     Ann: No, she's calmed down about it now. I think when he gets out they'll probably live together.
     In New York, of course.
10   Mother: That's fine. Because your father is still ... I mean he's a decent man after all is said and
     done.
     Ann: I don't care. She can take him back if she likes.
     Mother: And you? You ... {shakes her head negatively} go out much? {slight pause}.
     Ann: {delicately} You mean am I still waiting for him?
15   Mother: Well, no. I don't expect you to wait for him but ...
     Ann: {kindly} But that's what you meant, isn't it?
     Mother: Well ... yes.
     Ann: Well, I'm not, Kate.
     Mother: {faintly} You're not?
20   Ann: Isn't it ridiculous? You don't really imagine he's ...?
     Mother: I know, dear, but don't say it's ridiculous, because the papers were full of it. I don't know
     about New York, but there was half a page about a man missing even longer than Larry, and he
     turned up in Burma.
     Chris: {coming to Ann} He couldn't have wanted to come home very badly, Mom.
25   Mother: Don't be so smart.
     Chris: You can have a helluva time in Burma.
     Ann: {rises and swings around in back of Chris} So I've heard.
     Chris: Mother, I'll bet you money that you're the only woman in the country who after three years is
     still ...
30   Mother: You're sure?
     Chris: Yes, I am.
     Mother: Well, if you're sure then you're sure. {She turns her head away for an instant} They don't
     say it on the radio but I'm sure that in the dark of night they're still waiting for their sons.
     Chris: Mother, you're absolutely ...
35   Mother: {waving him off} Don't be so damned smart! Now stop it! {slight pause} There are a few
     things you don't know. All of you. And I'll tell you one of them, Annie. Deep, deep in your heart
     you've always been waiting for him.
     Ann: {resolutely} No, Kate.
     Mother: {with increasing demand} But deep in your heart, Annie!
40   Chris: She ought to know, shouldn't she?
     Mother: Don't let them tell you what to think. Listen to your heart. Only your heart.
     Ann: Why does your heart tell you he's alive?
     Mother: Because he has to be.
     Ann: But why, Kate?
45   Mother: {going to her} Because certain things have to be, and certain things can never be. Like the
     sun has to rise, it has to be. That's why there's Got. Otherwise anything could happen. But there's
     God, so certain things can never happen. I would know, Annie ... just like the day he {indicates


                                                   16
     All My Sons by Arthur Miller

     Chris} went into that terrible battle. Did he write me? Was it in the papers? No, but that morning I
     couldn't raise my head off the pillow. Ask Joe. Suddenly, I knew. I knew! And he was nearly
     killed that day. Ann, you know I'm right!
     Ann stands there in silence, then turns trembling, going upstage.
 5   Ann: No, Kate.
     Mother: I have to have some tea.
     Frank appears, carrying a ladder.
     Ann: {taking his hand} Why, Frank, you're loosing your hair.
     Keller: He's got responsibility.
10   Frank: Gee whiz!
     Keller: Without Frank the stars wouldn't know when to come out.
     Frank: {laughs. To Ann} You look more womanly. You've matured. You ...
     Keller: Take it easy, Frank, you're a married man.
     Ann: {as they laugh} You still haberdashering?
15   Frank: Why not? Maybe I too can get to be president. How's your brother? Got his degree, I hear.
     Ann: Oh, George has his own office now!
     Frank: Don't say! {funereally} And your dad? Is he ...?
     Ann: {abruptly} Fine. I'll be in to see Lydia.
     Frank: {sympathetically} How about it, does Dad expect a parole soon?
20   Ann: {with growing ill-ease} I realy don't know, I ...
     Frank: {staunchly defending her father for her sake} I mean because I feel, y'know, that if an
     intelligent man like your father is put in prison, there ought to be a law that says either you execute
     him, or let him go after a year.
     Chris: {interrupting} Want a hand with that ladder, Frank?
25   Frank: {taking cue} That's all right, I'll ... {picks up ladder} I'll finish the horoscope tonight, Kate.
     {embarrassed} See you later, Ann, you look wonderful. {he exits. They look at Ann}
     Ann: {to Chris, as she sits slowly on stool} Haven't they stopped talking about Dad?
     Chris: {comes down and sits on arm of chair} Nobody talks about him any more.
     Keller: Gone and forgotten, kid.
30   Ann: Tell me. Because I don't want to meet anybody on the block if they're going to ...
     Chris: I don't want you to worry about it.
     Ann: {to Keller} Do they still remember the case, Joe? Do they talk about you?
     Keller: The only one still talks about it is my wife.
     Mother: That's because you keep on playing policeman with the kids. All their parents hear out of
35   you is jail, jail, jail.
     Keller: Actually what happened was that when I got home from the penitentiary the kids get very
     interested in me. You know kids. I was {laughs} like the expert on the jail situation. And as time
     passed they got it confused and ... I ended up a detective. {laughs}
     Mother: Except that they didn't get it confused. {to Ann} He hands out police badges from the
40   Post Toasties boxes. {they laugh}
     Ann rises and comes to Keller, putting her arm around his shoulder.
     Ann: {wonderously at them, happy} Gosh, it's wonderful to hear you laughing about it.
     Chris: Why, what'd you expect?
     Ann: The last thing I remember on this block was one word ... "Murderers!" Remember that, Kate?
45   Mrs. Hammond standing in front of our house yelling that word? She's still around, I suppose?
     Mother: They're all still around.



                                                     17
     All My Sons by Arthur Miller

     Keller: Don't listen to her. Every Saturday night the whole gang is playin' poker in this arbor. All
     the ones who yelled murderer takin' my money now.
     Mother: Don't, Joe. She's a sensitive girl, don't fool her. {to Ann} They still remember about Dad.
     It's different with him. {indicates Joe} He was exonerated, your father's still there. That's why I
 5   wasn't so enthusiastic about your coming. Honestly, I know how sensitive you are and I told Chris,
     I said...
     Keller: Listen, you do like I did and you'll be all right. The day I come home, I got out of my car ...
     but not in front of the house... on the corner. You should've been here, Annie, and you too Chris.
     You'd'a seen something. Everybody know I was getting out that day. The porches were loaded.
10   Picture it now. None of them believed I was innocent. The story was, I pulled a fast one getting
     myself exonerated. So I get out of my car, and I walk down the street. But very slow. And with a
     smile. The beast! I was the beast ... the guy who sold cracked cylinder heads to the Army Air
     Force ... the guy who made twenty one P-40s crash in Australia. Kid, walkin' down the street that
     day I was guilty as hell. Except I wasn't, and there as a court apper in my pocket to prove I wasn't,
15   and I walked ... past ... the porches. Result? Fourteen months later I had one of the best shops in
     the state again, a respected man again, bigger than ever.
     Chris: (with admiration) Joe McGuts.
     Keller: (now with great force): That's the only way you lick 'em is guts! (To Ann) The worst thing
     yoiu did was to move away from here. You made it tough for your father when he gets out. That's
20   why I tell you, I like to see him move back right on this block.
     Mother: (pained) How could they move back?
     Keller: It ain't gonna end till they move back! (to Ann) Till people play cards with him again, and
     talk with him, and smile with him ... you play cards with a man you know he can't be a murderer.
     And the next time you write him I like you to tell him just what I said. (Ann simply stares at him)
25   You hear me?
     Ann: (surprised) Don't you hold anything against him?
     Keller: Annie, I never believed in crucifying people.
     Ann: (mystified) But he was your partner, he dragged you through the mud.
     Keller: Well, he ain't my sweetheart, but you gotta forgive, don't you?
30   Ann: You, either, Kate? Don't you feel any ...?
     Keller: (to Ann) The next ime you write Dad ...
     Ann: I don't write him.
     Keller: (struck) Well, every now and then you ...
     Ann: (a little shamed, but determined) No, I've never written to him. Neither has my brother. (to
35   Chris) Say, do you feel this way, too?
     Chris: He murdered twenty one pilots.
     Keller: What the hell kinda talk is that?
     Mother: That's not a thing to say about a man.
     Ann: What else can you say? When they took him away I followed him, went to him every
40   visiting day. I was crying all the time. Until the news came about Larry. Then I realized. It's
     wrong to pity a man like that. Father or no father, there's only one way to lookat him. He
     knowingly shipped out parts what would crash an airplane. And how do you know Larry wasn't
     one of them?
     Mother: I was waiting for that. (going to her) As long as you're here, Annie, I want to ask you
45   never to say that again.
     Ann: You surprise me. I thought you'd be mad at him.
     Mother: What your father did had nothing to do with Larry. Nothing.
     Ann: But we can't know that.
     Mother: (striving for control) As long as you're here!


                                                    18
     All My Sons by Arthur Miller

     Ann: (perplexed) But, Kate...
     Mother: Put that out of your head!
     Keller: Because...
     Mother: (quickly to Keller) That's all, that's enough. (places her hand on her head) Come inside
 5   now, and have some tea with me. (She turns and goes up steps)
     Keller: (to Ann) The one thing you ...
     Mother: (sharply) He's not dead, so there's no argument! Now come!
     Keller: (angrily) In a minute! (Mother turns and goes into house) Now look, Annie...
     Chris: All right, Dad, forget it.
10   Keller: No, she dasn't feel that way. Annie...
     Chris: I'm sick of the whole subject, now cut it out.
     Keller: You want her to go on like this? (to Ann) Those cylinder heads when into P-40s only.
     What's the matter with you? You know Larry never flew a P-40.
     Chris: So who flew those P-40s, pigs?
15   Keller: The man was a fool, but don't make a murderer out of him. You got no sense? Look what
     is does to her! (to Ann) Listen, you gotta appreciate what was doin' in that shop in the war. The
     both of you! It was a madhouse. Every half hour the Major callin' for cylinder heads, they were
     whippin' us with the telephone. The trucks were hauling them away hot, damn near. I mean just try
     to see it human, see it human. All of a sudden a batch comes out with a crack. That happens, that's
20   the business. A fine, hairline crack. All right, so...so he's a little man, your father, always scared of
     loud voices. What'll the Major say? Half a day's production shot... What'll I say? You know what I
     mean? Human. (he pauses) So he take out his tools and he ... covers over the cracks. Alright,
     that's bad, it's wrong, but that's what a little man does. If I could have gone in that day I'd a told
     him... Junk 'em Steve, we can afford it. But alone he was afraid. But I know he meant no harm.
25   He believed they'd hold up a hundred percent. That's a mistake, but it ain't murder. You mustn't
     feel that way about him. You understand me? It ain't right.
     Ann: (she regards him a moment) Joe, Let's forget it.
     Keller: Annie, the day the news came out about Larry he was in the next cell to mine...Dad. And he
     cried, Annie...he cried half the night.
30   Ann: (touched) He shoulda cried all night. (slight pause)
     Keller: (almost angered) Annie, I do not understand why you ...!
     Chris: (breaking in, with nervous urgency) Are you going to stop it?
     Ann: Don't yell at him. He just wants everybody happy.
     Keller: (clasps her around the waist, smiling) That's my sentiments. Can you stand steak?
35   Chris: And champagne?
     Keller: Now you're operatin'! I'll call Swanson's for a table! Big time tonight, Annie!
     Ann: Can't scare me.
     Keller: (to Chris, pointing at Ann) I like that girl. Wrap her up. (they laugh. Goes up porch) You
     got nice legs, Annie! ...I want to see everybody drunk tonight. (pointing at Chris) Look at him, he's
40   blushin' (He exits, laughing, into the house).
     Chris: (calling after him) Drink your tea, Casanova. (he turns to Ann) Isn't he a great guy?
     Ann: You're the only one I know who loves his parents.
     Chris: I know. It went out of style, didn't it?
     Ann: (with a sudden touch of sadness) It's all right. It's a good thing. (She looks about) You
45   know? It's lovely here. The air is sweet.
     Chris: (hopefully) You're not sorry you came?
     Ann: Not sorry, no. But I'm ... not going to stay.
     Chris: Why?


                                                     19
     All My Sons by Arthur Miller

     Ann: In the first place, your mother as much as told me to go.
     Chris: Well...
     Ann: You saw that... and then you... You've been kind of...
     Chris: What?
 5   Ann: Well... kind of embarrassed ever since I got here.
     Chris: The trouble is I planned on kind of sneaking up on you over a period of a week or so. But
     they take it for granted that we're all set.
     Ann: I know they would. Your mother anyway.
     Chris: How did you know?
10   Ann: From her point of view, why else would I come?
     Chris: Well... would you want to? (Ann still studies him) I guess you know this is why I asked you
     to come.
     Ann: I guess this is why I came.
     Chris: Ann, I love you. I love you a great deal. (finally) I love you. (Pause. She waits) I have no
15   imagination .... That's all I know to tell you. (Ann is waiting, ready) I'm embarrassing you. I didn't
     want to tell it to you here. I wanted some place we'd never been, a place where we'd be brand new
     to each other... You feel it's wrong here, don't you? This yard, this chair? I want you to be ready
     for me. I don't want to win you away from anything.
     Ann: (putting her arms around him) Oh, Chris, Ive been ready a long, long time.
20   Chris: Then he's gone for ever. You're sure.
     Ann: I almost got married two years ago.
     Chris: Why didn't you?
     Ann: You started to write me... (slight pause)
     Chris: You felt something that far back?
25   Ann: Every day since.
     Chris: Ann, why didn't you let me know?
     Ann: I was waiting for you , Chris. Till then you never wrote. And when you did, what did you
     say? You sure can be ambiguous, you know.
     Chris: (looks toward house, then at her, trembling) Give me a kiss, Ann. Give me a ...(they kiss)
30   God, I kissed you, Annie, I kissed Anni. How long, how long I've been waiting to kiss you!
     Ann: I'll never forgive you. Why did you wait all these years? All Ive done is sit and wonder if I
     was crazy for thinking of you.
     Chris: Annie, we're going to live now! I'm going to make you so happy. (He kisses her, but without
     their bodies touching)
35   Ann: (A little embarrassed) Not like that you're not.
     Chris: I kissed you...
     Ann: Like Larry's brother. Do it like you, Chris. (He breaks away from her abruptly) What is it,
     Chris?
     Chris: Let's drive some place... I want to be alone with you.
40   Ann: No... what is it, Chris, your mother?
     Chris: No... nothing like that.
     Ann: Then what's wrong? Even in your letters, there was something ashamed.
     Chris: Yes. I suppose I have been. But it's going from me.
     Ann: You've got to tell me...
45   Chris: I don't know how to start. (He takes her hand)
     Ann: It wouldn't work this way. (Slight pause)



                                                   20
     All My Sons by Arthur Miller

     Chris: (speaks quietly, factually at first) It's all mixed up with so many other things ...You
     remember, overseas, I was in command of a company?
     Ann: Yeah, sure.
     Chris: Well, I lost them.
 5   Ann: How many?
     Chris: Just about all.
     Ann: Oh, gee!
     Chris: It take a little time to toss that off. Because they weren't just men. For instance, one time it'd
     been raining several days and this kid came to me, and gave me his last pair of dry socks. Put them
10   in my pocket. That's only a little thing... but... That's the kind of guys I hd. They didn't die... They
     killed themselves for each other. I mean that exactly. a little more selfish and they'd've been here
     today. And I got an idea ...watching them go down. Everything was being destroyed, see, but it
     seemed to me that one new thing was made. A kind of... responsibility. Man for man. You
     understand me? To show that, to bring that onto the earth again like some kind of a monument and
15   everyone would feel it standing there, behind him, and it would make a difference to him. (pause)
     And then I came home and it was incredible. I.... there was no meaning in it here. The whole thing
     to them was a kind of a ... bus accident. I went to work with Dad, and that rat-race again. I felt...
     what you said... ashamed somehow. Because nobody was chaged at all. It seemed to make suckers
     out of a lot of guys. I felt wrong to be alive, to open the bank-book, to drive the new car, to see the
20   new refrigerator. I mean you can take those things out of a war, but when you drive that car you've
     got to know that it came out of the love a man can have for a man, you've got to be a little better
     because of that. Otherwise what you have is really loot, and there's blood on it. I didn't want to
     take any of it. And I gues that included you.
     Ann: And you still feel that way?
25   Chris: I want you know, Annie.
     Ann: Because you mustn't feel that way any more. Because you have a right to whatever you have.
     Everything, Chris, understand that? To me, too... And the money, there's nothing wrong in your
     money. Your father put hundereds of planes in the air, you should be proud. A man should be paid
     for that...
30   Chris: Oh Annie, Annie... I'm going to make a fortune for you!
     Keller: (offstage) Hello ... Yes. Sure.
     Ann: (laughing softly) What'll I do with a fortune? (they kiss. Keller enters from house)
     Keller: (thumbing toward house) Hey, Ann, your brother... (They step apart shyly. Keller comes
     down, and wryly) What's this, Labor Day?
35   Chris: (waving him away, knowing the kidding will be endless) All right, all right.
     Ann: You shouldn't burst out like that.
     Keller: Well, nobody told me it was Labor Day. (looks around) Where's the hot dogs?
     Chris: (loving it) All right. You said it once.
     Keller: Well, as long as I know it's Labor Day from now on, I'll wear a bell around my neck.
40   Ann: (affectionately) He's so subtle!
     Chris: George Bernard Shaw as an elephant.
     Keller: George! ...Hey, you kissed it out of my head ...your brother's on the phone.
     Ann: (surprised) My borother?
     Keller: Yeah, George. Long distance.
45   Ann: What's the matter, is anything wrong?
     Keller: I don't know, Kate's talking to him. Hurry up, She'll cost him five dollars.
     Ann: (takes a steop upstage, then comes down toward Chris) I wonder if we ought to tell your
     mother yet? I mean I'm not very good in an argument.



                                                     21
     All My Sons by Arthur Miller

     Chris: We'll wait till tonight. After dinner. Now don't get tense, just leave it to me.
     Keller: What're you telling her?
     Chris: Go agead, Ann. (With misgivings, Ann goes up and into house.) We're getting married, Dad.
     (Keller nods indecisively) Well, don't you say anything?
 5   Keller: (distracted) I'm glad, Chris, I'm just... George is calling from Columbus.
     Chris: Columbus!
     Keller: Did Annie tell you he was going to see his father today?
     Chris: No, I don't think she knew anything about it.
     Keller: (asking uncomfortably) Chris! You... you think you know her pretty good?
10   Chris: (hurt and apprehensive) What kind of question?
     Keller: I'm just wondering. All these years George don't go to see his father. Suddenly he goes...
     and she comes here.
     Chris: Well, what about it?
     Keller: It's crazy, but it comes to my mind. She don't hold nothin' against me, does she?
15   Chris: (angry) I don't know what you're talking about.
     Keller: (a little more combatively) I'm just talkin'. To his last day in court the man blamed it all on
     me... and his is his daughter. I mean if she was sent here to find out something?
     Chris: (angered) Why? What's there to find out?
     Ann: (on phone, offstage) Why are you so excited, George? What happened there?
20   Keller: I mean if they want to open up the case again, for the nuisance value, to hurt us?
     Chris: Dad... how could you think that of her?
     Ann: (still on the phone) But what did he say to you, for God's sake?
     Keller: It couldn't be, heh. You know.
     Chris: Dad, you amaze me...
25   Keller: (breaking in) All right, forget it forget it. (with great force, moving about) I want a clean
     start for you, Chris. I want a new sign over the plant... Christopher Keller, Incorporated.
     Chris: (a little uneasily) J. O. Keller is good enough.
     Keller: We'll talk about it. I'm going to build you a house, stone, with a driveway from the road. I
     want you to spread out, Chris, I want you to use what I made for you. (He is close to him now) I
30   mean, with joy, Chris, without shame... with joy.
     Chris: (touched) I will, Dad.
     Keller: (with deep emotion) Say it to me.
     Chris: Why?
     Keller: Because sometimes I think you're... ashamed of the money.
35   Chris: No, don't feel that.
     Keller: Because it's good money, there's nothing wrong with that money.
     Chris: (a little frightened) Dad, you don't have to tell me this.
     Keller: (with overriding affection and self-confidence now. He grips Chris by the back of the neck,
     and with laughter between his determined jaws) Look, Chris, I'll go to work on Mother for you.
40   We'll get her so drunk tonight we'll all get married. (steps away, with a wide hesture of his arm)
     There's gonna be a wedding, kid, like there never was seen! Champagne, tuxedos...!
     He breaks off as Ann's voice comes out loud from the house where she is still talking on the phone.
     Ann: Simply because when you get excited you don't control yourself... (Mother comes out of
     house) Well, what did he tell you for God's sake? (Pause) All right, come then. (Pause) Yes, they'll
45   all be here. Nobody's running away from you. And try to get hold of yourself, will you? (Pause.)
     All right, all right. Goodbye.
     There is a brief pause as Ann hangs up receiver, then comes out of kitchen.


                                                    22
     All My Sons by Arthur Miller

     Chris: Something happen?
     Keller: He's coming here?
     Ann: On the seven o'clock. He's in Columbus. (To Mother) I told him it would be all right.
     Keller: Sure, fine! Your father took sick?
 5   Ann: (mystified) No, George didn't say he was sick. I... (Shaking it off) I don't know, I suppose it's
     something stupid, you know my brother...(She comes to Chris) Let's go for a drive, or something....
     Chris: Sure. Give me the keys, Dad.
     Mother: Drive through the park. It's beautiful now.
     Chris: Come on, Ann. (to them) Be back right away.
10   Ann: (as she and Chris exit up driveway) See you.
     Mother comes down toward Keller, her eyes fixed on him.
     Keller: Take your time. (to Mother) What does George want?
     Mother: He's been in Columbus since this morning with Steve. He's gotta see Annie right away, he
     says.
15   Keller: What for?
     Mother: I don't know. (She speaks with warning) He's a lawyer now, Joe. George is a lawyer. All
     these years he never even sent a postcard to Steve. Since he got back from the war, not a postcard.
     Keller: So what?
     Mother: (her tension breaking out) Suddenly he takes an airplane from New York to see him. An
20   airplane!
     Keller: Well? So?
     Mother: (trembling) Why?
     Keller: I don't read minds. Do you?
     Mother: Why, Joe? What has Steve suddenly got to tell him that he takes an airplane to see him?
25   Keller: What do I care what Steve's got to tell him?
     Mother: You're sure, Joe?
     Keller: (frightened, but angry) Yes, I'm sure.
     Mother: (sits stiffly in a chair) Be smart now, Joe. The boy is coming. Be smart.
     Keller: (desperately) Once and for all, did you hear what I said? I said I'm sure!
30   Mother: (nods weakly) All right, Joe. (he straightens up) Just... be smart.
     Keller, in hopeless fury, looks at her, turns around, goes up to porch and into house, slamming
     screen door violently behind him. Mother sits in chair downstage, stiffly, staring, seeing.
     CURTAIN.




                                                    23
     All My Sons by Arthur Miller


     Act Two
     As twilight falls, that evening.
     On the rise, Chris is discovered sawing the broken-off tree, leaving stump standing alone. He is
     dressed in good pants, white shoes, but without a shirt. He disappears with tree up the alley when
 5   Mother appears on porch. She comes down and stands watching him. She has on a dressing gown,
     carries a tray of grape juice drink in a pitcher, and glasses with sprigs of mint in them.
     Mother: (Calling up alley) Did you have to put on good pants to do that? (she comes downstage and
     puts tray on table in the arbor. Then looks around uneasily, then feels pitcher for coolness. Chris
     enters from alley brushing off his hands) You notice there more light with that thing gone?
10   Chris: My aren't you dressing?
     Mother: It's suffocating upstairs. I made a grape drink for Georgie. He always liked grape. Come
     and have some.
     Chris: (impatiently) Well, come on, get dressed. And what's Dad sleeping so much for? (He goes to
     table and pours a glass of juice)
15   Mother: To his last day in court Steve never gave up the idea that Dad made him do it. If they're
     going to open the case again I won't live through it.
     Chris: George is just a damn fool, Mother. How can you take him seriously?
     Mother: That family hates us. Maybe even Annie...
     Chris: Oh, now, Mother...
20   Mother: You think just because you like everbody, they like you!
     Chris: All right, stop working yourself up. Just leave everything to me.
     Mother: When George goes home tell her to go with him.
     Chris: (noncommittally) Don't worry about Annie.
     Mother: Steve is her father, too.
25   Chris: Are you going to cut it out? Now, come.
     Mother: (going upstage with him) You don't realize how people can hate, Chris, they can hate so
     much they'll tear the world to pieces.
     Ann, dressed up, appears on the porch.
     Chris: Look! She's dressed already. (As he and Mother mount porch) I've just got to put on a shirt.
30   Ann: (in a preoccupied way) Are you feeling well, Kate?
     Mother: What's the difference, dear. There are certain people, y'know, the sicker they get, the
     longer they live. (She goes into the house)
     Chris: You look nice.
     Ann: We're going to tell her tonight.
35   Chris: Absolutely, don't worry about it.
     Ann: I wish we could tell her now. I can't stand scheming. My stomach gets hard.
     Chris: It's not scheming, we'll just get her in a better mood.
     Mother: (offstage, in the house) Joe, are you going to sleep all day!
     Ann: (laughing) The only one who's relaxed is your father. He's fast asleep.
40   Chris: I'm relaxed.
     Ann: Are you?
     Chris: Look. (He holds out his hand and makes it shake.) Let me know when George gets here.
     He goes into the house. Ann moves aimlessly, and then is drawn toward tree stump. She goes to it,
     hesitantly touches broken top in the hush of her thoughts. Offstage Lydia calls, "Johnny! Come get
45   your supper!" Sue enters, and halts, seeing Ann.
     Sue: Is my husband...?



                                                  24
     All My Sons by Arthur Miller

     Ann: (turns, startled) Oh!
     Sue: I'm terribly sorry.
     Ann: It's all right, I ... I'm jst a little silly about the dark.
     Sue: (looks about) It's getting dark.
 5   Ann: Are you looking for your husband?
     Sue: As usual. (laughs tiredly) He spends so much time here, they'll be charging him rent.
     Ann: Nobody was dressed so he drove over to the depot to pick up my brother.
     Sue: Oh, your brother's in?
     Ann: Yeah, they ought to be here any minute now. Will you have a cold drink?
10   Sue: I will, thanks. (Ann goes to table and pours) My husband. Too hot to drive me to the beach.
     Men are like little boys... for the neighbors they'll always cut the grass.
     Ann: People like to do things for the Kellers. Been that way since I can remember.
     Sue: It's amazing. I gues your brother's coming to give you away, heh?
     Ann: (giving her drink) I don't know. I suppose
15   Sue: You must be all nerved up.
     Ann: It's always a problem getting yourself married, isn't it?
     Sue: That depends on your shape, of course. I don't see why you should have had a problem.
     Ann: I've had chances...
     Sue: I'll bet. It's romantic... It's very unusual to me, marrying the brother of your sweetheart.
20   Ann: I don't know. I think it's mostly that whenever I need somebody to tell me the truth I've
     always thought of Chris. When he tells you something you know it's so. He relaxes me.
     Sue: And he's got money. That's important, you know.
     Ann: It wouldn't matter to me.
     Sue: You'd be surprised. It makes all the difference. I married an intern. On my salary. And that
25   was bad, because as soon as a woman supports a man he owes her something. You can never owe
     somebody without resenting them. (Ann laughs) That's true, you know.
     Ann: Underneath, I think the doctor is very devoted.
     Sue: Oh, certainly. But it's bad when a man always sees the bars in front of him. Jim thinks he's in
     jail all the time.
30   Ann: Oh...
     Sue: That's why I've been intending to ask you a small favor, Ann. It's something very important to
     me.
     Ann: Certainly, if I can do it.
     Sue: You can. When you take up housekeeping, try to find a place away from here.
35   Ann: Are you fooling?
     Sue: I'm very serious. My husband is unhappy with Chris around.
     Ann: How is that?
     Sue: Jim's a successful doctor. But he's got an idea he'd like to do medical research. Discover
     things. You see?
40   Ann: Well, isn't that good?
     Sue: Research pays twenty five dollars a week minus laundering the hair shirt. You've got to give
     up your life to go into it.
     Ann: How does Chris...
     Sue: (with growing feeling) Chris makes people want to be better that it's possible to be. He does
45   that to people.
     Ann: Is that bad?



                                                  25
     All My Sons by Arthur Miller

     Sue: My husband has a family, dear. Everytime he has a session with Chris he feels as though he's
     compromising by not giving up everyting for research. As though Chris or anybody else isn't
     compromising. It happens with Jim every couple of years. He meets a man and makes a statue out
     of him.
 5   Ann: Maybe he's right. I don't mean that Chris is a statue, but...
     Sue: Now darling, you know he's not right.
     Ann: I don't agree with you. Chris...
     Sue: Let's face it, dear. Chris is working with his father, isn't he? He's taking money out of that
     business every week in the year.
10   Ann: What of it?
     Sue: You ask me what of it?
     Ann: I certainly do. (She seems about to burst out) You oughtn't cast aspersions like that, I'm
     surprised at you.
     Sue: You're surprised at me!
15   Ann: He'd never take five cents out of that plant if there was anything wrong with it.
     Sue: You know that.
     Ann: I know it. I resent everything you've said.
     Sue: (moving toward her) You know what I resent, dear?
     Ann: Please, I don't want to argue.
20   Sue: I resent living next to the Holy Family. It makes me look like a bum, you understand?
     Ann: I can't do anything about that.
     Sue: Who is he to ruin a man's life? Everybody knows Joe pulled a fast one to get out of jail.
     Ann: That's not true!
     Sue: Then why don't you go out and talk to people? Go on, talk to them. There's not a person on
25   the block who doesn't know the truth.
     Ann: That's a lie. People come here all the time for cards and...
     Sue: So what? They give him credit for being smart. I do, too, I've got nothing against Joe. But if
     Chris wants people to put on the hair shirt let him take off the broadcloth. He's driving my husband
     crazy with that phony idealism of his and I'm at the end of my rope on it! (Chris enters on porch,
30   wearing shirt and tie now. She turns quickly, hearing. With a smile) Hello, darling. How's Mother?
     Chris: I thought George came.
     Sue: No, it was just us.
     Chris: (coming down to them) Susie, do me a favor, heh? Go up to Mother and see if you can calm
     her. She's all worked up.
35   Sue: She still doesn't know about you two?
     Chris: (laughs a little) Well, she senses it, I guess. You know my mother.
     Sue: (going up to porch) Oh, yeah, she's psychic.
     Chris: Maybe there's something in the medicine chest.
     Sue: I'll give her one of everything. (on porch) Don't worry about Kate... couple of drinks, dance
40   her around a little... She'll love Ann. (To Ann) Because you're the female version of him. (Chris
     laughs) Don't be alarmed, I said version. (She goes into house)
     Chris: Interesting woman, isn't she?
     Ann: Yeah, she's very interesting.
     Chris: She's a great nurse, you know, she...
45   Ann: (in tension, but trying to control it) Are you still doing that?
     Chris: (sensing something wrong, but still smiling) Doing what?



                                                  26
     All My Sons by Arthur Miller

     Ann: As soon as you get to know somebody you find a distinction for them. How do you know
     she's a great nurse?
     Chris: What's the matter, Ann?
     Ann: The woman hates you. She despises you!
 5   Chris: Hey... What's hit you?
     Ann: Gee, Chris...
     Chat happened here?
     Ann: You never... Why didn't you tell me?
     Chris: Tell you what?
10   Ann: She says they think Joe is guilty.
     Chris: What difference does it make what they think?
     Ann: I don't care what they think, I just don't understand why you took the trouble to deny it. You
     said it was all forgotten.
     Chris: I didn't want you to feel there was anything wrong in you coming here, that's all. I know a
15   lot of people think my father was guilty, and I assumed there might be some question in your mind.
     Ann: But I never once suspected him.
     Chris: Nobody says it.
     Ann: Chris, I know how much you love him, but it could never...
     Chris: Do you think I could forgive him if he'd done that thing?
20   Ann: I'm not here out of blue sky, Chris. I turned my back on my father, if there's anything wrong
     here now...
     Chris: I know that, Ann.
     Ann: George is coming from Dad, and I don't think it's with a blessing.
     Chris: He's welcome here. You've got nothing to fear from George.
25   Ann: Tell me that... just tell me that.
     Chris: The man is innocent, Ann. Remember he was falsely accused once and it put him through
     hell. How would you behave if you were faced with the same thing again? Annie, believe me,
     there's nothing wrong for you here, believe me, kid.
     Ann: All right, Chris, all right. (They embrace as Keller appears quietly on the porch. Ann simply
30   studies him)
     Keller: Every time I come out here it looks like Playland! (they break and laugh in embarrassment)
     Chris: I thought you were going to shave?
     Keller: (sitting on bench) In a minute. I just woke up, I can't see nothin'.
     Ann: You look shaved.
35   Keller: Oh, no. (massages his jaw) Gotta be extra special tonight. Big night, Annie. So how's it feel
     to be a married woman?
     Ann: (laughs) I don't know, yet.
     Keller: (to Chris) What's the matter, you slippin'? (He takes a little box of apples from under the
     bench as they talk)
40   Chris: The great roue'!
     Keller: What is that, roue'?
     Chris: It's French.
     Keller: Don't talk dirty. (they laugh)
     Chris: (to Ann) You ever meet a bigger ignoramus?
45   Keller: Well, somebody's got to make a living.
     Ann: (as they laugh) That's telling him.



                                                   27
     All My Sons by Arthur Miller

     Keller: I don't know, everbody's gettin' so Goddam educated in this country there'll be nobody to
     take away the garbage. (they laugh) It's gettin' so the only dumb ones left are the bosses.
     Ann: You're not so dumn, Joe.
     Keller: I know, but you go into our plant, for instance. I got so many lieutenants, majors and
 5   colonels that I'm ashamed to ask somebody to sweep the floor. I gotta be careful I'll insult
     somebody. No kiddin'. It's a tragedy: you stand on the street today and spit, you're gonna hit a
     college man.
     Chris: Well, don't spit.
     Keller: (breaks the apple in half, passing it to Ann and Chris) I mean to say, it's comin' to a pass. (he
10   takes a breath) I been thinkin', Annie... your brother, George. I been thinkin' about your brother
     George. When he comes I like you to brooch something to him.
     Chris: Broach.
     Keller: What's the matter with brooch?
     Chris: (smiling) It's not English.
15   Keller: When I when to night school it was brooch.
     Ann: (laughing) Well, in day school it's broach.
     Keller: Don't surround me, will you? Seriously, Ann... You say he's not well. George, I been
     thinkin', why should be know himself out in New York with that cut-throat competition, when I got
     so many friends here... I'm very friendly with some big lawyers in town. I could set George up
20   here.
     Ann: That's awfully nice of you, Joe.
     Keller: No, kid, it ain't nice of me. I want you to understand me. I'm thinking of Chris. (slight
     pause) See... this is what I mean. You get older, you want to feel that you... accomplished
     something. My only accomplishment is my son. I ain't brainy. That's all I accomplished. Now, a
25   year, eighteen months, your father'll be a free man. Who is he going to come to, Annie? His baby.
     You. He'll come, old, mad, into your house.
     Ann: That can't matter any more, Joe.
     Keller: I don't what that to come between us. (gestures between Chris and himself)
     Ann: I can only tell you that that could never happen.
30   Keller: You're in love now, Annie, but believe me, I'm older than you and I know... a daughter is a
     daughter, and a father is a father. And it could happen. (he pauses) I like you and George to go to
     him in prison and tell him... "Dad, Joe wants to bring you into the business when you get out."
     Ann: (surprised, even shocked) You'd have him as a partner?
     Keller: No, no partner. A good job. (pause. He sees she is shocked, a little mystified. He gets up,
35   speaks more nervously) I want him to know that when he gets out he's got a place waitin' for him.
     It'll take his bitterness away. To know you got a place...
     Ann: Joe, you owe him nothing.
     Keller: I owe him a good kick in the teeth, but he's your father.
     Chris: Then kick him in the teeth! I don't want him in the plant, so that's that! You understand? And
40   besides, don't talk about him like that. People misunderstand you!
     Keller: And I don't understand why she has to crucify the man.
     Chris: Well, it's her father if she feels...
     Keller: No, no.
     Chris: (almost angrily) What's it to you? Why...?
45   Keller: (a commanding outburst in high nervousness) A father is a father! (as though the outburst
     had revealed him, he looks about, wanting to retract it. His hand goes to his cheek.) I better... I
     better shave. (He turns and a smile is on his face, to Ann) I didn't mean to yell at you, Annie.
     Ann: Let's forget the whole thing, Joe.



                                                     28
     All My Sons by Arthur Miller

     Keller: Right. (to Chris) She's likeable.
     Chris: (a little peaved at the man's stupidity) Shave, will you?
     Keller: Right again.
     As he turns to porch Lydia comes hurrying from her house.
 5   Lydia: I forgot all about it. (Seeing Chris and Ann) Hya. (To Joe) I promised to fix Kate's hair for
     tonight. Did she comb it yet?
     Keller: Always a smile, hey, Lidia?
     Lydia: Sure, why not?
     Keller: (going up on porch): Come on up and comb my Katie's hair. (Lydia goes up on porch) She's
10   got a big night, make her beautiful.
     Lydia: I will.
     Keller: (holds door open for her and she goes into kitchen. To Chris and Ann) Hey, that could be a
     song. (He sings softly) Come on up and comb my Katie's hair... Oh, come up and comb my Katie's
     hair.... Oh, com on up, 'cause she's my lady fair.... (To Ann) how's that for one year of night school?
15   (he continues singing as he goes into kitchen) Oh, come on up, come on up, and comb my lady's
     hair....
     Jim Bayliss rounds corner of driveway, walking rapidly. Jim crosses to Chris, motions him and
     pulls him down excitedly. Keller stands just inside kitchen door, watching them.
     Chris: What's the matter? Where is he?
20   Jim: Where's your mother?
     Chris: Upstairs, dressing.
     Ann: (crossing to them rapidly) What happened to George?
     Jim: I asked him to wait in the car. Listen to me now. Can you take some advice? (they wait) Don't
     bring him in here.
25   Ann: Why?
     Jim: Kate is in bad shape, you can't explode this in front of her.
     Ann: Explode what?
     Jim: You know why he's here, don't try to kit it away. There's blood in his eye; drive him
     somewhere and talk to him alone.
30   Ann turns to go up drive, takes a couble of steps, sees Keller, and stops. He goes quietly on into
     house.
     Chris: (shaken, and therefore angered) Don't be an old lady.
     Jim: He's come to take her home. What does that mean? (to Ann) You know what that means.
     Fight it out with him some place else.
35   Ann: (comes back down toward Chris) I'll drive... him somewhere.
     Chris: (goes to her) No.
     Jim: Will you stop being an idiot?
     Chris: Nobody's afraid of him here. Cut that out!
     He starts for driveway, but is brought up short by George, who enters there. George is Chris's age,
40   but a paler man, now on the edge of his self-restraint. He speaks quietly, as though afraid to find
     himself screaming. An instant's hesitation and Chris steps up to him, hand extended, smiling.
     Chris: Helluva way to do; what're you sitting out there for?
     George: Doctor said your mother isn't well, I...
     Chris: So what? She'd want to see you, wouldn't she? We've been waiting for you all afternoon.
45   (He puts his hand on George's arm, but George pulls away, coming across toward Ann).
     Ann: (touching his collar) This is filthy, didn't you bring another shirt?




                                                    29
     All My Sons by Arthur Miller

     George breaks away from her, and moves down, examining the yard. Door opens, and he turns
     rapidly, thinking it is Kate, but it's Sue. She looks at him; he turns away and moves to fence. He
     looks over it at his former home. Sue comes downstage.
     Sue: (annoyed) How about the beach, Jim?
 5   Jim: Oh, it's too hot to drive.
     Sue: How'd you get to the station... Zeppelin?
     Chris: This is Mrs. Bayliss, George. (Calling, as George pays no attention, staring at house)
     George! (George turns) Mrs. Bayliss.
     Sue: How do you do.
10   George: (removing his hat) You're the people who bought our house, aren't you?
     Sue: That's right. Come and see what we did with it before you leave.
     George: (walks down and waay from her) I liked it the way it was.
     Sue: (after a brief pause) He's frank, isn't he?
     Jim: (pulling her off) See you later... Take it easy, fella. (they exit)
15   Chris: (calling after them) Thanks for driving him! (Turning to George) How about some grape
     juice? Mother made it especially for you.
     George: (with forced appreciation) Good old Kate, remembered my grape juice.
     Chris: You drank enough of it in this house. HOw've you been, George? ...Sit down.
     George: (keeps moving) It take me a minute. (looking around) It seems inpossible.
20   Chris: What?
     George: I'm back here.
     Chris: Say, youve gotten a little nervous, haven't you?
     George: Yeah, toward the end of the day. What're you, big executive now?
     Chris: Just kind of medium. How's the law?
25   George: I don't know. When I was studying in the hospital is seemed sensible, but outside there
     doesn't seem to be much of a law. The trees got thick, didn't they? (points to stump) What's that?
     Chris: Blew down last night. We had it there for Larry. You know.
     George: Why, afraid you'll forget him?
     Chris: (starts for George) What kind of remark is that?
30   Ann: (breaking in, putting a restraining hand of Chris) When did you start wearing a hat?
     George: (discovers hat in his hand) Today. From now on I decided to look like a lawyer, anyway.
     (He hold is up to her) Don't you recognize it?
     Ann: Why? Where...?
     George: Your father's... He asked me to wear it.
35   Ann: How is he?
     George: He got smaller.
     Ann: Smaller?
     George: Yeah, little. (holds our his hand to measure) He's a little man. That's what happens to
     suckers, you know. It's good I want to him in time... another year there'd be nothing left but his
40   smell.
     Chris: What's the matter, George, what's the trouble?
     George: The trouble? The trouble is when you make suckers out of people once, you shouldn't try
     to do it twice.
     Chris: What does that mean?
45   George: (to Ann) You're not married yet, are you?
     Ann: George, will you sit down and stop...?



                                                  30
     All My Sons by Arthur Miller

     George: Are you married yet?
     Ann: No, I'm not married yet.
     George: You're not going to marry him.
     Ann: Why am I not going to marry him?
 5   George: Because his father destroyed your family.
     Chris: Now look, George...
     George: Cut it short, Chris. Tell her to come home with me. Let's not argue, you know what I've
     got to say.
     Chris: George, you don't want to be the voice of God, do you?
10   George: I'm...
     Chris: That's been your trouble all your life, George, you dive into things. What kind of statement is
     that to make? You're a big boy now.
     George: I'm a big boy now.
     Chris: Don't come bulling in here. If you've got something to say, be civilized about it.
15   George: Don't civilize me!
     Ann: Shhh!
     Chris: (ready to hit him) Are you going to talk like a grown man or aren't you?
     Ann: (quickly, to forestall an outburst) Sit down, dear. Don't be angry, what's the matter? (He
     allows her to seat him, looking at her) Now what happened? You kissed me when I left, now you...
20   George: (breathlessly) My life turned upside down since then. I couldn't go back to work when you
     left. I wanted to go to Dad and tell him you were going to be married. It seemed impossible not to
     tell him. He loved you so much. (He pauses) Annie... we did a terrible thing. We can never be
     forgiven. Not even to send him a card at Christmas. I didn't see him once since I got home from the
     war! Annie, you don't know what was done to that man. You don't know what happened.
25   Ann: (afraid) Of course I know.
     George: You can't know, you wouldn't be here. Dad came to work that day. The night foreman
     came to him and showed him the cylinder heads... they were coming out of the process with
     defects. There was something wrong with the process. So Dad went directly to the phone and
     called here and told Joe to come down right away. But the morning passed. No sign of Joe. So
30   Dad called again. By this time he had over a hundred defectives. The Army was screaming for
     stuff and Dad didn't have anything to ship. So Joe told him... on the phone he told him to weld,
     cover up the cracks in any way he could, and ship them out.
     Chris: Are you through now?
     George: (surging back at him) I'm not through now! (Back to Ann) Dad was afraid. He wanted Joe
35   there if he was going to do it. But Joe can't come down... He's sick. Sick! He suddenly gets the flu!
     Suddenly! But he promised to take responsibility. Do you understand what I'm saying? On the
     telephone you can't have responsibility! In a court you can always deny a phone call and that's
     exactly what he did. They know he was a liar the first time, but in the appeal they believed the
     rotten lie and now Joe is a big shot and your father is the patsy. (He gets up) Now what're you going
40   to do? Eat his food, sleep in his bed? Answer me. What're you going to do?
     Chris: What are you going to do, George?
     George: He's too smart for me, I can't prove a phone call.
     Chris: Then how dare you come in heare whith that rot?
     Ann: George, the court...
45   George: The court didn't know your father! But you know him. You know in your heart Joe did it.
     Chris: (whirling him around) Lower your voice or I'll throw you out of here!
     George: She knows. She knows.
     Chris: (to Ann) Get him out of here, Ann. Get him out of here.


                                                   31
     All My Sons by Arthur Miller

     Ann: George, I know everything you've said. Dad told me that whole thing in court, and they...
     George: (almost a scream) The court did not know him, Annie!
     Ann: Shhh! ...But he'll say anything, George. You know how quick he can lie.
     George: (turning to Chris, with deliberation) I'll ask you something, and look me in the eye when
 5   you answer me.
     Chris: I'll look you in the eye.
     George: You know your father...
     Chris: I know him well.
     George: And he's the kind of boss to let a hundred and twenty one cylinder heads be repaired and
10   shipped out of his shop without even knowing it?
     Chris: He's that kind of boss.
     George: And that's the same Joe Keller who never left his shop without first going aroiund to see
     that all the lights were out.
     Chris: (with growing anger) The same Joe Keller.
15   George: The same man who knows how many minutes a day his workers spend in the toilet.
     Chris: The same man.
     George: Any my father, that frightened mouse who'd never buy a shirt without somebody along...
     That man would do such a thing on his own?
     Chris: On his own. And because he's a frightened mouse this is another thing he'd do... Throw the
20   blame on somebody else in court but it didn't work, but with a fool like you it works!
     Ann: (deeply shaken) Don't talk like that!
     Chris: (sits facing George) Tell me, George. What happened? The court record was good enough
     for you all these years, why isn't it good now? Why did you believe it all these years?
     George: (after a slight pause) Because you believed it... That's the truth, Chris. I believed
25   everything, because I thought you did. But today I heard it from his mouth. From his mouth it's
     altogether different than the record. Anyone who knows him, and knows your father, will believe it
     from his mouth. Your Dad took everything we have. I can't beat that. But she's one item he's not
     going to grab. (He turns to Ann) Get your things. Everything they have is covered with blood.
     You're not the kind of girl who can live with that. Get your things.
30   Chris: Ann... You're not going to believe that, are you?
     Ann: (goes to him) You know it's not true, don't you?
     George: How can he tell you? It's his father. (To Chris) None of these things ever even cross your
     mind?
     Chris: Yes, they crossed my mind. Anything can cross your mind!
35   George: He knows, Annie. He knows!
     Chris: The voice of God!
     George: Then why isn't your name on the business? Explain that to her!
     Chris: What the hell has that got to do with... ?
     George: Annie, why isn't his hame on it?
40   Chris: Even when I don't own it!
     George: Who're you kidding? Who gets it when he dies? (To Ann) Open your eyes, you know the
     both of them, isn't that the first thing they'd do, the way they love each other? ...J. O. Keller and
     Son? (Pause. Ann looks from him to Chris) I'll settle it. Do you want to settle it, or are you afraid
     to?
45   Chris: What do you mean?
     George: Let me go up and talk to your father. In ten minutes you'll have the answer. Or are you
     afraid of the answer?



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     All My Sons by Arthur Miller

     Chris: I'm not afraid of the answer. I know the answer. But my mother isn't well and I don't want a
     fight here now.
     George: Let me go to him.
     Chris: You're not going to start a fight here now.
 5   George: (To Ann) What more do you want! (There is a sound of footsteps in the house).
     Ann: (turns her head suddenly toward house) Someone's coming.
     Chris: (to George, quietly) You won't say anything now.
     Ann: You'll go soon. I'll call a cab.
     George: You're coming with me.
10   Ann: And don't mention marriage, because we haven't told her yet.
     George: You're coming with me.
     Ann: You understand? Don't... George, you're not going to start anything now! (She hears
     footsteps) Shhh!
     Mother enters on porch. She is dressed almost formally. Her hair is fixed. They are all turned
15   toward her. On seeing George she raises both hands, comes down toward him.
     Mother: Georgie, Georgie.
     George: (he has always liked her) Hello, Kate.
     Mother: (cups his face in her hands) They made an old man out of you. (Touches his hair) Look,
     you're grey.
20   George: (her pity, open and unabashed, reaches into him, and he smiles sadly) I know, I...
     Mother: I told you when you went away, don't try for medals.
     George: (laughs, tiredly) I didn't try, Kate. They made it very easy for me.
     Mother: (actually angry) Go on. You're all alike. (To Ann) Look at him, why did you say he's fine?
     He looks like a ghost.
25   George: (relishing her solicitude) I feel alright.
     Mother: I'm sick to look at you. What's the matter with your mother, why don't she feed you?
     Ann: He just hasn't any appetite.
     Mother: If he ate in my house he'd have an appetite. (to Ann) I pity your husband! (To George) Sit
     down. I'll make you a sandwich.
30   George: (sits with an embarrassed laugh) I'm really not hungry.
     Mother: Honest to God, it breaks my heart to see what happened to all the children. How we
     worked and planned for you, and you end up no better than us.
     George: (with deep feeling for her) You... you haven't changed at all, you know that, Kate?
     Mother: None of us changed, Georgie. We all love you. Joe was just talking about the day you were
35   born and the water got shut off. People were carrying basins from a block away... A stranger would
     have thought the whole block was on fire! (they laugh. She sees the juice. To Ann) Why didn't you
     give him some juice!
     Ann: (defensively) I offered it to him.
     Mother: (scoffingly) You offered it to him! (thrusting glass into George's hand) Give it to him! (To
40   George, who is laughing) And now you're going to sit here and drink some juice... and look like
     something!
     George: (sitting) Kate, I feel hungry already.
     Chris: (proudly) She could turn Mahatma Ghandi into a heavyweight!
     Mother: (to Chris, with great energy) Listen, to hell with the restaurant! I got a ham in the icebox,
45   and frozen strawberries, and avocados, and...
     Ann: Swell, I'll help you!
     George: The train leaves at eight thirty, Ann.


                                                   33
     All My Sons by Arthur Miller

     Mother: (to Ann) You're leaving?
     Chris: No, Mother, she's not...
     Ann: (breaking through it, going to George) You hardly got here. Give yourself a chance to get
     acquainted again.
 5   Chris: Sure, you don't even know us anymore.
     Mother: Well, Chris, if they can't stay, I don't...
     Chris: No, it's just a question of George, Mother, he planned on...
     George: (gets up politely, nicely, for Kate's sake) Now wait a minute, Chris...
     Chris: (smiling and full of command, cutting him off) If you want to go, I'll drive you to the station
10   now, but if you're staying, no arguments while you're here.
     Mother: (at last confessing the tension) Why should he argue? (she goes to him. With desperation
     and compassion, stroking his hair) Georgie and us have no argument. How could we have an
     argument, Georgie? We all got hit by the same lightning, how can you...? Did you see what
     happened to Larry's tree, Georgie? (She has taken his arm, and unwillingly he moves across the
15   stage with her.) Imagine? While I was dreaming of him in the middle of the night, the wind came
     along and...
     Lydia enters on porch. As soon as she sees him:
     Lydia: Hey, Georgie! Georgie! Georgie! Georgie! Georgie! (She comes down to him eagerly. She
     has a flowered hat in her hand, which Kate takes from her as she goes to George)
20   George: (As they shake hands eagerly, warmly) Hello, Laughy. What'd you do, grow?
     Lydia: I'm a big girl now.
     Mother: Look what he can do to a hat!
     Ann: (to Lydia, admiring the hat) Did you make that?
     Mother: In ten minutes! (she puts it on)
25   Lydia: (fixing it on her head) I only rearranged it.
     George: You still make your own clothes?
     Chris: (of Mother) Ain't she classy! All she needs now is a Russian wolfhound.
     Mother: (Moving her head) It feels like somebody is sitting on my head.
     Ann: No, it's beautiful, Kate.
30   Mother: (kisses Lydia. To George) She's a genius! You should've married her. (they laugh) This
     one can feed you!
     Lydia: (strangely embarrassed) Oh, stop that, Kate.
     George: (to Lydia) Didn't I hear you had a baby?
     Mother: YOu don't hear so good. She's got three babies.
35   George: (a little hurt by it. To Lydia) No kidding, three?
     Lydia: Yeah, it was one, two, three... Youve been away a long time, Georgie.
     George: I'm beginning to realize.
     Mother: (to Chris and George) The trouble with you kids is you think to much.
     Lydia: Well, we think, too.
40   Mother: Yes, but not all the time.
     George: (With almost obvious envy) They never took Frank, heh?
     Lydia: (a little apologetically) No, he was always one year ahead of the draft.
     Mother: It's amazing. When they were calling boys twenty seven Frank was twenty eight, when
     they made it twenty eight, he was just twenty nine. That's why he took up astrology. It's all in when
45   you were born, it just goes to show.
     Chris: What does it go to show?



                                                   34
     All My Sons by Arthur Miller

     Mother: (to Chris) Don't be so intelligent. Some superstitions are very nice! (To Lydia) Did he
     finish Larry's horoscope?
     Lydia: I'll ask him now, I'm going in. (to George, a little sadly, almost embarrassed) Would you like
     to see my babies? Come on.
 5   George: I don't think so, Lydia.
     Lydia: (Understanding) All right. Good luck to you, George.
     George: Thanks. And to you... And Frank. (She smiles at him, turns and goes off to her house.
     George stands staring after her).
     Lydia: (as she runs off) Oh, Frank!
10   Mother: (Reading his thoughts) She got pretty, heh?
     George: (sadly) Very pretty.
     Mother: (as a reprimand) She's beautiful, you damned fool!
     George: (looks around longingly, and softly, with a catch in his throat) She makes it seem so nice
     around here.
15   Mother: (shaking her finger at him) Look what happened to you because you wouldn't listen to me!
     I told you to marry that girl and stay out of the war!
     George: (laughs at himself) She used to laugh too much.
     Mother: And you din't laugh enough. While you were getting mad about Fascism Frank was getting
     into her bed.
20   George: (to Chris) He won the war, Frank.
     Chris: All the battles.
     Mother: (in pursuit of this mood) The day they started the draft, Georgie, I told you you loved that
     girl.
     Chris: (laughs) And truer love hath no man!
25   Mother: I'm smarter than any of you.
     George: (laughing) She's wonderful.
     Mother: And now you're going to listen to me, George. You had big principles, Eagle Scouts the
     three of you. So now I got a tree, and this one (indicating Chris) when the weather gets bad he can't
     stand on his feet. And that big dope (pointing to Lydia's house) next door who never reads anything
30   but Andy Gump has three children and his house paid off. Stop being a philosopher, and look after
     yourself. Like Joe was just saying... You move back here, he'll help you get set, and I'll find you a
     girl and put a smile on your face.
     George: Joe? Joe wants me here?
     Ann: (eagerly) He asked me to tell you, and I think it's a good idea.
35   Mother: Certainly. Why must you make believe you hate us? Is that another principle? ...That you
     have to hate us? You don't hate us, George, I know you, you can't fool me, I diapered you.
     (Suddenly, to Ann) You remember Mr. Marcy's daughter?
     Ann: (laughing, to George) She's got you hooked already! (George laughs, is excited)
     Mother: You look her over, George. You'll see she's the most beautiful...
40   Chris: She's got warts, George.
     Mother: (to Chris) She hasn't got warts! (To George) So the girl has a little beauty mark on her
     chin...
     Chris: And two on her nose.
     Mother: You remember. Her father's the retired police inspector.
45   Chris: Seargent George.
     Mother: He's a very kind man!
     Chris: He looks like a gorilla.



                                                   35
     All My Sons by Arthur Miller

     Mother: (to George) He never shot anybody.
     They all burst out laughing as Keller appears in the doorway. George rises abruptly and stares at
     Keller, who comes rapidly down to him.
     Keller: (the laughter stops. With strained joviality) Well! Look who's here! (Extending his hand)
 5   Georgie, good to see ya.
     George: (shaking hands. Somberly) How're you, Joe?
     Keller: So-so. Gettin' old. You comin' out to dinner with us?
     George: No, got to be back in New York.
     Ann: I'll call a cab for you. (She goes up into the house)
10   Keller: Too bad you can't stay, George. Sit down. (To mother) He looks fine.
     Mother: He looks terrible.
     Keller: That's what I said, you look terrible, George. (They laugh) I wear the pants and she beats me
     with the belt.
     George: I saw your factory on the way from the station. It looks like General Motors.
15   Keller: I wish it was General Motors, but it ain't. Sit down, George. Sit down. (Takes cigar out of
     his pocket) So you finally went to see your father, I hear?
     George: Yes, this morning. What kind of stuff do you make now?
     Keller: oh, little of everything. Pressure cookers, an assembly for washing machines. Got a nice,
     flexible plant now. So how'd you find Dad? Feel alright?
20   George: (searching Keller, speaking indecisively) No, he's not well, Joe.
     Keller: (lighting his cigar) Not his heart again, is it?
     George: It's everything, Joe. It's his soul.
     Keller: (blowing out smoke) Uh huh....
     Chris: How about seeing what they did with your house?
25   Keller: Leave him be.
     George: (to Chris, indicating Keller) I'd like to talk to him.
     Keller: Sure, he just got here. That's the way they do, George. A little man makes a mistake and
     they hang him by his thumbs. The big ones become ambassadors. I wish you'd-a told me you were
     going to see Dad.
30   George: (studying him) I didn't know you were interested.
     Keller: In a way, I am. I would like him to know, George, that as far as I'm concerned, any time he
     wants, he's got a place with me. I would like him to know that.
     George: He hates your guts, Joe. Don't you know that?
     Keller: I imagined it. But that can change, too.
35   Mother: Steve was never like that.
     George: He's like that now. He'd like to take every man who made money in the war and put him up
     against a wall.
     Chris: He'll need a lot of bullets.
     George: And he'd better not get any.
40   Keller: that's a sad thing to hear.
     George: (with bitterness dominant) Why? What's you expect him to think of you?
     Keller: (the force of his nature rising, but under control) I'm sad to see he hasn't changed. As long
     as I know him, twenty five years, the man never learned how to take the blame. You know that,
     George.
45   George: (he does) Well, I...
     Keller: But you do know it. Because the way you come in here you don't look like you remember it.
     I mean in nineteen thirty seven when we had the shop on Flood Street. And he damn near blew us


                                                   36
     All My Sons by Arthur Miller

     all up with that heater he left burning for two days without water. He wouldn't admit that was his
     fault, either. I had to fire a mechanic to save his face. You remember that.
     George: Yes, but...
     Keller: I'm just mentioning it, George. Because this is just another one of a lot of things. Like when
 5   he gave Frank that money to invest in oil stock.
     George: (distressed) I know that, I...
     Keller: (driving in, but restrained) But it's good to remember those things, kid. The way he cursed
     Frank because the stock went down. Was that Frank's fault? To listen to him Frank was a swindler.
     And all the man did was to give him a bad tip.
10   George: (gets up, moves away) I know those things...
     Keller: Then remember them, remember them. (Ann comes out of house) There are certain men in
     the world who rather see everybody hung before they'll take blame. You understand me, George?
     They stand facing each other, George trying to judge him.
     Ann: (coming downstage) The cab's on its way. Would you like to wash?
15   Mother: (with the thrust of hope) Why must he go? Make the midnight, George.
     Keller: Sure, you'll have dinner with us!
     Ann: How about it? Why not? We're eating at the lake, we could have a swell time.
     A long pause, as George looks at Ann, Chris, Keller, then back to her.
     George: All right.
20   Mother: now you're talking.
     Chris: I've got a shirt that'll go right with that suit.
     George: Is Lydia...? I mean, Frank and Lydia coming?
     Mother: I'll get you a date that'll make her look like a... (she starts upstage)
     George: (laughing) No, I don't want a date.
25   Chris: I know somebody just for you! Charlotte Tanner! (he starts for the house)
     Keller: Call Charlotte, that's right.
     Mother: Sure, call her up. (Chris goes into house)
     Ann: You go up and pick out a shirt and tie.
     George: (stops, looks aroiund at them and the place) I never felt at home anywhere but here. I feel
30   so... (he nearly laughs, and turns away from them) Kate, you look so young, you know? You didn't
     change at all. It ... rings an old bell. (turns to Keller) You too, Joe, you're amazingly the same. The
     whole atmosphere is.
     Keller: Say, I ain't got time to get sick.
     Mother: He hasn't been laid up in fifteen years.
35   Keller: Except my flu during the war.
     Mother: Huhh?
     Keller: Well, sure... (To George) I mean except for that flu. (George stands perfectly still) Well, it
     slipped my mind, don't look at me that way. He wanted to go to the shop but he couldn't lift himself
     off the bed. I thought he had pneumonia.
40   George: Why did you say he's never....?
     Keller: I know how you feel, kid, I'll never forgive myself. If I could've gone in that day I'd never
     allwo Dad to touch those heads.
     George: She said you've never been sick.
     Mother: I said he was sick, George.
45   George: (going to Ann) Ann, didn't you hear her say...?
     George: Id remember pneumonia. Especially if I got it just the day my partner was going to patch
     up cylinder heads... What happened that day, Joe?


                                                    37
     All My Sons by Arthur Miller

     Frank enters briskly from driveway, holding Larry's horoscope in his hand. He comes to Kate.
     Frank: Kate! Kate!
     Mother: Frank, did you see George?
     Frank: (extending his hand) Lydia told me, I'm glad to... you'll have to pardon me. (pulling mother
 5   over) I've got something amazing for you, Kate, I finished Larry's horoscope.
     Mother: You'd be interested in this, George. It's wonderful the way he can understand the...
     Chris: (entering from house) George, the girl's on the phone...
     Mother: (desperately) He finished Larry's horoscope!
     Chris: Frank, can't you pick a better time than this?
10   Frank: The greatest men who ever lived believed in the stars!
     Chris: Stop filling her head with that junk!
     Frank: Is it junk to feel that there's a greater power than ourselves? I've studied the stars of his life! I
     won't argue with you, I'm telling you. Somewhere in this world your brother is alive!
     Mother: (instantly to Chris) Why isn't it possible?
15   Chris: Because its insane.
     Frank: Just a minute now. I'll tell you something and you can do as you please. Just let me say it.
     He was supposed to have died on November twenty fifth. But November twenty fifth was his
     favorite day. That's known, that's known, Chris!
     Mother: Why isn't it possible, why isn't it possible, Chris!
20   George: (to Ann) Don't you understand what she's saying? She just told you to go. What are you
     waiting for now?
     Chris: Nobody can tell her to go. (A car horn is heard)
     Mother: (to Frank) Thank you, darling, for your trouble. Will you tell him to wait, Frank?
     Frank: (as he goes) Sure thing.
25   Mother: (calling out) They'll be right out, driver!
     George: You heard her say it, he's never been sick!
     Mother: He misunderstood me, Chris! (Chris, looks at her, struck)
     George: (to Ann) He simply told your father to kill pilots, and covered himself in bed!
     Chris: You'd better answer him, Annie. Answer him.
30   Mother: I packed your bag, darling.
     Chris: What?
     Mother: I packed your bag. All you've got to do is close it.
     Ann: I'm not closing anything. He asked me here and I'm staying till he tells me to go. (To George)
     Till Chris tells me!
35   Chris: That's all! How get out of here, George!
     Mother: (to Chris) But if that's how he feels...
     Chris: That's all, nothing more till Christ comes, about the case or Larry as long as I'm here! (to
     George) Now get out of here, George!
     George: (to Ann) You tell me. I want to hear you tell me.
40   Ann: Go, George!
     They disappear up the driveway, Ann saying, "Don't take it that way, Georgie! Please don't take it
     that way".
     Chris: (turning to his mother) What do you mean you packed her bag? How dare you pack her bag?
     Mother: Chris...
45   Chris: How dare you pack her bag?
     Mother: She doesn't belong here.


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     All My Sons by Arthur Miller

     Chris: Then I don't belong here.
     Mother: She's Larry's girl.
     Chris: And I'm his brother and he's dead, and I'm marrying his girl
     Mother: Never, never in this world!
 5   Keller: You lost your mind?
     Mother: You have nothing to say!
     Keller: (cruelly) I got plenty to say. Three and a half years you been talking like a maniac...
     Mother smashes him across the face.
     Mother: Nothing. You have nothing to say. Now I say. He's coming back, and everybody has got to
10   wait.
     Chris: Mother, Mother...
     Mother: Wait, wait...
     Chris: How long? How long?
     Mother: (rolling out of her) Till he comes. Forever and ever till he comes!
15   Chris: (as an ultimatum) Mother, I'm going ahead with it.
     Mother: Chris, I've never said no to you in my life, now I say no!
     Chris: You'll never let him go till I do it.
     Mother: I'll never let him go and you'll never let him go!
     Chris: I've let him go. I've let him go a long...
20   Mother: (with no less force, but turning from him) Then let your father go. (pause. Chris stands
     transfixed)
     Keller: She's out of her mind.
     Mother: Altogether! (To Chris, but not facing them) Your brother's alive, darling, because if he's
     dead, your father killed him. Do you understand me now? As long as you live, that boy is alive.
25   God does not let a son be killed by his father. Now you see, don't you? Now you see. (Beyond
     control, she hurries up and into the house)
     Keller: (Chris has not moved. He speaks insinuatingly, questioningly) She's out of her mind.
     Chris: (in a broken whisper) Then... you did it?
     Keller: (with the beginning of plea in his voice) He never flew a P-40...
30   Chris: (struck. Deadly) But the others.
     Keller: (insistently) She's out of her mind. (he takes a step toward Chris, pleadingly.)
     Chris: (unyielding) Dad... you did it?
     Keller: He never flew a P-40, what's the matter with you?
     Chris: (still asking, and saying) Then you did it. To the others.
35   Both hold their voices down.
     Keller: (afraid of him, his deadly insistence) What's the matter with you? What the hell is the matter
     with you?
     Chris: (quietly, incredibly) How could you do that? how?
     Keller: What's the matter with you!
40   Chris: Dad... Dad, you killed twenty one men!
     Keller: What, killed
     Chris: You killed them, you murdered them.
     Keller: (as though throwing his whole nature open before Chris) how could I kill anybody?
     Chris: Dad! Dad!
45   Keller: (trying to hush him) I didn't kill anybody!



                                                   39
     All My Sons by Arthur Miller

     Chris: then explain it to me. What did you do? Explain it to me or I'll tear you to pieces!
     Keller: (horrified at his overwhelming fury) Don't, Chris, don't...
     Chris: I want to know what you did, now what did you do? You had a hundred and twenty cracked
     engine heads, how what did you do?
 5   Keller: If your going to hang me then I...
     Chris: I'm listening. God almighty, I'm listening!
     Keller: (their movements are those of subtle pursuit and escape. Keller keeps a step out of Chris's
     range as he talks: You're a boy, what could I do! I'm in business, a man is in business. A hundred
     and twenty cracked, you're out of business. You got a process, the process don't work you're out of
10   business. You don't know how to operate, your stuff is no good, they close you up, they tear up
     your contracts. What the hell's it to them? You lay forty years into a business and they knock you
     out in five minutes, what could I do, let them take forty years, let them take my life away? (his
     voice cracking) I never though they'd install them. I swear to Got. I thought they'd stop 'em before
     anybody took off.
15   Chris: Then why'd you ship them out?
     Keller: By the time they could spot them I thought I'd have the process going again, and I could
     show them they needed me and they'd let it go by. But weeks passed and I got no kick-back, so I
     was going to tell them.
     Chris: Then why didn't you tell them?
20   Keller: it was too late. The paper, it was all over the front page, twenty one went down, it was too
     late. They came with handcuffs into the shop, what could I do? (He sits on bench) Chris... Chris, I
     did it for you, it was a chance and I took it for you. I'm sixty one years old, when would I have
     another chance to make something for you? Sixty one years old you don't get another chance, do
     ya?
25   Chris: You even knew that they wouldn't hold up in the air.
     Keller: I didn't say that.
     Chris: But you were going to warn them not to use them....
     Keller: But that doesn't mean...
     Chris: It means you knew they'd crash.
30   Keller: It don't mean that.
     Chris: Then you thought they'd crash.
     Keller: I was afraid maybe...
     Chris: You were afraid maybe! God in heaven, what kind of a man are you? Kids were hanging in
     the air by those heads. You knew that!
35   Keller: For you, a business for you!
     Chris: (with burning fury) For me! Where do you live, where have you come from? For me! ...I was
     dying every day and you were killing my boys and you did it for me? What the hell do you think I
     was thinking of, the Goddam business? Is that as far as your mind can see, the business? What is
     that, the world of business? What the hell do you mean, you did it for me? Don't you have a
40   country? Don't you live in the world? What the hell are you? You're not even an animal, no animal
     kills his own, what are you? What must I do to you? I ought to tear the tongue out of your mouth,
     what must I do? (With his fist he pounds down upon his father's shoulder. He stumbles away,
     covering his face as he weeps) What must I do, Jesus God, what must I do?
     Keller: Chris... My Chris...
45   CURTAIN




                                                  40
     All My Sons by Arthur Miller


     Act Three
     Two o'clock the following morning, Mother is discovered on the rise, rocking ceaselessly in a chair,
     staring at her thoughts. It is an intense, slight, sort of rocking. A light shows from upstairs
     bedroom, lower floor windows being dark. The moon is strong and casts its bluish light.
     Presently Jim, dressed in jacked and hat, appears, and seeing her, goes up beside her.
 5   Jim: Any news?
     Mother: No news.
     Jim: (gently) You can't sit up all night, dear, why don't you go to bed?
     Mother: I'm waiting for Chris. Don't worry about me, Jim, I'm perfectly all right.
     Jim: But it's almost two o'clock.
10   Mother: I can't sleep. (slight pause) You had an emergency?
     Jim: (tiredly) Somebody had a headache and thought he was dying. (slight pause) Half of my
     patients are quite mad. Nobody realizes how many people are walking loose, and they're cracked as
     coconuts. Money. Money-money-money-money. You say it long enough it doesn't mean anything.
     (She smiles, makes a silent laugh) Oh, how I'd love to be around when that happens!
15   Mother: (shaking her head) You're so childish, Jim! Sometimes you are.
     Jim: (looks at her a moment) Kate. (Pause) What happened?
     Mother: I told you. He had an argument with Joe. Then he got in the car and drove away.
     Jim: What kind of an argument?
     Mother: An argument, Joe... He was crying like a child, before.
20   Jim: They argued about Ann?
     Mother: (after slight hesitation) No, not Ann. Imagine? (Indicates lighted window above) She hasn't
     come out of that room since he left. All night in that room.
     Jim: (looks up at window, then at her): What'd Joe do, tell him?
     Mother: (stops rocking) Tell him what?
25   Jim: Don't be afraid, Kate, I know. I've always known.
     Mother: How?
     Jim: It occurred to me a long time ago.
     Mother: I always had the feeling that in the back of his head, Chris... almost knew. I didn't think it
     would be such a shock.
30   Jim: (gets up) Chris would never know how to live with a thing like that. It takes a certain talent...
     for lying. You have it, and I do. But not him.
     Mother: What do you mean... He's not coming back?
     Jim: Oh, no, he'll come back. We all come back, Kate. These private little revolutions always die.
     The compromise is always made. In a peculiar way. Frank is right... every man does have a star.
35   The star of one's honesty. And you spend your life groping for it, but once it's out it never lights
     again. I don't think he went very far. He probably just wanted to be alone to watch his star go out.
     Mother: Just as long as he comes back.
     Jim: I wish he wouldn't, Kate. One year I simply took off, went to New Orleans; for two months I
     lived on bananas and milk, and studied a certain disease. And then she came, and she cried. And I
40   went back home with her. And now I live in the usual darkness; I can't find myself; it's hard
     sometimes to remember the kind of man I wanted to be. I'm a good husband; Chris is a good son...
     He'll come back.
     Keller comes out on porch in dressing gown and slippers. He goes upstage...To alley. Jim goes to
     him.
45   Jim: I have the feeling he's in the park. I'll look for him. Put her to bed, Joe; this is no good for what
     she's got. (Jim exits up driveway)



                                                     41
     All My Sons by Arthur Miller

     Keller: (coming down) What does he want here?
     Mother: His friend is not home.
     Keller: (comes down to her. His voice is husky) I don't like him mixing in so much.
     Mother: It's too late, Joe. He knows.
 5   Keller: (apprehensively) How does he know?
     Mother: He guessed it a long time ago.
     Keller: I don't like that.
     Mother: (laughs dangerously, quietly into the line) What you don't like.
     Keller: Yeah, what I don't like.
10   Mother. You can't bull yourself through this one, Joe, you better be smart now. This thing...this
     thing is not over yet.
     Keller: (indicating lighted window above)And what is she doing up there? She don't come out of
     the room.
     Mother: I don't know, what is she doing? Sit down, stop bing mad. You want to live? You better
15   figure out your life.
     Keller: She don't know, does she?
     Mother: Don't ask me, Joe.
     Keller: (almost an outburst) Then who do I ask? But I don't think she'll do anything about it.
     Mother: You're asking me again.
20   Keller: I'm askin' you. What am I, a stranger? I thought I had a family here. What happened to my
     family?
     Mother: You've got a family. I'm simply telling you that I have to strength to think any more.
     Keller: You have no strength. The minute there's trouble you have no strength.
     Mother: Joe, you're doing the same thing again. All your live whenever there's trouble you yell at
25   me and you thing that settles it.
     Keller: Then what do I do? Tell me, talk to me, what do I do?
     Mother: Joe... I've been thinking this way. If he comes back...
     Keller: What do you mean "if"? He's comin' back!
     Mother: I think if you sit him down and you... explain yourself. I mean you ought to make it clear
30   to him that you know you did a terrible thing. (Not looking into his eyes) I mean if he saw that you
     realize what you did. You see?
     Keller: What ice does that cut?
     Mother: (a litle fearfully) I mean if you told him that you want to pay for what you did.
     Keller: (sensing... quietly) How can I pay?
35   Mother: Tell him... You're willing to go to prison. (pause)
     Keller: (struck, amazed) I'm willing to...?
     Mother: (quickly) You wouldn't go, he wouldn't aks you to go. But if you told him you wanted to, if
     he could feel that you wanted to pay, maybe he would forgive you.
     Keller: He would forgive me! For what?
40   Mother: Joe, you know what I mean.
     Keller: I don't know what you mean! You wanted money, so I made money. What must I be
     forgiven? You wanted money, didn't you?
     Mother: I didn't want it that way.
     Keller: I didn't want it that way, either! What difference is it what you want? I spoiled the both of
45   you. I should've put him out when he was ten like I was put out, and make him earn his keep. Then
     he'd know how a buck is made in this world. Forgiven! I could live on a quarter a day myself, but I
     got a family so I...


                                                   42
     All My Sons by Arthur Miller

     Mother: Joe, Joe... It don't excuse it that you did it for the family.
     Keller: It's got to excuse it!
     Mother: There's something bigger than the family to him.
     Keller: Nothin' is bigger!
 5   Mother: There is to him.
     Keller: There's nothing he could do that I wouldn't forgive. Because he's my son. Because I'm his
     father and he's my son.
     Mother: Joe, I tell you...
     Keller: Nothin's bigger than that. And you're going to tell him, you understand? I'm his father and
10   he's my son, and if there's something bigger than that I'll put a bullet in my head!
     Mother: You stop that!
     Keller: You heard me. Now you know what to tell him. (Pause. He moves from her. Halts) But he
     wouldn't put me away though... He wouldn't do that... Would he?
     Mother: He loved you, Joe, you broke his heart.
15   Keller: But to put me away...
     Mother: I don't know. I'm beginning to thing we don't really know him. They say in the war he was
     such a killer. Here he was always afraid of mice. I don't know him. I don't know what he'll do.
     Keller: Goddam, If Larry was alive he wouldn't act like this. He understood the way the world is
     made. He listened to me. To him the world had a forty foot front, it ended at the building line. This
20   one, everything bothers him. You make a deal, overcharge two cents, and his hair falls out. He don't
     understand money. Too easy, it came too easy. Yes, sir. Larry. That was a boy we lost. Larry.
     Larry. (He slumps on chair in front of her) What am I gonna do, Kate?
     Mother: Joe, Joe, please... you'll be alright, nothing is going to happen.
     Keller: (desperately, lost) For you, Kate, for both of you, that's all I ever lived for....
25   Mother: I know, darling, I know. (Ann enters from the house. They say nothing, waiting for her to
     speak)
     Ann: Why do you stay up? I'll tell you when he comes.
     Keller: (rises, goes to her) You didn't eat supper, did you? (to mother) Why don't you make her
     something?
30   Mother: Sure, I'll...
     Ann: Never mind, Kate, I'm all right. (they are unable to speak to each other) There's something I
     want to tell you. (She starts, then halts) I'm not going to do anyting about it.
     Mother: She's a good girl! (To Keller) You see? She's a ...
     Ann: I'll do nothing about Joe, but you're going to do something for me. (Directly to Mother) You
35   made Chris feel guilty with me. I'd like you to tell him that Larry is dead and that you know it. You
     understand me? I'm not going out of here alone. There's no life for me that way. I want you to set
     him free. And then I promise you, everything will end, and we'll go away, and that's all.
     Keller: You'll do that. You'll tell him.
     Ann: I know what I'm asking, Kate. You had two sons. But you've only got one now.
40   Keller: You'll tell him.
     Ann: And you've got to say it to him so he knows you mean it.
     Mother: My dear, if the boy was dead, it wouldn't depend on my words to make Chris know it...
     Thenight he gets into your bed, his heart will dry up. Because he knows and you know. To his
     dying day he'll wait for his brother! No, my dear, no such thing. You're going in the morning, and
45   you're going alone. That's your life, that's your lonely life. (she goes to porch, and starts in)
     Ann: Larry is dead, Kate.
     Mother: (she stops) Don't speak to me.



                                                   43
     All My Sons by Arthur Miller

     Ann: I said he's dead. I know! He crashed off the coast of China November twenty fifth! His engine
     didn't fail him. But he died. I know...
     Mother: How did he die? You're lying to me. If you know, how did he die?
     Ann: I loved him. You know I loved him. Would I have looked at anyone else if I wasn't sure?
 5   That's enough for you.
     Mother: (moving on her) What's enough for me? What're you talking about? (She grasps Ann's
     wrists)
     Ann: You're hurting my wrists.
     Mother: What are you talking about! (Pause. She stares at Ann a moment, then turns and goes to
10   Keller)
     Ann: Joe, go in the house.
     Keller: Why should I...
     Ann: Please go.
     Keller: Lemme know when he comes. (Keller goes into house)
15   Mother: (as she sees Ann taking a letter from her pocket) What's that?
     Ann: Sit down. (Mother moves left to chair, but does not sit) First you've got to understand. When I
     came, I didn't have any idea that Joe... I had nothing against him or you. I came to get married. I
     hoped... So I didn't bring this to hurt you. I thought I'd show it to you only if there was no other way
     to settle Larry in your mind.
20   Mother: Larry? (snatches letter from Ann's hand)
     Ann: He wrote to me just before he... (mother opens and begins to read letter) I'm not trying to hurt
     you, Kate. You're making me do this, now remember you're... Remember. I've been so lonely,
     Kate... I can't leave here alone again. (a long low moan comes from Mother's throat as she reads)
     You made me show it to you. You wouldn't believe me. I told you a hundred times, why wouldn't
25   you believe me!
     Mother: Oh, my God.....
     Ann: (with pity and fear) Kate, please, please...
     Mother: My God, my God...
     Ann: Kate, dear, I'm so sorry... I'm so sorry.
30   Chris enters from the driveway. He seems exhausted.
     Ann: Where were you? ... You're all perspired. (mother doesn't move) where were you?
     Chris: Just drove around a little. I thought you'd be gone.
     Ann: Where do I go? I have nowhere to go.
     Chris: (to Mother) Where's Dad?
35   Ann: Inside lying down.
     Chris: Sit down, both of you. I'll say what there is to say.
     Mother: I didn't hear the car...
     Chris: I left it in the garage.
     Mother: Jim is out looking for you.
40   Chris: Mother... I'm going away. There are a couple of firms in Cleveland, I think I can get a place.
     I mean, I'm going way for good. (To Ann alone) I know what you're thinking, Annie. It's true. I'm
     yellow. I was made yellow in this house because I suspected my father and I did nothing about it,
     but if I know that night when I came home what I know now, he'd be in the district attorney's office
     by this time, and I'd have brought him there. Now if I look at him, all I'm able to do is cry.
45   Mother: What are you talking about? What else can you do?
     Chris: I could jail him! I could jail him, if I were human any more. But I'm like everybody else
     now. I'm practical now. You made me practical.



                                                    44
     All My Sons by Arthur Miller

     Mother: But you have to be.
     Chris: The cats in that alley are practical, the bums who ran away when we were fighting were
     practical. Only the dead ones weren't practical. But now I'm practical, and I spit on myself. I'm
     going away. I'm going now.
 5   Ann: (going up to him) I'm coming with you.
     Chris: No, Ann.
     Ann: Chris, I don't ask you to do anyting about Joe.
     Chris: You do, you do.
     Ann: I swear I never will.
10   Chris: in your heart you always will.
     Ann: Then do what you have to do!
     Chris: Do what? What is there to do? I've looked all night for a reason to make him suffer.
     Ann: There's reason, there's reason!
     Chris: What? Do I raise the dead when I put him behind bars? Then what'll I do it for? We used to
15   shoot a man who acted like a dog, but honor was real there, you were protecting something. But
     here? This is the land of the great big dogs, you don't love a man here, you eat him! That's the
     principle; the only one we live by... it just happened to kill a few people this time, that's all. The
     world's that way, how can I take it out on him? What sense does that make? This is a zoo, a zoo!
     Ann: (to Mother) You know what he's got to do! Tell him!
20   Mother: Let him go.
     Ann: I won't let him go. You'll tell him what he's got to do...
     Mother: Annie!
     Ann: Then I will!
     Keller enters from house. Chris sees him, goes down near arbor.
25   Keller: What's the matter with you? I want to talk to you!
     Chris: (pulling violently away from him) Don't do that, Dad. I'm going to hurt you if you do that.
     There's nothing to say so say it quick.
     Keller: Exactly what's the matter? what's the matter? you got too much money? Is that what bothers
     you?
30   Chris: (with an edge of sarcasm) It bothers me.
     Keller: If you can't get used to it, then throw it away. You hear me? Take every cent and give it to
     charity, throw it in the sewer. Does that settle it? In the sewer, that's all. You think I'm kidding? I'm
     tellin' you to do it, if it's dirty then burn it. It's your money, that's not my money. I'm a dead man,
     I'm an old dean man, nothing's mine. Well, talk to me! What do you want to do.
35   Chris: It's not what I want to do. It's what you want to do.
     Keller: What should I do? (Chris is silent) Jail? You want me to go to jail? If you want me to go,
     say so! Is that where I belong? Then tell me so! (Slight pause) What's the matter, whay can't you
     tell me? (Furiously) You say everyting else to me, say that! (Slight pause) I'll tell you why you can't
     say it. Because you know I don't belong there. Because you know! (with growing emphasis and
40   passion, and a persistent tone of desperation) Who worked for nothin' in that war? When they ship a
     gun or a truck outa Detroid before they got their price? Is that clean? It's dollars and cents, nickels
     and dimes; war and peace, it's nickels and dimes, what's clean? Half the Goddam country is gotta
     go if I go! That's why you can't tell me.
     Chris: That's exactly why.
45   Keller: Then... Why am I bad?
     Chris: I know you're no worse than most men but I thought you were better. I never saw you as a
     man. I saw you as my father. (Almost breaking) I can't look at you this way, I can't look at myself!




                                                     45
     All My Sons by Arthur Miller

     He turns away, unable to face Keller. Ann goes quickly to Mother, takes letter from her and starts
     for Chris. Mother instantly rushes to intercept her.
     Mother: Give me that!
     Ann: He's going to read it! (She thrusts letter into Chris's hand) Larry. He wrote it to me the day he
 5   died.
     Keller: Larry!
     Mother: Chris, it's not for you. (he starts to read) Joe... go away...
     Keller: (mystified, frightened) Why'd she say, Larry, what...?
     Mother: (desparately pushes him toward alley, glancing at Chris) Go to the street, Joe, go to the
10   street! (she comes down beside Keller) Don't, Chris... (pleading with her whole soul) Don't tell him.
     Chris: (quietly) Three and one half years... talking, talking. Now you tell me what you must do...
     Thisis how he died, now tell me where you belong.
     Keller: (pleading) Chris, a man can't be a Jesus in this world!
     Chris: I know all about the world. I know the whole crap story. Now listen to this, and tell me what
15   a man's got to be! (Reads:) "My dear Ann: ...", you listening? He wrote this the day he died. Listen,
     don't cry.... Listen! "My Dear Ann: it is impossible to put down the things I feel. But I've got to tell
     you something. Yesterday they flew in a load of papers from the States and I read about Dad and
     your father being convicted. I can't express myself. I can't tell you how I feel... I can't bear to live
     any more. Last night I circled the base for twenty minutes before I could bring myself in. How
20   could he have done that? Every day three or four men never come back and he sits back there doing
     'business'.... I don't know how to tell you what I feel.... I can't face anybody... I'm going out on a
     mission in a few minutes. They'll probably report me as missing. If they do, I want you to know
     that you mustn't wait for me. I tell you, Ann, if I had him there now I could kill him..." (Keller
     grabbs the letter from Chris's hand and reads it. After a long pause) Now blame the world. Do you
25   understand that letter?
     Keller: (speaking almost inaudibly) I think I do. Get the car. I'll put on my jacket. (he turns and
     starts slowly for the house. Mother rushes to intercept him)
     Mother: Why are you going? You'll sleep, why are you going?
     Keller: I can't sleep here. I'll feel better if I go.
30   Mother: You're so foolish. Larry was your son too, wasn't he? You know he'd never tell you to do
     this.
     Keller: (looking at letter in his hand) Then what is this if it isn't telling me? Sure, he was my son.
     But I think to him they were all my sons. And I guess they were, I guess they were. I'll be right
     down. (exits into house)
35   Mother: (to Chris, with determination) You're not going to take him!
     Chris: I'm taking him.
     Mother: It's up to you, if you tell him to stay he'll stay. Go and tell him!
     Chris: Nobody could stop him now.
     Mother: You'll stop him! How long will he live in prison? Are you trying to kill him?
40   Chris: (holding out letter) I thought you read this!
     Mother: (of Larry, the letter) The war is over! Didn't you hear? It's over!
     Chris: Then what was Larry to you? A stone that fell into the water? It's not enough for him to be
     sorry. Larry didn't kill himself to make you and Dad sorry.
     Mother: What more can we be!
45   Chris: You can be better! Once and for all you can know there's a universe of people outside and
     you're responsible to it, and unless you know that, you threw away your son because that's why he
     died.
     A shot is heard in the house. They stand frozen for a brief second. Chris starts for porch, pauses at
     step, turns to Ann.


                                                    46
    All My Sons by Arthur Miller

    Chris: Find Jim! (He goes on into the house and Ann runs up driveway. Mother stands alone,
    transfixed.
    Mother: (softly, almost moaning) Joe... Joe... Joe... Joe... (Chris comes out of house, down to
    Mother's arms.)
5   Chris: (almost crying) Mother, I didn't mean to...
    Mother: Don't dear. Don't take it on yourself. Forget now. Live.
    Chris stirs as if to answer. Shhh.... She puts his arms down gently and moves toward porch. Shhh...
    As she reaches porch steps she begins sobbing.

    CURTAIN




                                                 47
     Trifles by Susan Glaspell



     Trifles by Susan Glaspell

     Section A
     Scene: The kitchen in the now abandoned farmhouse of John Wright, a gloomy kitchen, and left
     without having been put in order--unwashed pans under the sink, a loaf of bread outside the
 5   breadbox, a dish towel on the table--other signs of incompleted work. At the rear the outer door
     opens, and the Sheriff comes in, followed by the county Attorney and Hale. The Sheriff and Hale
     are men in middle life, the county Attorney is a young man; all are much bundled up and go at once
     to the stove. They are followed by the two women--the Sheriff's Wife first; she is a slight wiry
     woman, a thin nervous face. Mrs. Hale is larger and would ordinarily be called more comfortable
10   looking, but she is disturbed now and looks fearfully about as she enters. The women have come in
     slowly and stand close together near the door.
     COUNTY ATTORNEY (rubbing his hands). This feels good. Come up to the fire, ladies.
     MRS. PETERS (after taking a step forward). I'm not--cold.
     SHERIFF (unbuttoning his overcoat and stepping away from the stove as if to the beginning of
15   official business). Now, Mr. Hale, before we move things about, you explain to Mr. Henderson just
     what you saw when you came here yesterday morning.
     COUNTY ATTORNEY. By the way, has anything been moved? Are things just as you left them
     yesterday?
     SHERIFF (looking about). It's just the same. When it dropped below zer0 last night, I thought I'd
20   better send Frank out this morning to make a fire for us--no use getting pneumonia with a big case
     on; but I told him not to touch anything except the stove--and you know Frank.
     COUNTY ATTORNEY. Somebody should have been left here yesterday.
     SHERIFF. Oh--yesterday. When I had to send Frank to Morris Center for that man who went crazy-
     -I want you to know I had my hands full yesterday. I knew you could get back from Omaha by
25   today, and as long as I went over everything here myself-
     COUNTY ATTORNEY. Well, Mr. Hale, tell just what happened when you came here yesterday
     morning.
     HALE. Harry and I had started to town with a load of potatoes. We came along the road from my
     place; and as I got here, I said, "I'm going to see if I can't get John Wright to go in with me on a
30   party telephone." I spoke to Wright about it once before, and he put me off, saying folks talked too
     much anyway, and all he asked was peace and quiet--I guess you know about how much he talked
     himself; but I thought maybe if I went to the house and talked about it before his wife, though I said
     to Harry that I didn't know as what his wife wanted made much difference to John--
     COUNTY ATTORNEY. Let's talk about that later, Mr. Hale. I do want to talk about that, but tell
35   now just what happened when you got to the house.
     HALE. I didn't hear or see anything; I knocked at the door, and still it was all quiet inside. I knew
     they must be up, it was past eight o'clock. so I knocked again, and I thought I heard somebody say,
     "Come in." I wasn't sure, I'm not sure yet, but I opened the door--this door (indicating the door by
     which the two women are still standing), and there in that rocker-- (pointing to it) sat Mrs. Wright.
40   (They all look at the rocker.)
     COUNTY ATTORNEY. What--was she doing?
     HALE. She was rocking' back and forth. She had her apron in her hand and was kind of--pleating it.
     COUNTY ATTORNEY. And how did she--look?
     HALE. Well, she looked queer.
45   COUNTY ATTORNEY. How do you mean--queer?


                                                   48
     Trifles by Susan Glaspell

     HALE. Well, as if she didn't know what she was going to do next. And kind of done up.
     COUNTY ATTORNEY. How did she seem to feel about your coming?
     HALE. Why, I don't think she minded--one way or other. She didn't pay much attention. I said,
     "How do, Mrs. Wright, it's cold, ain't it?" And she said, "Is it?"--and went on kind of pleating at her
 5   apron. Well, I was surprised; she didn't ask me to come up to the stove, or to set down, but just sat
     there, not even looking at me, so I said, "I want to see John." And then she--laughed. I guess you
     would call it a laugh. I thought of Harry and the team outside, so I said a little sharp: "Can't I see
     John?" "No," she says, kind o' dull like. "Ain't he home?" says I. "Yes," says she, "he's home."
     "Then why can't I see him?" I asked her, out of patience. "'Cause he's dead," says she. "Dead?" says
10   I. She just nodded her head, not getting a bit excited, but rocking' back and forth. "Why--where is
     he?" says I, not knowing what to say. She just pointed upstairs--like that (himself pointing to the
     room above). I got up, with the idea of going up there. I talked from there to here--then I says,
     "Why, what did he die of?" "He died of a rope around his neck," says she, and just went on pleating'
     at her apron. Well, I went out and called Harry. I thought I might--need help. We went upstairs, and
15   there he was lying'--
     COUNTY ATTORNEY. I think I'd rather have you go into that upstairs, where you can point in all
     out. Just go on now with the rest of the story.
     HALE. Well, my first thought was to get that rope off. I looked...(Stops, his face twitches.)...but
     Harry, he went up to him, and he said, "No, he's dead all right, and we'd better not touch anything."
20   So we went back downstairs. She was still sitting that same way. "Has anybody been notified?" I
     asked." "No," says she, unconcerned. "Who did this, Mrs. Wright?" said Harry. He said it business-
     like--and she stopped pleating' of her apron. "I don't know," she says. "You don't know?" says
     Harry. "No," says she, "Weren't you sleeping' in the bed with him?" says Harry. "Yes," says she,
     "but I was on the inside." "Somebody slipped a rope round his neck and strangled him, and you
25   didn't wake up?" says Harry. "I didn't wake up," she said after him. We must 'a looked as if we
     didn't see how that could be, for after a minute she said, "I sleep sound." Harry was going to ask her
     more questions, but I said maybe we ought to let her tell her story first to the coroner, or the sheriff,
     so Harry went fast as he could to Rivers' place, where there's a telephone.
     COUNTY ATTORNEY. And what did Mrs. Wright do when she knew that you had gone for the
30   coroner.
     HALE. she moved from that chair to this over here... (Pointing to a small chair in the corner)...and
     just sat there with her hand held together and looking down. I got a feeling that I ought to make
     some conversation, so I said I had come in to see if John wanted to put in a telephone, and at that
     she started to laugh, and then she stopped and looked at me--scared.
35   (The County Attorney, who has had his notebook out, makes a note.) I dunno, maybe it wasn't
     scared. I wouldn't like to say it was. Soon Harry got back, and then Dr. Lloyd came, and you, Mr.
     Peters, and so I guess that's all I know that you don't.

     Questions - Section A
     Match each phrase in column A to the one in column B according to what you have read:
                               A                                                   B
     1. Hale and Harry went upstairs and found            a) to call for help
                                                   b)
     2. According to Mrs. Wright, her husband had beenJohn Write, dead in his bed.
     murdered
     3. Harry went to the Rivers‘ place                   c) Mrs. Wright, sitting in her rocking chair.
     4. Mr. Hale had come to the Wright home              d) but Hale had disagreed.
     5. When Hale entered the house, he found             e) as she was sleeping beside him.



                                                     49
     Trifles by Susan Glaspell


     6. When Hale asked to speak to John,                f) to see if John would be willing to share a
                                                         telephone with him.
     7. When asked who had murdered her husband, g) Mrs. Wright said that it was not possible.
     8. Harry had wanted to ask Mrs. Wright more         h) `Mrs. Wright replied that she did not know.
     questions about the murder

     Section B
     COUNTY ATTORNEY. (looking around). I guess we'll go upstairs first--and then out to the barn
     and around there. (To the Sheriff). You're convinced that there was nothing important here--nothing
     that would point to any motive?
 5   SHERIFF. Nothing here but kitchen things.
     (The County Attorney, after again looking around the kitchen, opens the door of a cupboard closet.
     He gets up on a chair and looks on a shelf. Pulls his hand away, sticky.)
     COUNTY ATTORNEY. Here's a nice mess.
     (The women draw nearer.)
10   MRS. PETERS (to the other woman). Oh, her fruit; it did freeze. (To the Lawyer). She worried
     about that when it turned so cold. She said the fire'd go out and her jars would break.
     SHERIFF. Well, can you beat the women! Held for murder and worrying' about her preserves.
     COUNTY ATTORNEY. I guess before we're through she may have something more serious than
     preserves to worry about.
15   HALE. Well, women are used to worrying over trifles.
     (The two women move a little closer together.)
     COUNTY ATTORNEY (with the gallantry of a young politician). And yet, for all their worries,
     what would we do without the ladies? (The women do not unbend. He goes to the sink, takes
     dipperful of water form the pail and, pouring it into a basin, washes his hands. Starts to wipe them
20   on the roller towel, turns it for a cleaner place.) Dirty towels! (Kicks his foot against the pans under
     the sink.) Not much of a housekeeper, would you say, ladies?
     MRS. HALE (stiffly). There's a great deal of work to be done on a farm.
     COUNTY ATTORNEY. To be sure. And yet... (With a little bow to her.) ...I know there are some
     Dickson county farmhouses which do not have such roller towels. (He gives it a pull to expose its
25   full length again.)
     MRS. HALE. Those towels get dirty awful quick. Men's hands aren't always as clean as they might
     be.
     COUNTY ATTORNEY. Ah, loyal to your sex, I see. But you and Mrs. Wright were neighbors. I
     suppose you were friends, too.
30   MRS. HALE (shaking her head.) I've not seen much of her of late years. I've not been in this house-
     -it's more than a year.
     COUNTY ATTORNEY. And why was that? You didn't like her?
     MRS. HALE. I liked her all well enough. Farmers' wives have their hands full, Mr. Henderson. And
     then--
35   COUNTY ATTORNEY. Yes--?
     MRS. HALE (looking about.) It never seemed a very cheerful place.
     COUNTY ATTORNEY. No--it's not cheerful. I shouldn't say she had the homemaking instinct.



                                                    50
     Trifles by Susan Glaspell

     MRS. HALE. Well, I don't know as Wright had, either.
     COUNTY ATTORNEY. You mean that they didn't get on very well?
     MRS. HALE. No, I don't mean anything. But I don't think a place'd be any cheerfuller for John
     Wright's being in it.
 5   COUNTY ATTORNEY. I'd like to talk more of that a little later. I want to get the lay of things
     upstairs now. (He goes to the left, where three steps lead to a stair door.)
     SHERIFF. I suppose anything Mrs. Peters does'll be all right. She was to take in some clothes for
     her, you know, and a few little things. We left in such a hurry yesterday.
     COUNTY ATTORNEY. Yes, but I would like to see what you take, Mrs. Peters, and keep an eye
10   out for anything that might be of use to us.
     MRS. PETERS. Yes, Mr. Henderson.
     (The women listen to the men's steps on the stairs, then look about the kitchen.)
     MRS. HALE. I'd hate to have men coming into my kitchen, snooping around and criticizing. (She
     arranges the pans under sink which the Lawyer had shoved out of place.)
15   MRS. PETERS. Of course it's no more than their duty.
     MRS. HALE. Duty's all right, but I guess that deputy sheriff that came out to make the fire might
     have got a little of this on. (Gives the roller towel a pull.) Wish I'd thought of that sooner. Seems
     mean to talk about her for not having things slicked up when she had to come away in such a hurry.
     MRS. PETERS. (who has gone to a small table in the left rear corner of the room, and lifted on end
20   of a towel that covers a pan). She had bread set. (Stands still.)
     MRS. HALE (eyes fixed on a loaf of bread beside the breadbox, which is on a low shelf at the other
     side of the room. Moves slowly toward it.)she was going to put this in there. (Picks up loaf, then
     abruptly drops it. In a manner of returning to familiar things.) It's a shame about her fruit. I wonder
     if it's all gone. (Gets up on the chair and looks.) I think there's some here that's all right, Mrs. Peters.
25   Yes--here; (Holding it toward the window.) This is cherries, too. (Looking again.) I declare I
     believe that's the only one. (Gets down, bottle in her hand. Goes to the sink and wipes it off on the
     outside.) She'll feel awful bad after all her hard work in the hot weather. I remember the afternoon I
     put up my cherries last summer.
     (She puts the bottle on the big kitchen table, center of the room, front table. With a sigh, is about to
30   sit down in the rocking chair. Before she is seated realizes what chair it is; with a slow look at it,
     steps back. The chair, which she has touched, rocks back and forth.)
     MRS. PETERS. Well, I must get those things from the front room closet. [She goes to the door at
     the right, but after looking into the other room, steps back.] You coming with me, Mrs. Hale? You
     could help me carry them. (They go into the other room; reappear, Mrs. Peters carrying a dress and
35   skirt, Mrs. Hale following with a pair of shoes.)
     MRS. PETERS. My, it's cold in there. (She puts the cloth on the big table, and hurries to the stove.)
     MRS HALE (examining the skirt). Wright was close. I think maybe that's why she kept so much to
     herself. She didn't even belong to the Ladies' Aid. I suppose she felt she couldn't do her part, and
     then you don't enjoy things when you feel shabby. She used to wear pretty clothes and be lively,
40   when she was Minnie Foster, one of the town girls singing in the choir. But that--oh, that was thirty
     years ago. This all you was to take?
     MRS. PETERS. She said she wanted an apron. Funny thing to want, for there isn't much to get you
     dirty in jail, goodness knows. But I suppose just to make her feel more natural. She said they was in
     the top drawer in this cupboard. Yes, here. And then her little shawl that always hung behind the
45   door. (Opens stair door and looks.) Yes, here it is. (Quickly shuts door leading upstairs..)
     MRS. HALE (abruptly moving toward her.) Mrs. Peters?



                                                      51
     Trifles by Susan Glaspell

     MRS. PETERS. Do you think she did it?
     MRS. PETERS (in a frightened voice.) Oh, I don't know.
     MRS. HALE. Well, I don't think she did. Asking for an apron and her little shawl. Worrying about
     her fruit.
 5   MRS. PETERS (starts to speak, glances up, where footsteps are heard in the room above. In a low
     voice.) Mrs. Peters says it looks bad for her. Mr. Henderson is awful sarcastic in speech, and he'll
     make fun of her saying' she didn't wake up.
     MRS. HALE. Well, I guess John Wright didn't wake when they was slipping that rope under his
     neck.
10   MRS. PETERS. No, it's strange. It must have been done awful crafty and still. They say it was such
     a --funny way to kill a man, rigging it all up like that.
     MRS. HALE. That's just what Mr. Hale said. There was a gun in the house. He says that's what he
     can't understand.
     MRS. PETERS. Mr. Henderson said coming out that what was needed for the case was a motive;
15   something to show anger or--sudden feeling.
     MRS. HALE (who is standing by the table). Well, I don't see any signs of anger around here. (she
     puts her hand on the dish towel which lies on the table, stands looking down at the table, one half of
     which is clean, the other half messy.) It's wiped here. (Makes a move as if to finish work, then turns
     and looks at loaf of bread outside the breadbox. Drops towel. In that voice of coming back to
20   familiar things. ) Wonder how they are finding things upstairs? I hope she had it a little more there.
     You know, it seems kind of sneaking. Locking her up in town and then coming out here and trying
     to get her own house to turn against her!
     MRS. PETERS. But, Mrs. Hale, the law is the law.
     MRS. HALE. I suppose 'tis. (Unbuttoning her coat.) Better loosen up your things, Mrs. Peters. You
25   won't feel them when you go out. (Mrs. Peters takes off her fur tippet, goes to hang it on hook at the
     back of room, stands looking at the under part of the small corner table.)
     MRS. PETERS. She was piecing a quilt. (She brings the large sewing basket, and they look at the
     bright pieces.)
     MRS. HALE. It's log cabin pattern. Pretty, isn't it? I wonder if she was going' to quilt or just knot
30   it? (Footsteps have been heard coming down the stairs. The Sheriff enters, followed by Hale and the
     County Attorney.)
     SHERIFF. They wonder if she was going to quilt it or just knot it. (The men laugh, the women look
     abashed.)
     COUNTY ATTORNEY (rubbing his hands over the stove). Frank's fire didn't do much up there,
35   did it? Well, let's go out to the barn and get that cleared up. (The men go outside.)
     MRS. HALE (resentfully). I don't know as there's anything so strange, our taking' up our time with
     little things while we're waiting for them to get the evidence. (She sits down at the big table,
     smoothing out a block with decision.) I don't see as it's anything to laugh about.
     MRS. PETERS. (apologetically). Of course they've got awful important things on their minds.
40   (Pulls up a chair and joins Mrs. Hale at the table.)
     MRS. HALE (examining another block.) Mrs. Peters, look at this one. Here, this is the one she was
     working on, and look at the sewing! All the rest of it has been so nice and even. And look at this!
     It's all over the place! Why, it looks as if she didn't know what she was about! (After she has said
     this, they look at each other, then start to glance back at the door. After an instant Mrs. Hale has
45   pulled at a knot and ripped the sewing.)
     MRS. PETERS. Oh, what are you doing, Mrs. Hale?



                                                   52
     Trifles by Susan Glaspell

     MRS. HALE (mildly). Just pulling out a stitch or two that's not sewed very good. (Threading a
     needle). Bad sewing always made me fidgety.
     MRS. PETERS. (nervously). I don't think we ought to touch things.
     MRS. HALE. I'll just finish up this end. (Suddenly stopping and leaning forward.) Mrs. Peters?
 5   MRS. PETERS. Yes, Mrs. Hale?
     MRS. HALE. What do you suppose she was so nervous about?
     MRS. PETERS. Oh--I don't know. I don't know as she was nervous. I sometimes sew awful queer
     when I'm just tired. (Mrs. Hale starts to say something looks at Mrs. Peters, then goes on sewing.)
     Well, I must get these things wrapped up. They may be through sooner than we think. (Putting
10   apron and other things together.) I wonder where I can find a piece of paper, and string.
     MRS. HALE. In that cupboard, maybe.

     Section B – Questions
     Write the name of the character in the play to whom each sentence refers.
                             1. She used to sing in a choir
                             2. He said that women were used to worrying over trifles.
                             3. The County Attorney thought she was a poor housekeeper.
                             4. Mrs. Peters though he would make a sarcastic speech to the jury about
                                Mrs. Wright‘s statement that she slept soundly.
                             5. She was afraid that her jars of cherries had frozen.
                             6. He was convinced that there was nothing in the house that would point
                                to a motive for the murder.
                             7. She used to be a lively girl.
                             8. She thought it was mean of the men to talk about Mrs. Wright‘s
                                housekeeping.

     Section C
     MRS. PETER. (looking in cupboard). Why, here's a birdcage. (Holds it up.) Did she have a bird,
15   Mrs. Hale?
     MRS. HALE. Why, I don't know whether she did or not--I've not been here for so long. There was
     a man around last year selling canaries cheap, but I don't know as she took one; maybe she did. She
     used to sing real pretty herself.
     MRS. PETERS. (glancing around). Seems funny to think of a bird here. But she must have had one,
20   or why should she have a cage? I wonder what happened to it?
     MRS. HALE. I suppose maybe the cat got it.
     MRS. PETERS. No, she didn't have a cat. She's got that feeling some people have about cats-being
     afraid of them. My cat got in her room, and she was real upset and asked me to take it out.
     MRS. HALE. My sister Bessie was like that. Queer, ain't it?
25   MRS. PETERS. (examining the cage). Why, look at this door. It's broke. One hinge is pulled apart.
     MRS. HALE. (looking, too.) Looks as if someone must have been rough with it.
     MRS. PETERS. Why, yes. (she brings the cage forward and puts it on the table.)
     MRS. HALE. I wish if they're going to find any evidence they'd be about it. I don't like this place.



                                                   53
     Trifles by Susan Glaspell

     MRS. PETERS. But I'm awful glad you came with me, Mrs. Hale. It would be lonesome of me
     sitting here alone.
     MRS. HALE. It would, wouldn't it? (Dropping her sewing). But I tell you what I do wish, Mrs.
     Peters. I wish I had come over sometimes she was here. I-- (Looking around the room.)--wish I had.
 5   MRS. PETERS. But of course you were awful busy, Mrs. Hale---your house and your children.
     MRS. HALE. I could've come. I stayed away because it weren't cheerful--and that's why I ought to
     have come. I--I've never liked this place. Maybe because it's down in a hollow, and you don't see
     the road. I don‘t know what it is, but it's a lonesome place and always was. I wish I had come over
     to see Minnie Foster sometimes. I can see now--(Shakes her head.)
10   MRS. PETERS. Well, you mustn't reproach yourself, Mrs. Hale. Somehow we just don't see how it
     is with other folks until--something comes up.
     MRS. HALE. Not having children makes less work--but it makes a quiet house, and Wright out to
     work all day, and no company when he did come in. Did you know John Wright, Mrs. Peters?
     MRS. PETERS. Not to know him; I've seen him in town. They say he was a good man.
15   MRS. HALE. Yes--good; he didn't drink, and kept his word as well as most, I guess, and paid his
     debts. But he was a hard man, Mrs. Peters. Just to pass the time of day with him. (Shivers.) Like a
     raw wind that gets to the bone. (Pauses, her eye falling on the cage.) I should think she would 'a
     wanted a bird. But what do you suppose went with it?
     MRS. PETERS. I don't know, unless it got sick and died. (She reaches over and swings the broken
20   door, swings it again; both women watch it.)
     MRS.> HALE. She--come to think of it, she was kind of like a bird herself--real sweet and pretty,
     but kind of timid and--fluttery. How--she--did--change. (Silence; then as if struck by a happy
     thought and relieved to get back to everyday things.) Tell you what, Mrs. Peters, why don't you take
     the quilt in with you? It might take up her mind.
25   MRS. PETERS. Why, I think that's a real nice idea, Mrs. Hale. There couldn't possible be any
     objection to it, could there? Now, just what would I take? I wonder if her patches are in here--and
     her things. (They look in the sewing basket.)
     MRS. HALE. Here's some red. I expect this has got sewing things in it (Brings out a fancy box.)
     What a pretty box. Looks like something somebody would give you. Maybe her scissors are in here.
30   (Opens box. Suddenly puts her hand to her nose.) Why-- (Mrs. Peters bend nearer, then turns her
     face away.) There's something wrapped up in this piece of silk.
     MRS. PETERS. Why, this isn't her scissors.
     MRS. HALE (lifting the silk.) Oh, Mrs. Peters--it's-- (Mrs. Peters bend closer.)
     MRS. PETERS. It's the bird.
35   MRS. HALE (jumping up.) But, Mrs. Peters--look at it. Its neck! Look at its neck! It's all--other
     side to.
     MRS. PETERS. Somebody--wrung--its neck.
     (Their eyes meet. A look of growing comprehension of horror. Steps are heard outside. Mrs. Hale
     slips box under quilt pieces, and sinks into her chair. Enter Sheriff and County Attorney. Mrs.
40   Peters rises.)
     COUNTY ATTORNEY (as one turning from serious thing to little pleasantries). Well, ladies, have
     you decided whether she was going to quilt it or knot it?
     MRS. PETERS. We think she was going to--knot it.
     COUNTY ATTORNEY. Well, that's interesting, I'm sure. (Seeing the birdcage.) Has the bird
45   flown?



                                                   54
     Trifles by Susan Glaspell

     MRS. HALE (putting more quilt pieces over the box.) We think the--cat got it.
     COUNTY ATTORNEY (preoccupied). Is there a cat?
     (Mrs. Hale glances in a quick covert way at Mrs. Peters. )
     MRS. PETERS. Well, not now. They're superstitious, you know. They leave.
 5   COUNTY ATTORNEY (to Sheriff Peters, continuing an interrupted conversation.) No sign at all
     of anyone having come from the outside. Their own rope. Now let's go up again and go over it
     piece by piece. (They start upstairs.) It would have to have been someone who knew just the--
     (Mrs. Peters sits down. The two women sit there not looking at one another, but as if peering into
     something and at the same time holding back. When they talk now, it is the manner of feeling their
10   way over strange ground, as if afraid of what they are saying, but as if they cannot help saying it.)
     MRS. HALE. She liked the bird. She was going to bury it in that pretty box.
     MRS. PETERS. (in a whisper). When I was a girl--my kitten--there was a boy took a hatchet, and
     before my eyes--and before I could get there--(Covers her face an instant.) If they hadn't held me
     back, I would have-- (Catches herself, looks upstairs, where steps are heard, and falters weakly.)--
15   hurt him.
     MRS. HALE (with a slow look around her.) I wonder how it would seem never to have had any
     children around. (Pause.) No, Wright wouldn't like the bird--a thing that sang. She used to sing. He
     killed that, too.
     MRS. PETERS (moving uneasily). We don't know who killed the bird.
20   MRS. HALE. I knew John Wright.
     MRS. PETERS. It was an awful thing was done in this house that night, Mrs. Hale. Killing a man
     while he slept, slipping a rope around his neck that choked the life out of him.
     MRS. HALE. His neck, Choked the life out of him.
     (Her hand goes out and rests on the birdcage.) MRS. PETERS (with a rising voice). We don't know
25   who killed him. We don't know.
     MRS. HALE (her own feeling not interrupted.) If there'd been years and years of nothing, then a
     bird to sing to you, it would be awful--still, after the bird was still.
     MRS. PETERS (something within her speaking). I know what stillness is. When we homesteaded
     in Dakota, and my first baby died--after he was two years old, and me with no other then--
30   MRS. HALE (moving). How soon do you suppose they'll be through, looking for evidence?
     MRS. PETERS. I know what stillness is. (Pulling herself back). The law has got to punish crime,
     Mrs. Hale. MRS. HALE (not as if answering that). I wish you'd seen Minnie Foster when she wore
     a white dress with blue ribbons and stood up there in the choir and sang. (A look around the room).
     Oh, I wish I'd come over here once in a while! That was a crime! That was a crime! Who's going to
35   punish that?
     MRS. Peters (looking upstairs). We mustn't--take on.
     MRS. HALE. I might have known she needed help! I know how things can be--for women. I tell
     you, it's queer, Mrs. Peters. We live close together and we live far apart. We all go through the
     same things--it's all just a different kind of the same thing. (Brushes her eyes, noticing the bottle of
40   fruit, reaches out for it.) If I was you, I wouldn't tell her fruit was gone. Tell her it ain't. Tell her it's
     all right. Take this in to prove it to her. She--she may never know whether it was broke or not.
     MRS. PETERS (takes the bottle, looks about for something to wrap it in; takes petticoat from the
     clothes brought from the other room, very nervously begins winding this around the bottle. In a
     false voice). My, it's a good thing the men couldn't hear us. Wouldn't they just laugh! Getting all
45   stirred up over a little thing like a--dead canary. As if that could have anything to do with--with--
     wouldn't they laugh!


                                                        55
     Trifles by Susan Glaspell

     (The men are heard coming downstairs.) MRS. HALE (under her breath). Maybe they would--
     maybe they wouldn't.
     COUNTY ATTORNEY. No, Peters, it's all perfectly clear except a reason for doing it. But you
     know juries when it comes to women. If there was some definite thing. Something to show--
 5   something to make a story about--a thing that would connect up with this strange way of doing it.
     (The women's eyes meet for an instant. Enter Hale from outer door.)
     HALE. Well, I've got the team around. Pretty cold out there.
     COUNTY ATTORNEY. I'm going to stay here awhile by myself (To the Sheriff). You can send
     Frank out for me, can't you? I want to go over everything. I'm not satisfied that we can't do better.
10   SHERIFF. Do you want to see what Mrs. Peters is going to take in?
     (The Lawyer goes to the table, picks up the apron, laughs.) COUNTY ATTORNEY. Oh I guess
     they're not very dangerous things the ladies have picked up. (Moves a few things about, disturbing
     the quilt pieces which cover the box. Steps back.) No, Mrs. Peters doesn't need supervising. For that
     matter, a sheriff's wife is married to the law. Ever think of it that way, Mrs. Peters?
15   MRS. PETERS. Not--just that way.
     SHERIFF (chuckling). Married to the law. (Moves toward the other room.) I just want you to come
     in here a minute, George. We ought to take a look at these windows.
     COUNTY ATTORNEY (scoffingly). Oh, windows!
     SHERIFF. We'll be right out, Mr. Hale.
20   (Hale goes outside. The Sheriff follows the County Attorney into the other room. Then Mrs. Hale
     rises, hands tight together, looking intensely at Mrs. Peters, whose eyes take a slow turn, finally
     meeting Mrs. Hale's. A moment Mrs. Hale holds her, then her own eyes point the way to where the
     box is concealed. Suddenly Mrs. Peters throws back quilt pieces and tries to put the box in the bag
     she is wearing. It is too big. She opens box, starts to take the bird out, cannot touch it, goes to
25   pieces, stands there helpless. Sound of a knob turning in the other room. Mrs. Hale snatches the box
     and puts it in the pocket of her big coat. Enter County Attorney and Sheriff.)
     COUNTY ATTORNEY (facetiously). Well, Henry, at least we found out that she was not going to
     quilt it. She was going to--what is it you call it, ladies!
     MRS. HALE (her hand against her pocket). We call it--knot it, Mr. Henderson.

     Section C – Questions
     Mark T if the sentence is true, F if it is false according to the play:
         1. Mrs. Wright wrapped the bird in a piece of silk and buried it in a small red box.
         2. Without evidence of a definite motive, it will be difficult to prove to the jury who
            murdered John Wright.
         3. Although they were childless, John Wright was good company for his wife.
         4. The ladies felt there would be a strong objection to their bringing Mrs. Wright her
            quilt.
         5. The scissors were found in the birdcage.
         6. The broken door on the birdcage suggested that someone had been rough with it.



     Questions about the whole play
     A. Arrange the ten events below in the order in which they actually occurred in the play.
         1. The women discovered the dead bird in a pretty box.


                                                     56
Trifles by Susan Glaspell

    2. Harry went to the Rivers‘ place to telephone the coroner.
    3. The women became aware of the horrible thing that had happened.
    4. The Sheriff and the County attorney returned to the kitchen. The County Attorney
        returned to the kitchen. The County Attorney said that everything was clear except
        the motive.
    5. Mr. Hale came to the Wright home to discuss a party telephone with John Wright.
    6. The women found the birdcage with the broken door.
    7. Mrs. Peters tried to shove the box with the dead bird into her bag.
    8. Mrs. Hale and Mrs. Peters gathered up some things to take to Mrs. Wright in jail.
    9. Harry and Mr. Hale went upstairs and found John Wright dead in his bed.
    10. Mrs. Hale snatched the box and put it into the pocket of her big coat.
B. Further Discussion Questions
    1. What point is made by showing the house in disarray (bread in the pan, towels
       unchanged, etc.) the day after the murder?
    2. What do we know about John Wright? And about his wife?
    3. What do we learn about the relationship between them?
    4. How are the women‘s actions different from the men‘s in the play? What interests the
       men? What interests the women?
    5. What may the bird be a symbol of? Are there any similarities between the bird and
       Minnie Wright?
    6. Mr. Hale says, ―Well, women are used to worrying about trifles.‖ What trifles are
       important in the play?
    7. Do you feel that the situation and the characters in this play are believable? Give
       reasons for your answer.




                                             57
     Eveline by James Joyce



     Eveline by James Joyce
     SHE sat at the window watching the evening invade the avenue. Her head was leaned against
     the window curtains and in her nostrils was the odour of dusty cretonne. She was tired.
     Few people passed. The man out of the last house passed on his way home; she heard his
     footsteps clacking along the concrete pavement and afterwards crunching on the cinder path
 5   before the new red houses. One time there used to be a field there in which they used to play
     every evening with other people's children. Then a man from Belfast bought the field and
     built houses in it -- not like their little brown houses but bright brick houses with shining
     roofs. The children of the avenue used to play together in that field -- the Devines, the Waters,
     the Dunns, little Keogh the cripple, she and her brothers and sisters. Ernest, however, never
10   played: he was too grown up. Her father used often to hunt them in out of the field with his
     blackthorn stick; but usually little Keogh used to keep nix and call out when he saw her father
     coming. Still they seemed to have been rather happy then. Her father was not so bad then; and
     besides, her mother was alive. That was a long time ago; she and her brothers and sisters were
     all grown up her mother was dead. Tizzie Dunn was dead, too, and the Waters had gone back
15   to England. Everything changes. Now she was going to go away like the others, to leave her
     home.
     Home! She looked round the room, reviewing all its familiar objects which she had dusted
     once a week for so many years, wondering where on earth all the dust came from. Perhaps she
     would never see again those familiar objects from which she had never dreamed of being
20   divided. And yet during all those years she had never found out the name of the priest whose
     yellowing photograph hung on the wall above the broken harmonium beside the coloured
     print of the promises made to Blessed Margaret Mary Alacoque. He had been a school friend
     of her father. Whenever he showed the photograph to a visitor her father used to pass it with a
     casual word:
25   "He is in Melbourne now."
     She had consented to go away, to leave her home. Was that wise? She tried to weigh each
     side of the question. In her home anyway she had shelter and food; she had those whom she
     had known all her life about her. O course she had to work hard, both in the house and at
     business. What would they say of her in the Stores when they found out that she had run away
30   with a fellow? Say she was a fool, perhaps; and her place would be filled up by
     advertisement. Miss Gavan would be glad. She had always had an edge on her, especially
     whenever there were people listening.
     "Miss Hill, don't you see these ladies are waiting?"
     "Look lively, Miss Hill, please."
35   She would not cry many tears at leaving the Stores.
     But in her new home, in a distant unknown country, it would not be like that. Then she would
     be married -- she, Eveline. People would treat her with respect then. She would not be treated
     as her mother had been. Even now, though she was over nineteen, she sometimes felt herself
     in danger of her father's violence. She knew it was that that had given her the palpitations.
40   When they were growing up he had never gone for her like he used to go for Harry and
     Ernest, because she was a girl but latterly he had begun to threaten her and say what he would
     do to her only for her dead mother's sake. And no she had nobody to protect her. Ernest was
     dead and Harry, who was in the church decorating business, was nearly always down
     somewhere in the country. Besides, the invariable squabble for money on Saturday nights had
45   begun to weary her unspeakably. She always gave her entire wages -- seven shillings -- and
     Harry always sent up what he could but the trouble was to get any money from her father. He
     said she used to squander the money, that she had no head, that he wasn't going to give her his
     hard-earned money to throw about the streets, and much more, for he was usually fairly bad


                                                    58
     Eveline by James Joyce

     on Saturday night. In the end he would give her the money and ask her had she any intention
     of buying Sunday's dinner. Then she had to rush out as quickly as she could and do her
     marketing, holding her black leather purse tightly in her hand as she elbowed her way through
     the crowds and returning home late under her load of provisions. She had hard work to keep
 5   the house together and to see that the two young children who had been left to hr charge went
     to school regularly and got their meals regularly. It was hard work -- a hard life -- but now
     that she was about to leave it she did not find it a wholly undesirable life.
     She was about to explore another life with Frank. Frank was very kind, manly, open-hearted.
     She was to go away with him by the night-boat to be his wife and to live with him in Buenos
10   Ayres where he had a home waiting for her. How well she remembered the first time she had
     seen him; he was lodging in a house on the main road where she used to visit. It seemed a few
     weeks ago. He was standing at the gate, his peaked cap pushed back on his head and his hair
     tumbled forward over a face of bronze. Then they had come to know each other. He used to
     meet her outside the Stores every evening and see her home. He took her to see The
15   Bohemian Girl and she felt elated as she sat in an unaccustomed part of the theatre with him.
     He was awfully fond of music and sang a little. People knew that they were courting and,
     when he sang about the lass that loves a sailor, she always felt pleasantly confused. He used
     to call her Poppens out of fun. First of all it had been an excitement for her to have a fellow
     and then she had begun to like him. He had tales of distant countries. He had started as a deck
20   boy at a pound a month on a ship of the Allan Line going out to Canada. He told her the
     names of the ships he had been on and the names of the different services. He had sailed
     through the Straits of Magellan and he told her stories of the terrible Patagonians. He had
     fallen on his feet in Buenos Ayres, he said, and had come over to the old country just for a
     holiday. Of course, her father had found out the affair and had forbidden her to have anything
25   to say to him.
     "I know these sailor chaps," he said.
     One day he had quarrelled with Frank and after that she had to meet her lover secretly.
     The evening deepened in the avenue. The white of two letters in her lap grew indistinct. One
     was to Harry; the other was to her father. Ernest had been her favourite but she liked Harry
30   too. Her father was becoming old lately, she noticed; he would miss her. Sometimes he could
     be very nice. Not long before, when she had been laid up for a day, he had read her out a
     ghost story and made toast for her at the fire. Another day, when their mother was alive, they
     had all gone for a picnic to the Hill of Howth. She remembered her father putting on her
     mothers bonnet to make the children laugh.
35   Her time was running out but she continued to sit by the window, leaning her head against the
     window curtain, inhaling the odour of dusty cretonne. Down far in the avenue she could hear
     a street organ playing. She knew the air Strange that it should come that very night to remind
     her of the promise to her mother, her promise to keep the home together as long as she could.
     She remembered the last night of her mother's illness; she was again in the close dark room at
40   the other side of the hall and outside she heard a melancholy air of Italy. The organ-player
     had been ordered to go away and given sixpence. She remembered her father strutting back
     into the sickroom saying:
     "Damned Italians! coming over here!"
     As she mused the pitiful vision of her mother's life laid its spell on the very quick of her being
45   -- that life of commonplace sacrifices closing in final craziness. She trembled as she heard
     again her mother's voice saying constantly with foolish insistence:
     "Derevaun Seraun! Derevaun Seraun!"
     She stood up in a sudden impulse of terror. Escape! She must escape! Frank would save her.
     He would give her life, perhaps love, too. But she wanted to live. Why should she be




                                                    59
     Eveline by James Joyce

     unhappy? She had a right to happiness. Frank would take her in his arms, fold her in his arms.
     He would save her.
     She stood among the swaying crowd in the station at the North Wall. He held her hand and
     she knew that he was speaking to her, saying something about the passage over and over
 5   again. The station was full of soldiers with brown baggages. Through the wide doors of the
     sheds she caught a glimpse of the black mass of the boat, lying in beside the quay wall, with
     illumined portholes. She answered nothing. She felt her cheek pale and cold and, out of a
     maze of distress, she prayed to God to direct her, to show her what was her duty. The boat
     blew a long mournful whistle into the mist. If she went, tomorrow she would be on the sea
10   with Frank, steaming towards Buenos Ayres. Their passage had been booked. Could she still
     draw back after all he had done for her? Her distress awoke a nausea in her body and she kept
     moving her lips in silent fervent prayer.
     A bell clanged upon her heart. She felt him seize her hand:
     "Come!"
15   All the seas of the world tumbled about her heart. He was drawing her into them: he would
     drown her. She gripped with both hands at the iron railing.
     "Come!"
     No! No! No! It was impossible. Her hands clutched the iron in frenzy. Amid the seas she sent
     a cry of anguish.
20   "Eveline! Evvy!"
     He rushed beyond the barrier and called to her to follow. He was shouted at to go on but he
     still called to her. She set her white face to him, passive, like a helpless animal. Her eyes gave
     him no sign of love or farewell or recognition.




                                                    60
     Gaston by William Saroyan


     Gaston by William Saroyani
     They were to eat peaches, as planned, after her nap, and now she sat across from the man who
     would have been a total stranger except that he was in fact her father. They had been together
     again (although she couldn‘t quite remember when they had been together before) for almost
     a hundred years now, or was it only since day before yesterday? Anyhow, they were together
 5   again, and he was kind of funny. First, he had the biggest mustache she had ever seen on
     anybody, although to her it was not a mustache at all; it was a lot of red and brown hair under
     his nose and around the ends of his mouth. Second, he wore a blue-and-white striped jersey
     instead of a shirt and tie, and no coat. His arms were covered with the same hair, only it was a
     little lighter and thinner. He wore blue slacks, but no shoes and socks, He was barefoot, and
10   so was she, of course.
     He was at home. She was with him in his home in Paris, if you could call it a home. He was
     very old, especially for a young man of thirty-six, he had told her; and she was six, just up
     from sleep on a very hot afternoon in August.
     That morning, on a little walk in the neighbor-hood, she had seen peaches in a box outside a
15   small store and she had stopped to look at them, so he had bought a kilo.
     Now, the peaches were on a large plate on the card table at which they sat.
     There were seven of them, but one of them was flawed. It looked as good as others, almost
     the size of a tennis ball, nice red fading to light green, but where the stem had been there was
     now a break that went straight down into the heart of the seed.
20   He placed the biggest and best-looking peach on the small plate in front of the girl, and then
     took the flawed peach and began to remove the skin. When he had half the skin off the peach
     he ate that side, neither of them talking, both of them just being there, and not being excited
     or anything. No plans, that is.
     The man held the half-eaten peach in his fingers and looked down into the cavity, into the
25   open seed. The girl looked too.
     While they were looking, two feelers poked out from the cavity. They were attached to a kind
     of brown knob-head, which followed the feelers, and then two large legs took a strong grip on
     the edge of the cavity and hoisted some of the rest of whatever it was out of the seed, and
     stopped there a moment, as if to look around.
30   The man studied the seed dweller, and so, of course, did the girl.
     The creature paused only a fraction of a second, and then continued to come out of the seed,
     to walk down the eaten side of the peach to wherever it was going.
     The girl had never seen anything like it. It had a whole big thing made out of brown color, a
     knob-head, feelers, and a great many legs. It was very active too. Almost businesslike, you
35   might say. The man placed the peach back on the plate. The creature moved off the peach
     onto the surface of the white plate. There it came to a thoughtful stop.
     ―Who is it?‖ the girl said.
     ―Gaston.‖
     ―Where does he live?‖
40   ―Well, he used to live in this peach seed, but now that the peach has been harvested and sold,
     and I have eaten half of it, it looks as if he‘s out of house and home.‖
     ―Aren‘t you going to squash him?‖
     ―No, of course not, why should I?‖
     ―He is a bug. He is ugh.‖


                                                    61
     Gaston by William Saroyan

     ―Not at all. He is Gaston the grand boulevardier.‖
     ―Everybody hollers when a bug comes out of an apple, but you don‘t holler or anything.‖
     ―Of course not. How should we like it if somebody hollered every time we came out of our
     house?‖
 5   ―Why would they?‖
     ―Precisely. So why should we holler at Gaston?‖
     ―He is not the same as us.‖
     ―Well, not exactly, but he‘s the same as a lot of other occupants of peach seeds. Now, the
     poor fellow hasn‘t got a home, and there he is with all that pure design and handsome form,
10   and no-where to go.‖
     ―Handsome?‖
     ―Gaston is just about the handsomest of his kind I‘ve ever seen.‖
     ―What‘s he saying?‖
     ―Well, he‘s a little confused. Now, inside that house of his he had everything in order. Bed
15   here, porch there, and so forth.‖
     ―Show me.‖
     The man picked up the peach, leaving Gaston entirely alone on the white plate. He removed
     the peeling and ate the rest of the peach.
     ―Nobody else I know would do that,‖ the girl said. ―They‘d throw it away.‖
20   ―I can‘t imagine why. It‘s a perfect good peach.‖
     He opened the seed and placed the two sides not far from Gaston. The girl studied the open
     halves.
     ―Is that where he lives?‖
     ―It‘s where he used to live. Gaston is out in the world and on his own now. You can see for
25   yourself how comfortable he was in there. He had everything.‖
     ―Now what has he got?‖
     ―Not very much, I‘m afraid.‖
     ―What‘s he going to do?‖
     ―What are we going to do?‖
30   ―Well, we‘re not going to squash him, that‘s one thing we‘re not going to do,‖ the girl said.
     ―What are we going to do, then?‖
     ―Put him back?‖
     ―Oh, that house is finished.‖
     ―Well, he can‘t live in our house, can he?‖
35   ―Not happily.‖
     ―Can he live in our house at all?‖
     ―Well, he could try, I suppose. Don‘t you want to eat a peach?‖
     ―Only if it‘s a peach with somebody in the seed.‖
     ―Well, see if you can find a peach that has an opening at the top, because if you can, that‘ll be
40   a peach in which you‘re likeliest to find somebody.‖


                                                    62
     Gaston by William Saroyan

     The girl examined each of the peaches on the big plate.
     ―They‘re all shut,‖ she said.
     ―Well, eat one, then.‖
     ―No. I want the same kind that you ate, with somebody in the seed.‖
 5   ―Well, to tell you the truth, the peach I ate would be considered a bad peach, so of course
     stores don‘t like to sell them. I was sold that one by mistake, most likely. And so now Gaston
     is without a home, and we‘ve got six perfect peaches to eat.‖
     ―I don‘t want a perfect peach. I want a peach with people.‖
     ―Well, I‘ll go out and see if I can find one.‖
10   ―Where will I go?‖
     ―You‘ll go with me, unless you‘d rather stay. I‘ll only be five minutes.‖
     ―If the phone rings, what shall I say?‖
     ―I don‘t think it‘ll ring, but if it does, say hello and see who it is.‖
     ―If it is my mother, what shall I say?‖
15   ―Tell her I‘ve gone to get you a bad peach, and anything else you want to tell her.‖
     ―If she wants me to go back, what shall I say?‖
     ―Say yes if you want to go back.‖
     ―Do you want me to?‖
     ―Of course not, but the important thing is what you want, not what I want.‖
20   ―Why is that the important thing?‖
     ―Because I want you to be where you want to be.‖
     ―I want to be here.‖
     ―I‘ll be right back.‖
     He put on socks and shoes, and a jacket, and went out. She watched Gaston trying to find out
25   what to do next. Gaston wandered around the plate, but everything seemed wrong and he
     didn‘t know what to do or where to go.
     The telephone rang and her mother said she was sending the chauffeur to pick her up because
     there was a little party for somebody‘s daughter who was also six, and then tomorrow they
     would fly back to New York.
30   ―Let me speak to your father,‖ she said.
     ―He‘s gone to get a peach.‖
     ―One peach?‖
     ―One with people.‖
     ―You haven‘t been with your father two days and already you sound like him.‖
35   ―There are peaches with people in them. I know. I saw one of them come out.‖
     ―A bug?‖
     ―Not a bug. Gaston.‖
     ―Who?‖
     ―Gaston the grand something.‖



                                                       63
     Gaston by William Saroyan

     ―Somebody get a peach with a bug in it, and throws it away, but not him. He makes up a lot
     of foolishness about it.‖
     ―It‘s not foolishness.‖
     ―All right, all right, don‘t get angry at me about a horrible peach bug of some kind.‖
 5   ―Gaston is right here, just outside his broken house, and I‘m not angry at you.‖
     ―You‘ll have a lot of fun at the party.‖
     ―OK.‖
     ―We‘ll have fun flying back to New York, too.‖
     ―OK.‖
10   ―Are you glad you saw your father?‖
     ―Of course I am.‖
     ―Is he funny?‖
     ―Yes.‖
     ―Is he crazy?‖
15   ―Yes. I mean, no. He just doesn‘t holler when he sees a bug crawling out of a peach seed or
     anything. He just looks at it carefully. But it is just a bug, isn‘t it, really?‖
     ―That‘s all it is.‖
     ―And we have to squash it?‖
     ―That‘s right. I can‘t wait to see you, darling. These two days have been like two years to me.
20   Good-bye.‖
     The girl watched Gaston on the plate, and she actually didn‘t like him. He was all ugh, as he
     had been in the first place. He didn‘t have a home anymore and he was wandering around on
     the white plate and he was silly and wrong and ridiculous and useless and all sorts of other
     things. She cried a little, but only inside, because long ago she had decided she didn‘t like
25   crying because if you ever started to cry it seemed as if there was so much to cry about you
     almost couldn‘t stop, and she didn‘t like that at all. The open halves of the peach seed were
     wrong, too. They were ugly or something. They weren‘t clean.
     The man bought a kilo of peaches but found no flawed peaches among them, so he bought
     another kilo at another store, and this time his luck was better, and there were two that were
30   flawed. He hurried back to his flat and let himself in.
     His daughter was in her room, in her best dress.
     ―My mother phoned,‖ she said, ―and she‘s sending the chauffeur for me because there‘s
     another birthday party.‖
     ―Another?‖
35   ―I mean, there‘s always a lot of them in New York.‖
     ―Will the chauffeur bring you back?‖
     ―No. We‘re flying back to New York tomorrow.‖
     ―Oh.‖
     ―I liked being in your house.‖
40   ―I liked having you here.‖
     ―Why do you live here?‖



                                                   64
     Gaston by William Saroyan

     ―This is my home.‖
     ―It‘s nice, but it‘s a lot different from our home.‖
     ―Yes, I suppose it is.‖
     ―It‘s kind of like Gaston‘s house.‖
 5   ―Where is Gaston?‖
     ―I squashed him.‖
     ―Really? Why?‖
     ―Everybody squashes bugs and worms.‖
     ―Oh. Well. I found you a peach.‖
10   ―I don‘t want a peach anymore.‖
     ―OK.‖
     He got her dressed, and he was packing her stuff when the chauffeur arrived. He went down
     the three flights of stairs with his daughter and the chauffeur, and in the street he was about to
     hug the girl when he decided he had better not. They shook hands instead, as if they were
15   strangers.
     He watched the huge car drive off, and then he went around the corner where he took his
     coffee every morning, feeling a little, he thought, like Gaston on the white plate.
     The Atlantic Monthly, Feb. 1962

     Gaston - Questions
         1. Where does the story take place?
         2. At the beginning of the story, the father is described from his young daughter‘s point
            of view. What does she think of him? Why does he seem like such a stranger?
         3. What does the father do to change his daughter‘s opinion of the insect that they find
            in the peach?
         4. What symbols are there in the story?
         5. What makes the daughter lose sympathy for the insect?
         6. Why does the girl leave the apartment?
         7. At the end of the story, why does the father feel ―a little . . . like Gaston‖?
         8. What do you know about this family?




                                                     65
     Priscilla and the Wimps by Richard Peck


     Priscilla and the Wimps by Richard Peckii
     Listen there was a time when you couldn't even go to the rest room around this school without
     a pass. And I'm not talking about those little pink tickets made out by some teacher. I'm
     talking about a pass that cost anywhere up to a buck, sold by Monk Clutter.
     Not that mighty Monk ever touched money, not in public. The gang he ran, which ran the
 5   school for him, was his collection agency. They were Klutter's Kobras, a name spelled out in
     nailheads on six well-known black plastic windbreakers.
     Monk's threads were more...subtle. A pile-lined suede battle jacket with lizard-skin flaps over
     tailored Levi's and a pair of ostrich-skin boots, brassed-toed and suitable for kicking people
     around. One of his Kobras did nothing all day but walk a half step behind Monk, carrying a
10   fitted bag with Monk's gym shoes, a roll of rest-room passes, a cash-box, and a switchblade
     that Monk gave himself manicures with at Lunch over at the Kobra's table.
     Speaking of Lunch, there were a few cases of advanced malnutrition among the newer kids.
     The ones who were a little slow in handing over a cut of their lunch money and were
     therefore barred from the cafeteria. Monk ran a tight ship.
15   I admit it. I'm five foot five, and when the Kobras slithered by, with or without Monk, I
     shrank. And I admit this, too: I paid up on a regular basis. And I might add: so would you.
     The school was old Monk's Garden of Eden. Unfortunately for him, there was a serpent in it.
     The reason Monk didn't recognize trouble when it was staring him in the face is that the
     serpent in the Kobras' Eden was a girl.
20   Practically every guy in school could show you his scars. Fang marks from Kobras, you might
     say. And they were all highly visible in the shower room: lumps, lacerations, blue bruises,
     you name it. But girls usually get off with a warning.
     Except there was one girl named Priscilla Roseberry. Picture a girl named Priscilla Roseberry,
     and you'll be light years off. Priscilla was, hands down, the largest student in our particular
25   institution of learning. I'm not talking big. Even beautiful, in a bionic way. Priscilla wasn't
     inclined toward organized crime. Otherwise, she could have put together a gang that would
     turn Klutter's Kobras into garter snakes.
     Priscilla was basically a loner except she had one friend. A little guy named Melvin
     Detweiler. You talk about the Odd Couple. Melvin's one of the smallest guys above midget
30   status ever seen. A really nice guy, but, you know, little. They even had lockers next to each
     other, in the same bank as mine. I don't know what they had going. I'm not saying this was a
     romance. After all, people deserve their privacy.
     Priscilla was sort of above everything, if you'll pardon a pun. And very calm, as only the very
     big can be. If there was anybody who didn't notice Klutter's Kobras, it was Priscilla.
35   Until one winter day after school when we were all grabbing our coats out of our lockers. And
     hurrying, since Klutter's Kobras made sweeps of the halls for after-school shakedowns
     Anyway, up to Melvin's locker swaggers on of the Kobras. Never mind his name. Gang
     members don't need names. They've got group identity. He reaches down and grabs little
     Melvin by the neck and slams his head against his locker door. The sound of skull against
40   steel rippled all the way down the locker row, speeding the crowds on their way.
     "Okay, let's see your pass," snarls the Kobra.
     "A pass for what this time?" Melvin asks, probably still dazed.
     "Let's call it a pass for very short people," says the Kobra, " a dwarf tax." He wheezes a little
     Kobra chuckle at his own wittiness. And already he's reaching for Melvin's wallet with the




                                                      66
     Priscilla and the Wimps by Richard Peck

     hand that isn't circling Melvin's windpipe. All this time, of course, Melvin and the Kobra are
     standing in Priscilla's big shadow.
     She's taking her time shoving her books into her locker and pulling of a very large-size coat.
     Then, quicker than the eye, she brings the side of her enormous hand down in a chop that
 5   breaks the Kobra's hold on Melvin's throat. You could here a pin drop in that hallway.
     Nobody's ever laid a finger on a Kobra, let alone a hand the size of Priscilla's. Then Priscilla,
     who hardly ever says anything to anybody except to Melvin, says to the Kobra, "Who's your
     leader, wimp?"
     This practically blows the Kobra away. First he's chopped by a girl, and now she's acting like
10   she doesn't know Monk Klutter, the Head Honcho of the World. He's so amazed, he tells her,
     "Monk Klutter."
     "Never heard of him," Priscilla mentions. :Send him to see me." The Kobra just backs away
     from her like the whole situation is too big for him, which it is.
     Pretty soon Monk himself slides up. He jerks his head once, and his Kobras slither off down
15   the hall. He's going to handle this interesting case personally. "Who is it around here doesn't
     know Monk Klutter?'
     He's standing inches from Priscilla, but since he'd have to look up at her, he doesn't. " Never
     heard of him," says Priscilla.
     Monk's not happy with this answer, but by now he's spotted Melvin, who's grown smaller in
20   spite of himself. Monk breaks his own rule by reaching for Melvin with his own hands. "Kid,"
     he says, "you're going to have to educate your girl friend."
     His hands never quite make it to Melvin. In a move of pure poetry Priscilla has Monk in a
     hammerlock. His neck's popping like gunfire, and his heart's bowed under the immense
     weight of her forearm. His suede jacket's peeling back, showing pile.
25   Priscilla's behind him in another easy motion. And with a single mighty thrust forward, frog-
     marches Monk into her own locker. It's incredible. His ostrich-skin boots click once in the air.
     And suddenly he's gone, neatly wedged into the locker, a perfect fit. Priscilla bangs the door
     shut, twirls the lock, and strolls out of school. Melvin goes with her, of course, trotting along
     below her shoulder. The last stragglers leave quietly.
30   Well this is where fate, an even bigger force than Priscilla, steps in. It snows all that night, a
     blizzard. The whole town ices up. And school closes for a week.

     Priscilla and the Wimps – Questions
         1. What is the point of view used in the story?
         2. How did the Kobras deal with girls who broke their rules?
         3. What is the climax of the story?
         4. Would the story have had the same impact if Priscilla had been a boy? Why?
         5. What, in your opinion, is the theme of the story?
         6. Why are young people often very cruel to those who are different?
         7. Why do you think ―group identity‖ is so attractive to young people?
         8. When Priscilla tells the Kobra she has never heard of Monk and demands to see him,
            the Kobra is shocked. He goes off to find Monk to tell him what happened. Write the
            dialogue between the two.




                                                     67
     The Last Spin by Evan Hunter


     The Last Spin by Evan Hunteriii
     The boy sitting opposite him was his enemy.
     The boy sitting opposite him was called Tigo, and he wore a green silk jacket with an orange
     stripe on each sleeve. The jacket told Danny that Tigo was his enemy. The jacket shrieked,
     "Enemy, enemy!"
 5   "This is a good piece," Tigo said, indicating the gun on the table." This runs you close to
     forty-five bucks, you try to buy it in a store. That's a lot of money."
     The gun on the table was a Smith & Wesson .38 Police Special.
     It rested exactly in the center of the table, its sawed-off, two-inch barrel abruptly terminating
     the otherwise lethal grace of the weapon. There was a checked walnut stock on the gun, and
10   the gun was finished in a flat blue. Alongside the gun were three .38 Special cartridges.
     Danny looked at the gun disinterestedly. He was nervous and apprehensive, but he kept tight
     control of his face. He could not show Tigo what he was feeling. Tigo was the enemy, and so
     he presented a mask to the enemy, cocking one eyebrow and saying, "I seen pieces before.
     There's nothing special about this one." "Except what we got to do with it," Tigo said. Tigo
15   was studying him with large brown eyes. The eyes were moist-looking. He was not a bad-
     looking kid, Tigo, with thick black hair and maybe nose that was too long, but his mouth and
     chin were good. You could usually tell a cat by his mouth and his chin. Tigo would not turkey
     out of this particular rumble. Of that, Danny was sure. "Why don't we start?" Danny asked.
     He wet his lips and looked across at Tigo.
20   "You understand," Tigo said, "I got no bad blood for you." "I understand."
     "This is what the club said. This is how the club said we should settle it. Without a big street
     diddlebop, you dig? But I want you to know I don't know you from a hole in the wall-except
     you wear a blue and gold jacket."
     "And you wear a green and orange one," Danny said," and that's enough for me."
25   "Sure, but what I was trying to say..."
     "We going to sit and talk all night, or we going to get this thing rolling?" Danny asked.
     "What I'm tryin to say," Tigo went on, "is that I just happened to be picked for this, you
     know? Like to settle this thing that's between the two clubs I mean, you got to admit your
     boys shouldn't have come in our territory last night."
30   "I got to admit nothing," Danny said flatly.
     "Well, anyway, they shot at the candy store. That wasn't right. There's supposed to be a truce
     on."
     "Okay, okay," Danny said.
     "So like... like this is the way we agreed to settle it. I mean, one of us and... and one of you.
35   Fair and square. Without any street boppin', and without any law trouble."
     "Let's get on with it," Danny said.
     "I'm trying to say, I never even seen you on the street before this. So this ain't nothin' personal
     with me. Whichever way it turns out, like..."
     "I never seen you neither," Danny said.
40   Tigo stared at him for a long time. "That's cause you're new around here. Where you from
     originally?"
     "My people come down from the Bronx."



                                                     68
     The Last Spin by Evan Hunter

     "You got a big family?"
     "A sister and two brothers, that's all."
     "Yeah, I only got a sister." Tigo shrugged. "Well." He sighed. "So." He sighed again. "Let's
     make it, huh?"
 5   "I'm waitin'," Danny said.
     Tigo picked up the gun, and then he took one of the cartridges from the table top. He broke
     open the gun, slid the cartridge into the cylinder, and then snapped the gun shut and twirled
     the cylinder. "Round and round she goes," he said, "and where she stops, nobody knows.
     There's six chambers in the cylinder and only one cartridge. That makes the odds five-to-one
10   that the cartridge'll be in firing position when the cylinder stops whirling. You dig?"
     "I dig."
     "I'll go first," Tigo said.
     Danny looked at him suspiciously. "Why?"
     "You want to go first?"
15   "I don't know."
     "I'm giving you a break." Tigo grinned. "I may blow my head off first time out."
     "Why you giving me a break?" Danny asked.
     Tigo shrugged. "What the hell's the difference?" He gave the cylinder a fast twirl.
     "The Russians invented this, huh?" Danny asked.
20   "Yeah."
     "I always said they was crazy bastards."
     "Yeah, I always..." Tigo stopped talking. The cylinder was stopped now. He took a deep
     breath, put the barrel of the .38 to his temple, and then squeezed the trigger.
     The firing pin clicked on an empty chamber.
25   "Well, that was easy, wasn't it?" he asked. He shoved the gun across the table. "Your turn,
     Danny."
     Danny reached for the gun. It was cold in the basement room, but he was sweating now. He
     pulled the gun toward him, then left it on the table while he dried his palms on his trousers.
     He picked up the gun then and stared at it.
30   "It's a nifty piece," Tigo said. "I like a good piece."
     "Yeah, I do too," Danny said. "You can tell a good piece just by the way it feels in your
     hand."
     Tigo looked surprised. "I mentioned that to one of the guys yesterday, and he thought I was
     nuts.
35   "Lots of guys don't know about pieces," Danny said, shrugging. "I was thinking," Tigo, said,
     "when I get old enough, I'll join the Army, you know? I'd like to work around pieces."
     "I thought of that, too. I'd join now only my old lady won't give me permission. She's got to
     sign if I join now."
     "Yeah, they're all the same," Tigo said smiling. "Your old lady born here or the old country?"
40   "The old country," Danny said.
     "Yeah, well you know they got these old-fashioned ideas."



                                                      69
     The Last Spin by Evan Hunter

     "I better spin," Danny said.
     "Yeah," Tigo agreed.
     Danny slapped the cylinder with his left hand. The cylinder whirled, whirled, and then
     stopped. Slowly, Danny put the gun to his head. He wanted to close his eyes, but he didn't
 5   dare. Tigo, the enemy, was watching him. He returned Tigo's stare, and then he squeezed the
     trigger.
     His heart skipped a beat, and then over the roar of his blood he heard the empty click. Hastily,
     he put the gun down on the table.
     "Makes you sweat, don't it?" Tigo said.
10   Danny nodded, saying nothing. He watched Tigo. Tigo was looking at the gun.
     "Me now, huh?" Tigo said. He took a deep breath, then picked up the .38. He twirled the
     cylinder, waited for it to stop, and then put the gun to his head.
     "Bang!" Tigo said, and then he squeezed the trigger. Again the firing pin clicked on an empty
     chamber. Tigo let out his breath and put the gun down.
15   "I thought I was dead that time," he said.
     "I could hear the harps," Danny said.
     "This is a good way to lose weight, you know that?" Tigo laughed nervously, and then his
     laugh became honest when he saw Danny was laughing with him. "Ain't it the truth?" You
     could lose ten pounds this way."
20   "My old lady's like a house," Danny said laughing. "She ought to try this kind of a diet." He
     laughed at his own humor, pleased when Tigo joined him.
     "That's the trouble," Tigo said. "You see a nice deb in the street, you think it's crazy, you
     know? Then they get to be our people's age, and they turn to fat." He shook his head.
     "You got a chick?" Danny asked.
25   "Yeah, I got one."
     "What's her name?"
     "Aw, you don't know her."
     "Maybe I do," Danny said.
     "Her name is Juana." Tigo watched him. "She's about five-two, got these brown eyes..."
30   "I think I know her," Danny said. He nodded. "Yeah, I think I know her."
     "She's nice, ain't she?" Tigo asked. He leaned forward, as if Danny's answer was of great
     importance to him.
     "Yeah she's nice," Danny said.
     "Yeah. Hey maybe sometime we could..." Tigo cut himself short. He looked down at the gun,
35   and his sudden enthusiasm seemed to ebb completely. "It's you turn," he said.
     "Here goes nothing," Danny said. He twirled the cylinder, sucked in his breath, and then fired.
     The emptily click was loud in the stillness of the room.
     "Man!" Danny said.
     "We're pretty lucky, you know?" Tigo said.
40   "So far."




                                                     70
     The Last Spin by Evan Hunter

     "We better lower the odds. The boys won't like it if we..." He stopped himself again, and then
     reached for one of the cartridges on the table. He broke open the gun again, slipped in the
     second cartridge into the cylinder. "Now we got two cartridges in here," he said. "Two
     cartridges, six chambers. That's four-to-two. Divide it, and you get two-to-two." He paused.
 5   "You game?"
     "That's... that's what we're here for, ain't it?"
     "Sure."
     "Okay then."
     "Gone," Tigo said, nodding his head. "You got courage, Danny."
10   "You're the one needs the courage," Danny said gently. "It's your spin."
     "Tigo lifted the gun. Idly, he began spinning the cylinder.
     "You live on the next block, don't you?" Danny asked.
     "Yeah." Tigo kept slapping the cylinder. It spun with a gently whirring sound.
     "That's how come we never crossed paths, I guess. Also, I'm new on the scene."
15   "Yeah, well you know, you get hooked up with one club, that's the way it is."
     "You like the guys on you club?" Danny asked, wondering why he was asking such a stupid
     question, listening to the whirring of the cylinder at the same time.
     "They're okay." Tigo shrugged. "None of them really send me, but that's the club on my
     block, so what're you gonna do, huh?" His hand left the cylinder. It stopped spinning. He put
20   the gun to his head.
     "Wait!" Danny said.
     Tigo looked puzzled. "What's the matter?"
     "Nothing. I just wanted to say... I mean..." Danny frowned. "I don't dig too many of the guys
     on my club, either."
25   Tigo nodded. For a moment, their eyes locked. Then Tigo shrugged, and fired.
     The empty click filled the basement room.
     "Phew," Tigo said.
     "Man, you can say that again."
     Tigo slid the gun across the table.
30   Danny hesitated an instant. He did not want to pick up the gun. He felt sure that this time the
     firing pin would strike the percussion cap of one of the cartridges. He was sure that this time
     he would shoot himself.
     "Sometimes I think I'm turkey," he said to Tigo, surprised that his thoughts had found voice.
     "I feel that way sometimes, too," Tigo said.
35   "I never told that to nobody," Danny said. "The guys on my club would laugh at me, I ever
     told them that."
     "Some things you got to keep to yourself. There ain't nobody you can trust in this world."
     "There should be somebody you can trust," Danny said. "Hell, you can't tell nothing to your
     people. They don't understand." Tigo laughed. "That's an old story. But that's the way things
40   are. What're you gonna do?"
     "Yeah. Still, sometimes I think I'm turkey."



                                                         71
     The Last Spin by Evan Hunter

     "Sure, sure," Tigo said. "It ain't only that, though. Like sometimes... well, don't you wonder
     what you're doing stomping some guy in the street? Like ... you know what I mean? Like ...
     who's the guy to you? What you got to beat him up for? 'Cause he messed with somebody
     else's girl?" Tigo shook his head. "It gets complicated sometimes."
 5   "Yeah, but ..." Danny frowned again. "You got to stick with the club. Don't you?"
     "Sure, sure ... hell yes." Again, their eyes locked.
     "Well, here goes." Danny said. He lifted the gun. "It's just ..." He shook his head, and then
     twirled the cylinder. The cylinder spun, and then stopped. He studied the gun, wondering if
     one of the cartridges would roar from the barrel when he squeezed the trigger.
10   Then he fired.
     Click.
     "I didn't think you was going through with it," Tigo said.
     "I didn't neither."
     "You got heart, Danny," Tigo said. He looked at the gun. He picked it up and broke it open.
15   "What you doing?" Danny asked.
     "Another cartridge," Tigo said. "Six chambers, three cartridges. That makes it even money.
     You game?"
     "You?" "The boys said... " Tigo stopped talking. "Yeah, I'm game," he added, his voice
     curiously low.
20   "It's your turn, you know."
     "I know," Danny watched as Tigo picked up the gun.
     "You ever been row boating on the lake?"
     Tigo looked across the table at Danny, his eyes wide. "Once," he said. "I went with Juana."
     "Is it ... is it any kicks?"
25   "Yeah. Yeah, its grand kicks. You mean you never been?"
     "No," Danny said.
     "Hey, you got to tryin, man," Tigo said excitedly. "You'll like it. Hey, you try it."
     "Yeah, I was thinking maybe this Sunday I'd ... " He did not complete the sentence.
     "My spin," Tigo said wearily. He twirled the cylinder. "Here goes a good man," he said, and
30   he put the revolver to his head and squeezed the trigger.
     Click.
     Danny smiled nervously. "No rest for the weary," he said. "But Jesus you've got the heart. I
     don't know if I can go through with it."
     Sure, you can," Tigo assured him. "Listen, what's there to be afraid of?" He slid the gun
35   across the table.
     "We keep this up all night?" Danny asked.
     "They said ... you know ... "
     "Well, it ain't so bad. I mean, hell, we didn't have this operation, we wouldn'ta got a chance to
     talk, huh?" He grinned feebly.
40   "Yeah," Tigo said, his face splitting in a wide grin. "It ain't been so bad, huh?"
     "No, it's been ... well, you know, these guys on the club, who can talk to them?"


                                                     72
     The Last Spin by Evan Hunter

     He picked up the gun. "We could ..." Tigo started.
     "What?"
     "We could say ... well ... like we kept shootin' an' nothing happened, so ..." Tigo shrugged.
     "What the hell! We can't do this all night, can we?"
 5   "I don't know."
     "Let's make this the last spin. Listen, they don't like it, they can take a flying leap, you
     know?"
     "I don't think they'll like it. We're supposed to settle this for the clubs."
     "Screw the clubs!" Tigo said. "Can't we pick our own ..." The word was hard coming. When it
10   came, his eyes did not leave Danny's face. "... friends?"
     "Sure we can," Danny said vehemently. "Sure we can! Why not?"
     "The last spin," Tigo said. "Come on, the last spin."
     "Gone," Danny said. "Hey you know, I'm glad they got this idea. You know that? I'm actually
     glad!" He twirled the cylinder. "Look, you want to go on the lake this Sunday? I mean with
15   your girl and mine? We could get two boats. Or even one if you want." "Yeah, one boat,"
     Tigo Said. "Hey, your girl'll like Juana, I mean it. She's a swell chick."
     The cylinder stopped. Danny put the gun to his head quickly.
     "Here's to Sunday," he said. He grinned at Tigo, and Tigo grinned back, and then Danny fired.
     The explosion rocked the small basement room, ripping away half of Danny's head, shattering
20   his face. A small cry escaped Tigo's throat, and a look of incredulous shock knifed his eyes.
     Then he put his head on the table and began weeping.

     The Last Spin – Questions
         1. Do the boys have a reason to be enemies?
         2. Are they really enemies?
         3. Why is ―territory‖ so important that these boys are willing to die for it?
         4. How do Danny and Tigo start to discover what they have in common?
         5. What techniques does the author use to help us know the boys?
         6. Although both Danny and Tigo are afraid to go on with the ―game‖, they do, and
            even change the rules, making it more dangerous. Why?
         7. Why did Danny and Tigo join gangs?
         8. What is the significance of the gang for these boys?
         9. What is the boys‘ dilemma?
         10. How do the boys feel when they confess their weaknesses to each other?
         11. Tigo is shocked at the end. What does this tell us about him?
         12. How does the author succeed in creating suspense in the story?
         13. Give two reasons why you think gangs are bad/good for young people.




                                                      73
     The Necklace by Guy de Maupassant


     The Necklace by Guy de Maupassantiv
     She was one of those pretty and charming girls, born, as if by an accident of fate, into a
     family of clerks. With no dowry, no prospects, no way of any kind of being met, understood,
     loved, and married by a man both prosperous and famous, she was finally married to a minor
     clerk in the Ministry of Education.
 5   She dressed plainly because she could not afford fine clothes, but she was as unhappy as a
     woman who has come down in the world; for women have no family rank or social class.
     With them, beauty, grace, and charm take the place of birth and breeding. Their natural poise,
     their instinctive good taste, and their mental cleverness are the sole guiding principles which
     make daughters of the common people the equals of ladies in high society.
10   She grieved incessantly, feeling that she had been born for all the little niceties and luxuries of
     living. She grieved over the shabbiness of her apartment, the dinginess of the walls, the worn-
     out appearance of the chairs, the ugliness of the draperies. All these things, which another
     woman of her class would not even have noticed, gnawed at her and made her furious. The
     sight of the little Breton girl who did her humble housework roused in her disconsolate regrets
15   and wild daydreams. She would dream of silent chambers, draped with Oriental tapestries and
     lighted by tall bronze floor lamps, and of two handsome butlers in knee breeches, who,
     drowsy from the heavy warmth cast by the central stove, dozed in large overstuffed
     armchairs.
     She would dream of great reception halls hung with old silks, of fine furniture filled with
20   priceless curios, and of small, stylish, scented sitting rooms just right for the four o‘clock chat
     with intimate friends, with distinguished and sought-after men whose attention every woman
     envies and longs to attract.
     When dining at the round table, covered for the third day with the same cloth, opposite her
     husband, who would raise the cover of the soup tureen, declaring delightedly, ―Ah! a good
25   stew! There‘s nothing I like better . . .,‖ she would dream of fashionable dinner parties, of
     gleaming silverware, of tapestries making the walls alive with characters out of history and
     strange birds in a fairyland forest; she would dream of delicious dishes served on wonderful
     china, of gallant compliments whispered and listened to with a sphinx like smile as one eats
     the rosy flesh of a trout or nibbles at the wings of a grouse.
30   She had no evening clothes, no jewels, nothing. But those were the things she wanted; she felt
     that was the kind of life for her. She so much longed to please, be envied, be fascinating and
     sought after.
     She had a well-to-do friend, a classmate of convent-school days whom she would no longer
     go to see, simply because she would feel so distressed on returning home. And she would
35   weep for days on end from vexation, regret, despair, and anguish.
     Then one evening, her husband came home proudly holding out a large envelope.
     ―Look,‖ he said, ―I‘ve got something for you.‖
     She excitedly tore open the envelope and pulled out a printed card bearing these words:
     ―The Minister of Education and Mme. Georges Ramponneau beg M. and Mme. Loisel6 to do
40   them the honor of attending an evening reception at the Ministerial Mansion on Friday,
     January 18.‖
     Instead of being delighted, as her husband had hoped, she scornfully tossed the invitation on
     the table, murmuring,
     ―What good is that to me?‖




                                                     74
     The Necklace by Guy de Maupassant

     ―But, my dear, I thought you‘d be thrilled to death. You never get a chance to go out, and this
     is a real affair, a wonderful one! I had an awful time getting a card. Everybody wants one; it‘s
     much sought after, and not many clerks have a chance at one. You‘ll see all the most
     important people there.‖
 5   She gave him an irritated glance and burst out impatiently, ―What do you think I have to go
     in?‖
     He hadn‘t given that a thought. He stammered, ―Why, the dress you wear when we go to the
     theater. That looks quite nice, I think.‖
     He stopped talking, dazed and distracted to see his wife burst out weeping. Two large tears
10   slowly rolled from the corners of her eyes to the corners of her mouth; he gasped, ―Why,
     what‘s the matter? What‘s the trouble?‖
     By sheer willpower she overcame her outburst and answered in a calm voice while wiping the
     tears from her wet cheeks, ―Oh, nothing. Only I don‘t have an evening dress and therefore I
     can‘t go to that affair. Give the card to some friend at the office whose wife can dress better
15   than I can.‖
     He was stunned. He resumed, ―Let‘s see, Mathilde. How much would a suitable outfit cost—
     one you could wear for other affairs too—something very simple?‖
     She thought it over for several seconds, going over her allowance and thinking also of the
     amount she could ask for without bringing an immediate refusal and an exclamation of
20   dismay from the thrifty clerk.
     Finally, she answered hesitatingly, ―I‘m not sure exactly, but I think with four hundred francs
     I could manage it.‖
     He turned a bit pale, for he had set aside just that amount to buy a rifle so that the following
     summer, he could join some friends who were getting up a group to shoot larks on the plain
25   near Nanterre.
     However, he said, ―All right. I‘ll give you four hundred francs. But try to get a nice dress.‖
     As the day of the party approached, Mme. Loisel seemed sad, moody, ill at ease. Her outfit
     was ready, however. Her husband said to her one evening, ―What‘s the matter? You‘ve been
     all out of sorts for three days.‖
30   And she answered, ―It‘s embarrassing not to have a jewel or a gem—nothing to wear on my
     dress. I‘ll look like a pauper. I‘d almost rather not go to the party.‖
     He answered, ―Why not wear some flowers? They‘re very fashionable this season. For ten
     francs you can get two or three gorgeous roses.‖
     She wasn‘t at all convinced. ―No. . . . There‘s nothing more humiliating than to look poor
35   among a lot of rich women.‖
     But her husband exclaimed, ―My, but you‘re silly! Go see your friend Mme. Forestier,8 and
     ask her to lend you some jewelry. You and she know each other well enough for you to do
     that.‖
     She gave a cry of joy. ―Why, that‘s so! I hadn‘t thought of it.‖
40   The next day she paid her friend a visit and told her of her predicament.
     Mme. Forestier went toward a large closet with mirrored doors, took out a large jewel box,
     brought it over, opened it, and said to Mme. Loisel, ―Pick something out, my dear.‖
     At first her eyes noted some bracelets, then a pearl necklace, then a Venetian cross, gold and
     gems, of marvelous workmanship. She tried on these adornments in front of the mirror, but
45   hesitated, unable to decide which to part with and put back. She kept on asking, ―Haven‘t you
     something else?‖



                                                    75
     The Necklace by Guy de Maupassant

     ―Oh, yes, keep on looking. I don‘t know just what you‘d like.‖
     All at once she found, in a black satin box, a superb diamond necklace; and her pulse beat
     faster with longing. Her hands trembled as she took it up. Clasping it around her throat,
     outside her high-necked dress, she stood in ecstasy looking at her reflection.
 5   Then she asked, hesitatingly, pleading, ―Could I borrow that, just that and nothing else?‖
     ―Why, of course.‖
     She threw her arms around her friend, kissed her warmly, and fled with her treasure.
     The day of the party arrived. Mme. Loisel was a sensation. She was the prettiest one there,
     fashionable, gracious, smiling, and wild with joy. All the men turned to look at her, asked
10   who she was, begged to be introduced. All the Cabinet officials wanted to waltz with her. The
     minister took notice of her.
     She danced madly, wildly, drunk with pleasure, giving no thought to anything in the triumph
     of her beauty, the pride of her success, in a kind of happy cloud composed of all the adulation,
     of all the admiring glances, of all the awakened longings, of a sense of complete victory that
15   is so sweet to a woman‘s heart.
     She left around four o‘clock in the morning. Her husband, since midnight, had been dozing in
     a small, empty sitting room with three other gentlemen whose wives were having too good a
     time.
     He threw over her shoulders the wraps he had brought for going home, modest garments of
20   everyday life whose shabbiness clashed with the stylishness of her evening clothes. She felt
     this and longed to escape unseen by the other women, who were draped in expensive furs.
     Loisel held her back.
     ―Hold on! You‘ll catch cold outside. I‘ll call a cab.‖
     But she wouldn‘t listen to him and went rapidly down the stairs. When they were on the
25   street, they didn‘t find a carriage; and they set out to hunt for one, hailing drivers whom they
     saw going by at a distance.
     They walked toward the Seine, disconsolate and shivering. Finally, on the docks, they found
     one of those carriages that one sees in Paris only after nightfall, as if they were ashamed to
     show their drabness during daylight hours.
30   It dropped them at their door in the Rue des Martyrs, and they climbed wearily up to their
     apartment. For her, it was all over. For him, there was the thought that he would have to be at
     the Ministry at ten o‘clock.
     Before the mirror, she let the wraps fall from her shoulders to see herself once again in all her
     glory. Suddenly she gave a cry. The necklace was gone.
35   Her husband, already half undressed, said, ―What‘s the trouble?‖
     She turned toward him despairingly, ―I . . . I . . . I don‘t have Mme. Forestier‘s necklace.‖
     ―What! You can‘t mean it! It‘s impossible!‖
     They hunted everywhere, through the folds of the dress, through the folds of the coat, in the
     pockets. They found nothing.
40   He asked, ―Are you sure you had it when leaving the dance?‖
     ―Yes, I felt it when I was in the hall of the Ministry.‖
     ―But if you had lost it on the street, we‘d have heard it drop. It must be in the cab.‖
     ―Yes, quite likely. Did you get its number?‖
     ―No. Didn‘t you notice it either?‖


                                                     76
     The Necklace by Guy de Maupassant

     ―No.‖
     They looked at each other aghast. Finally Loisel got dressed again.
     ―I‘ll retrace our steps on foot,‖ he said, ―to see if I can find it.‖
     And he went out. She remained in her evening clothes, without the strength to go to bed,
 5   slumped in a chair in the unheated room, her mind a blank.
     Her husband came in around seven o‘clock. He had had no luck.
     He went to the police station, to the newspapers to post a reward, to the cab companies,
     everywhere the slightest hope drove him.
     That evening Loisel returned, pale, his face lined; still he had learned nothing.
10   ―We‘ll have to write your friend,‖ he said, ―to tell her you have broken the catch and are
     having it repaired. That will give us a little time to turn around.‖
     She wrote to his dictation.
     At the end of a week, they had given up all hope.
     And Loisel, looking five years older, declared, ―We must take steps to replace that piece of
15   jewelry.‖
     The next day they took the case to the jeweler whose name they found inside. He consulted
     his records. ―I didn‘t sell that necklace, madame,‖ he said. ―I only supplied the case.‖
     Then they went from one jeweler to another hunting for a similar necklace, going over their
     recollections, both sick with despair and anxiety.
20   They found, in a shop in Palais Royal, a string of diamonds which seemed exactly like the one
     they were seeking. It was priced at forty thousand francs. They could get it for thirty-six.
     They asked the jeweler to hold it for them for three days. And they reached an agreement that
     he would take it back for thirty-four thousand if the lost one was found before the end of
     February.
25   Loisel had eighteen thousand francs he had inherited from his father. He would borrow the
     rest.
     He went about raising the money, asking a thousand francs from one, four hundred from
     another, a hundred here, sixty there. He signed notes, made ruinous deals, did business with
     loan sharks, ran the whole gamut of money-lenders. He compromised the rest of his life,
30   risked his signature without knowing if he‘d be able to honor it, and then, terrified by the
     outlook of the future, by the blackness of despair about to close around him, by the prospect
     of all the privations of the body and tortures of the spirit, he went to claim the new necklace
     with the thirty-six thousand francs, which he placed on the counter of the shopkeeper.
     When Mme. Loisel took the necklace back, Mme. Forestier said to her frostily, ―You should
35   have brought it back sooner; I might have needed it.‖
     She didn‘t open the case, an action her friend was afraid of. If she had noticed the
     substitution, what would she have thought? What would she have said? Would she have
     thought her a thief?
     Mme. Loisel experienced the horrible life the needy live. She played her part, however, with
40   sudden heroism. That frightful debt had to be paid. She would pay it. She dismissed her maid;
     they rented a garret under the eaves.
     She learned to do the heavy housework, to perform the hateful duties of cooking. She washed
     dishes, wearing down her shell-pink nails scouring the grease from pots and pans; she
     scrubbed dirty linen, shirts, and cleaning rags, which she hung on a line to dry; she took the
45   garbage down to the street each morning and brought up water, stopping on each landing to



                                                       77
     The Necklace by Guy de Maupassant

     get her breath. And, clad like a peasant woman, basket on arm, guarding sou by sou her
     scanty allowance, she bargained with the fruit dealers, the grocer, the butcher, and was
     insulted by them.
     Each month notes had to be paid, and others renewed to give more time.
 5   Her husband labored evenings to balance a tradesman‘s accounts, and at night, often, he
     copied documents at five sous a page.
     And this went on for ten years.
     Finally, all was paid back, everything including the exorbitant rates of the loan sharks and
     accumulated compound interest.
10   Mme. Loisel appeared an old woman now. She became heavy, rough, harsh, like one of the
     poor. Her hair untended, her skirts askew, her hands red, her voice shrill, she even slopped
     water on her floors and scrubbed them herself. But, sometimes, while her husband was at
     work, she would sit near the window and think of that long-ago evening when, at the dance,
     she had been so beautiful and admired.
15   What would have happened if she had not lost that necklace? Who knows? Who can say?
     How strange and unpredictable life is! How little there is between happiness and misery!
     Then, one Sunday, when she had gone for a walk on the Champs Élysées14 to relax a bit from
     the week‘s labors, she suddenly noticed a woman strolling with a child. It was Mme.
     Forestier, still young looking, still beautiful, still charming.
20   Mme. Loisel felt a rush of emotion. Should she speak to her? Of course. And now that
     everything was paid off, she would tell her the whole story. Why not?
     She went toward her. ―Hello, Jeanne.‖
     The other, not recognizing her, showed astonishment at being spoken to so familiarly by this
     common person. She stammered, ―But . . . madame . . . I don‘t recognize . . . You must be
25   mistaken.‖
     ―No, I‘m Mathilde Loisel.‖
     Her friend gave a cry, ―Oh, my poor Mathilde, how you‘ve changed!‖
     ―Yes, I‘ve had a hard time since last seeing you. And plenty of misfortunes—and all on
     account of you!‖
30   ―Of me . . . How do you mean?‖
     ―Do you remember that diamond necklace you loaned me to wear to the dance at the
     Ministry?‖
     ―Yes, but what about it?‖
     ―Well, I lost it.‖
35   ―You lost it! But you returned it.‖
     ―I brought you another just like it. And we‘ve been paying for it for ten years now. You can
     imagine that wasn‘t easy for us who had nothing. Well, it‘s over now, and I am glad of it.‖
     Mme. Forestier stopped short. ―You mean to say you bought a diamond necklace to replace
     mine?‖
40   ―Yes. You never noticed, then? They were quite alike.‖
     And she smiled with proud and simple joy.
     Mme. Forestier, quite overcome, clasped her by the hands. ―Oh, my poor Mathilde. But mine
     was fake. Why, at most it was worth only five hundred francs!‖



                                                   78
The Necklace by Guy de Maupassant


The Necklace - Questions
   1. Why was Mathilde unhappy with her life at the opening of the story?
   2. Do you think M. Loisel was content with his life before the ball took place?
   3. Do you agree with the author that "women have no caste or class"? Explain
   4. Why did M. Loisel expect his wife to be pleased to receive the invitation from the
      Minister of Education?
   5. Describe Mme Loisel's reaction on reading the invitation.
   6. Why had M. Loisel been saving 400 Francs?
   7. Compare the life of Mme Lebrun before and after the disappearance of the necklace.
   8. Why was Mme Loisel anxious to hurry away from the ball?
   9. What efforts were made to find Mme Forestier's necklace?
   10. How did Mme Forestier recognize Mme Loisel when they met in the Champs-Elysees?
   11. What was Mme Forestier's reaction when the necklace was returned?
   12. Do you think Mme Loisel recognized good quality jewellery?
   13. Do you think M. Loisel enjoyed the ball?
   14. Why were the Loisels allowed to buy the new necklace for less than the asking price?
   15. Before the last few lines of this story, are there any clues given by the author which
       hint at the true cause of the baby's appearance?
   16. Why do you think Mme Forestier never contacted Mme Loisel after the 'return' of her
       necklace?
   17. How did M. Loisel contribute to the cost of the new necklace?
   18. Describe how you felt about Mathilde at the beginning of the story, and how you felt
       about her by the time the story ended.
   19. When Mme. Forestier reveals that the necklace was a fake, the reader feels the force
       of the irony . Explain why her revelation is ironic.
   20. Do you think the writer is criticizing the values of a whole society? Explain.
   21. Does this story remind you of any experience in your life or in the lives of your
       friends? Explain.
   22. Write a different end to the story, assuming that either Mme Loisel never lost the
       necklace or that she found the necklace.




                                             79
     Two Friends by Guy de Maupassant


     Two Friends by Guy de Maupassant
     Besieged Paris was in the throes of famine. Even the sparrows on the roofs and the rats in the
     sewers were growing scarce. People were eating anything they could get.
     As Monsieur Morissot, watchmaker by profession and idler for the nonce, was strolling along
     the boulevard one bright January morning, his hands in his trousers pockets and stomach
 5   empty, he suddenly came face to face with an acquaintance--Monsieur Sauvage, a fishing
     chum.
     Before the war broke out Morissot had been in the habit, every Sunday morning, of setting
     forth with a bamboo rod in his hand and a tin box on his back. He took the Argenteuil train,
     got out at Colombes, and walked thence to the Ile Marante. The moment he arrived at this
10   place of his dreams he began fishing, and fished till nightfall.
     Every Sunday he met in this very spot Monsieur Sauvage, a stout, jolly, little man, a draper in
     the Rue Notre Dame de Lorette, and also an ardent fisherman. They often spent half the day
     side by side, rod in hand and feet dangling over the water, and a warm friendship had sprung
     up between the two.
15   Some days they did not speak; at other times they chatted; but they understood each other
     perfectly without the aid of words, having similar tastes and feelings.
     In the spring, about ten o'clock in the morning, when the early sun caused a light mist to float
     on the water and gently warmed the backs of the two enthusiastic anglers, Morissot would
     occasionally remark to his neighbor:
20   "My, but it's pleasant here."
     To which the other would reply:
     "I can't imagine anything better!"
     And these few words sufficed to make them understand and appreciate each other.
     In the autumn, toward the close of day, when the setting sun shed a blood-red glow over the
25   western sky, and the reflection of the crimson clouds tinged the whole river with red, brought
     a glow to the faces of the two friends, and gilded the trees, whose leaves were already turning
     at the first chill touch of winter, Monsieur Sauvage would sometimes smile at Morissot, and
     say:
     "What a glorious spectacle!"
30   And Morissot would answer, without taking his eyes from his float:
     "This is much better than the boulevard, isn't it?"
     As soon as they recognized each other they shook hands cordially, affected at the thought of
     meeting under such changed circumstances.
     Monsieur Sauvage, with a sigh, murmured:
35   "These are sad times!"
     Morissot shook his head mournfully.
     "And such weather! This is the first fine day of the year."
     The sky was, in fact, of a bright, cloudless blue.
     They walked along, side by side, reflective and sad.
40   "And to think of the fishing!" said Morissot. "What good times we used to have!"
     "When shall we be able to fish again?" asked Monsieur Sauvage.



                                                    80
     Two Friends by Guy de Maupassant

     They entered a small cafe and took an absinthe together, then resumed their walk along the
     pavement.
     Morissot stopped suddenly.
     "Shall we have another absinthe?" he said.
 5   "If you like," agreed Monsieur Sauvage.
     And they entered another wine shop.
     They were quite unsteady when they came out, owing to the effect of the alcohol on their
     empty stomachs. It was a fine, mild day, and a gentle breeze fanned their faces.
     The fresh air completed the effect of the alcohol on Monsieur Sauvage. He stopped suddenly,
10   saying:
     "Suppose we go there?"
     "Where?"
     "Fishing."
     "But where?"
15   "Why, to the old place. The French outposts are close to Colombes. I know Colonel
     Dumoulin, and we shall easily get leave to pass."
     Morissot trembled with desire.
     "Very well. I agree."
     And they separated, to fetch their rods and lines.
20   An hour later they were walking side by side on the-highroad. Presently they reached the villa
     occupied by the colonel. He smiled at their request, and granted it. They resumed their walk,
     furnished with a password.
     Soon they left the outposts behind them, made their way through deserted Colombes, and
     found themselves on the outskirts of the small vineyards which border the Seine. It was about
25   eleven o'clock.
     Before them lay the village of Argenteuil, apparently lifeless. The heights of Orgement and
     Sannois dominated the landscape. The great plain, extending as far as Nanterre, was empty,
     quite empty-a waste of dun-colored soil and bare cherry trees.
     Monsieur Sauvage, pointing to the heights, murmured:
30   "The Prussians are up yonder!"
     And the sight of the deserted country filled the two friends with vague misgivings.
     The Prussians! They had never seen them as yet, but they had felt their presence in the
     neighborhood of Paris for months past--ruining France, pillaging, massacring, starving them.
     And a kind of superstitious terror mingled with the hatred they already felt toward this
35   unknown, victorious nation.
     "Suppose we were to meet any of them?" said Morissot.
     "We'd offer them some fish," replied Monsieur Sauvage, with that Parisian light-heartedness
     which nothing can wholly quench.
     Still, they hesitated to show themselves in the open country, overawed by the utter silence
40   which reigned around them.
     At last Monsieur Sauvage said boldly:
     "Come, we'll make a start; only let us be careful!"



                                                    81
     Two Friends by Guy de Maupassant

     And they made their way through one of the vineyards, bent double, creeping along beneath
     the cover afforded by the vines, with eye and ear alert.
     A strip of bare ground remained to be crossed before they could gain the river bank. They ran
     across this, and, as soon as they were at the water's edge, concealed themselves among the dry
 5   reeds.
     Morissot placed his ear to the ground, to ascertain, if possible, whether footsteps were coming
     their way. He heard nothing. They seemed to be utterly alone.
     Their confidence was restored, and they began to fish.
     Before them the deserted Ile Marante hid them from the farther shore. The little restaurant
10   was closed, and looked as if it had been deserted for years.
     Monsieur Sauvage caught the first gudgeon, Monsieur Morissot the second, and almost every
     moment one or other raised his line with a little, glittering, silvery fish wriggling at the end;
     they were having excellent sport.
     They slipped their catch gently into a close-meshed bag lying at their feet; they were filled
15   with joy--the joy of once more indulging in a pastime of which they had long been deprived.
     The sun poured its rays on their backs; they no longer heard anything or thought of anything.
     They ignored the rest of the world; they were fishing.
     But suddenly a rumbling sound, which seemed to come from the bowels of the earth, shook
     the ground beneath them: the cannon were resuming their thunder.
20   Morissot turned his head and could see toward the left, beyond the banks of the river, the
     formidable outline of Mont-Valerien, from whose summit arose a white puff of smoke.
     The next instant a second puff followed the first, and in a few moments a fresh detonation
     made the earth tremble.
     Others followed, and minute by minute the mountain gave forth its deadly breath and a white
25   puff of smoke, which rose slowly into the peaceful heaven and floated above the summit of
     the cliff.
     Monsieur Sauvage shrugged his shoulders.
     "They are at it again!" he said.
     Morissot, who was anxiously watching his float bobbing up and down, was suddenly seized
30   with the angry impatience of a peaceful man toward the madmen who were firing thus, and
     remarked indignantly:
     "What fools they are to kill one another like that!"
     "They're worse than animals," replied Monsieur Sauvage.
     And Morissot, who had just caught a bleak, declared:
35   "And to think that it will be just the same so long as there are governments!"
     "The Republic would not have declared war," interposed Monsieur Sauvage.
     Morissot interrupted him:
     "Under a king we have foreign wars; under a republic we have civil war."
     And the two began placidly discussing political problems with the sound common sense of
40   peaceful, matter-of-fact citizens--agreeing on one point: that they would never be free. And
     Mont-Valerien thundered ceaselessly, demolishing the houses of the French with its cannon
     balls, grinding lives of men to powder, destroying many a dream, many a cherished hope,
     many a prospective happiness; ruthlessly causing endless woe and suffering in the hearts of
     wives, of daughters, of mothers, in other lands.



                                                    82
     Two Friends by Guy de Maupassant

     "Such is life!" declared Monsieur Sauvage.
     "Say, rather, such is death!" replied Morissot, laughing.
     But they suddenly trembled with alarm at the sound of footsteps behind them, and, turning
     round, they perceived close at hand four tall, bearded men, dressed after the manner of livery
 5   servants and wearing flat caps on their heads. They were covering the two anglers with their
     rifles.
     The rods slipped from their owners' grasp and floated away down the river.
     In the space of a few seconds they were seized, bound, thrown into a boat, and taken across to
     the Ile Marante.
10   And behind the house they had thought deserted were about a score of German soldiers.
     A shaggy-looking giant, who was bestriding a chair and smoking a long clay pipe, addressed
     them in excellent French with the words:
     "Well, gentlemen, have you had good luck with your fishing?"
     Then a soldier deposited at the officer's feet the bag full of fish, which he had taken care to
15   bring away. The Prussian smiled.
     "Not bad, I see. But we have something else to talk about. Listen to me, and don't be alarmed:
     "You must know that, in my eyes, you are two spies sent to reconnoitre me and my
     movements. Naturally, I capture you and I shoot you. You pretended to be fishing, the better
     to disguise your real errand. You have fallen into my hands, and must take the consequences.
20   Such is war.
     "But as you came here through the outposts you must have a password for your return. Tell
     me that password and I will let you go."
     The two friends, pale as death, stood silently side by side, a slight fluttering of the hands
     alone betraying their emotion.
25   "No one will ever know," continued the officer. "You will return peacefully to your homes,
     and the secret will disappear with you. If you refuse, it means death-instant death. Choose!"
     They stood motionless, and did not open their lips.
     The Prussian, perfectly calm, went on, with hand outstretched toward the river:
     "Just think that in five minutes you will be at the bottom of that water. In five minutes! You
30   have relations, I presume?"
     Mont-Valerien still thundered.
     The two fishermen remained silent. The German turned and gave an order in his own
     language. Then he moved his chair a little way off, that he might not be so near the prisoners,
     and a dozen men stepped forward, rifle in hand, and took up a position, twenty paces off.
35   "I give you one minute," said the officer; "not a second longer."
     Then he rose quickly, went over to the two Frenchmen, took Morissot by the arm, led him a
     short distance off, and said in a low voice:
     "Quick! the password! Your friend will know nothing. I will pretend to relent."
     Morissot answered not a word.
40   Then the Prussian took Monsieur Sauvage aside in like manner, and made him the same
     proposal.
     Monsieur Sauvage made no reply.
     Again they stood side by side.


                                                     83
     Two Friends by Guy de Maupassant

     The officer issued his orders; the soldiers raised their rifles.
     Then by chance Morissot's eyes fell on the bag full of gudgeon lying in the grass a few feet
     from him.
     A ray of sunlight made the still quivering fish glisten like silver. And Morissot's heart sank.
 5   Despite his efforts at self-control his eyes filled with tears.
     "Good-by, Monsieur Sauvage," he faltered.
     "Good-by, Monsieur Morissot," replied Sauvage.
     They shook hands, trembling from head to foot with a dread beyond their mastery.
     The officer cried:
10   "Fire!"
     The twelve shots were as one.
     Monsieur Sauvage fell forward instantaneously. Morissot, being the taller, swayed slightly
     and fell across his friend with face turned skyward and blood oozing from a rent in the breast
     of his coat.
15   The German issued fresh orders.
     His men dispersed, and presently returned with ropes and large stones, which they attached to
     the feet of the two friends; then they carried them to the river bank.
     Mont-Valerien, its summit now enshrouded in smoke, still continued to thunder.
     Two soldiers took Morissot by the head and the feet; two others did the same with Sauvage.
20   The bodies, swung lustily by strong hands, were cast to a distance, and, describing a curve,
     fell feet foremost into the stream.
     The water splashed high, foamed, eddied, then grew calm; tiny waves lapped the shore.
     A few streaks of blood flecked the surface of the river.
     The officer, calm throughout, remarked, with grim humor:
25   "It's the fishes' turn now!"
     Then he retraced his way to the house.
     Suddenly he caught sight of the net full of gudgeons, lying forgotten in the grass. He picked it
     up, examined it, smiled, and called:
     "Wilhelm!"
30   A white-aproned soldier responded to the summons, and the Prussian, tossing him the catch
     of the two murdered men, said:
     "Have these fish fried for me at once, while they are still alive; they'll make a tasty dish."
     Then he resumed his pipe.




                                                      84
Two Friends by Guy de Maupassant


Two Friends – Questions
1. In "Two Friends" how does the war affect the habits of Morissot and Sauvage?
They are prohibited from meeting. They have to walk everywhere. They can't go fishing.
2. In "Two Friends," what final choice leads to the men's execution?
Their decision to spy leads to their execution.
Their decision to remain silent leads to their execution.
Their decision to fish illegally leads to their execution.
3. What general truth does "Two Friends" show about friendship?
Only those with a lot to talk about can be friends.
Friendship may be simple, but it gives people the strength for noble acts.
True friends will make any sacrifice for each other.
4. In "Damon and Pythias," why isn't Damon afraid as he waits for Pythias?
He believes that Dionysius will not hold him to his bargain.
He does not fear death.
He has faith that his friend will return.
5. How does the strength of Damon and Pythias's friendship affect the king?
He becomes bitter because he has no friends.
He is so impressed that he pardons Pythias.
He is so ashamed that he resigns his position.




                                                85
     Lamb to the Slaughter by Roald Dahl


     Lamb to the Slaughter by Roald Dahlv
     The room was warm and clean, the curtains drawn, the two table lamps alight-hers and the
     one by the empty chair opposite. On the sideboard behind her, two tall glasses, soda water,
     whiskey. Fresh ice cubes in the Thermos bucket.
     Mary Maloney was waiting for her husband to come him from work.
 5   Now and again she would glance up at the clock, but without anxiety, merely to please herself
     with the thought that each minute gone by made it nearer the time when he would come.
     There was a slow smiling air about her, and about everything she did. The drop of a head as
     she bent over her sewing was curiously tranquil. Her skin -for this was her sixth month with
     child-had acquired a wonderful translucent quality, the mouth was soft, and the eyes, with
10   their new placid look, seemed larger darker than before. When the clock said ten minutes to
     five, she began to listen, and a few moments later, punctually as always, she heard the tires on
     the gravel outside, and the car door slamming, the footsteps passing the window, the key
     turning in the lock. She laid aside her sewing, stood up, and went forward to kiss him as he
     came in.
15   ―Hullo darling,‖ she said.
     ―Hullo darling,‖ he answered.
     She took his coat and hung it in the closer. Then she walked over and made the drinks, a
     strongish one for him, a weak one for herself; and soon she was back again in her chair with
     the sewing, and he in the other, opposite, holding the tall glass with both hands, rocking it so
20   the ice cubes tinkled against the side.
     For her, this was always a blissful time of day. She knew he didn‘t want to speak much until
     the first drink was finished, and she, on her side, was content to sit quietly, enjoying his
     company after the long hours alone in the house. She loved to luxuriate in the presence of this
     man, and to feel-almost as a sunbather feels the sun-that warm male glow that came out of
25   him to her when they were alone together. She loved him for the way he sat loosely in a chair,
     for the way he came in a door, or moved slowly across the room with long strides. She loved
     intent, far look in his eyes when they rested in her, the funny shape of the mouth, and
     especially the way he remained silent about his tiredness, sitting still with himself until the
     whiskey had taken some of it away.
30   ―Tired darling?‖
     ―Yes,‖ he said. ―I‘m tired,‖ And as he spoke, he did an unusual thing. He lifted his glass and
     drained it in one swallow although there was still half of it, at least half of it left.. She wasn‘t
     really watching him, but she knew what he had done because she heard the ice cubes falling
     back against the bottom of the empty glass when he lowered his arm. He paused a moment,
35   leaning forward in the chair, then he got up and went slowly over to fetch himself another.
     ―I‘ll get it!‖ she cried, jumping up.
     ―Sit down,‖ he said.
     When he came back, she noticed that the new drink was dark amber with the quantity of
     whiskey in it.
40   ―Darling, shall I get your slippers?‖
     ―No.‖
     She watched him as he began to sip the dark yellow drink, and she could see little oily swirls
     in the liquid because it was so strong.
     ―I think it‘s a shame,‖ she said, ―that when a policeman gets to be as senior as you, they keep
45   him walking about on his feet all day long.‖


                                                      86
     Lamb to the Slaughter by Roald Dahl

     He didn‘t answer, so she bent her head again and went on with her sewing; bet each time he
     lifted the drink to his lips, she heard the ice cubes clinking against the side of the glass.
     ―Darling,‖ she said. ―Would you like me to get you some cheese? I haven‘t made any supper
     because it‘s Thursday.‖
 5   ―No,‖ he said.
     ―If you‘re too tired to eat out,‖ she went on, ―it‘s still not too late. There‘s plenty of meat and
     stuff in the freezer, and you can have it right here and not even move out of the chair.‖
     Her eyes waited on him for an answer, a smile, a little nod, but he made no sign.
     ―Anyway,‖ she went on, ―I‘ll get you some cheese and crackers first.‖
10   ―I don‘t want it,‖ he said.
     She moved uneasily in her chair, the large eyes still watching his face. ―But you must eat! I‘ll
     fix it anyway, and then you can have it or not, as you like.‖
     She stood up and placed her sewing on the table by the lamp.
     ―Sit down,‖ he said. ―Just for a minute, sit down.‖
15   It wasn‘t till then that she began to get frightened.
     ―Go on,‖ he said. ―Sit down.‖
     She lowered herself back slowly into the chair, watching him all the time with those large,
     bewildered eyes. He had finished the second drink and was staring down into the glass,
     frowning.
20   ―Listen,‖ he said. ―I‘ve got something to tell you.‖
     ―What is it, darling? What‘s the matter?‖
     He had now become absolutely motionless, and he kept his head down so that the light from
     the lamp beside him fell across the upper part of his face, leaving the chin and mouth in
     shadow. She noticed there was a little muscle moving near the corner of his left eye.
25   ―This is going to be a bit of a shock to you, I‘m afraid,‖ he said. ―But I‘ve thought about it a
     good deal and I‘ve decided the only thing to do is tell you right away. I hope you won‘t blame
     me too much.‖
     And he told her. It didn‘t take long, four or five minutes at most, and she say very still
     through it all, watching him with a kind of dazed horror as he went further and further away
30   from her with each word.
     ―So there it is,‖ he added. ―And I know it‘s kind of a bad time to be telling you, bet there
     simply wasn‘t any other way. Of course I‘ll give you money and see you‘re looked after. But
     there needn‘t really be any fuss. I hope not anyway. It wouldn‘t be very good for my job.‖
     Her first instinct was not to believe any of it, to reject it all. It occurred to her that perhaps he
35   hadn‘t even spoken, that she herself had imagined the whole thing. Maybe, if she went about
     her business and acted as though she hadn‘t been listening, then later, when she sort of woke
     up again, she might find none of it had ever happened.
     ―I‘ll get the supper,‖ she managed to whisper, and this time he didn‘t stop her.
     When she walked across the room she couldn‘t feel her feet touching the floor. She couldn‘t
40   feel anything at all- except a slight nausea and a desire to vomit. Everything was automatic
     now-down the steps to the cellar, the light switch, the deep freeze, the hand inside the cabinet
     taking hold of the first object it met. She lifted it out, and looked at it. It was wrapped in
     paper, so she took off the paper and looked at it again.
     A leg of lamb.



                                                      87
     Lamb to the Slaughter by Roald Dahl

     All right then, they would have lamb for supper. She carried it upstairs, holding the thin bone-
     end of it with both her hands, and as she went through the living-room, she saw him standing
     over by the window with his back to her, and she stopped.
     ―For God‘s sake,‖ he said, hearing her, but not turning round. ―Don‘t make supper for me.
 5   I‘m going out.‖
     At that point, Mary Maloney simply walked up behind him and without any pause she swung
     the big frozen leg of lamb high in the air and brought it down as hard as she could on the back
     of his head.
     She might just as well have hit him with a steel club.
10   She stepped back a pace, waiting, and the funny thing was that he remained standing there for
     at least four or five seconds, gently swaying. Then he crashed to the carpet.
     The violence of the crash, the noise, the small table overturning, helped bring her out of he
     shock. She came out slowly, feeling cold and surprised, and she stood for a while blinking at
     the body, still holding the ridiculous piece of meat tight with both hands.
15   All right, she told herself. So I‘ve killed him.
     It was extraordinary, now, how clear her mind became all of a sudden. She began thinking
     very fast. As the wife of a detective, she knew quite well what the penalty would be. That was
     fine. It made no difference to her. In fact, it would be a relief. On the other hand, what about
     the child? What were the laws about murderers with unborn children? Did they kill then both-
20   mother and child? Or did they wait until the tenth month? What did they do?
     Mary Maloney didn‘t know. And she certainly wasn‘t prepared to take a chance.
     She carried the meat into the kitchen, placed it in a pan, turned the oven on high, and shoved t
     inside. Then she washed her hands and ran upstairs to the bedroom. She sat down before the
     mirror, tidied her hair, touched up her lops and face. She tried a smile. It came out rather
25   peculiar. She tried again.
     ―Hullo Sam,‖ she said brightly, aloud.
     The voice sounded peculiar too.
     ―I want some potatoes please, Sam. Yes, and I think a can of peas.‖
     That was better. Both the smile and the voice were coming out better now. She rehearsed it
30   several times more. Then she ran downstairs, took her coat, went out the back door, down the
     garden, into the street.
     It wasn‘t six o‘clock yet and the lights were still on in the grocery shop.
     ―Hullo Sam,‖ she said brightly, smiling at the man behind the counter.
     ―Why, good evening, Mrs. Maloney. How‘re you?‖
35   ―I want some potatoes please, Sam. Yes, and I think a can of peas.‖
     The man turned and reached up behind him on the shelf for the peas.
     ―Patrick‘s decided he‘s tired and doesn‘t want to eat out tonight,‖ she told him. ―We usually
     go out Thursdays, you know, and now he‘s caught me without any vegetables in the house.‖
     ―Then how about meat, Mrs. Maloney?‖
40
     ―No, I‘ve got meat, thanks. I got a nice leg of lamb from the freezer.‖
     ―Oh.‖




                                                        88
     Lamb to the Slaughter by Roald Dahl

     ―I don‘t know much like cooking it frozen, Sam, but I‘m taking a chance on it this time. You
     think it‘ll be all right?‖
     ―Personally,‖ the grocer said, ―I don‘t believe it makes any difference. You want these Idaho
     potatoes?‖
 5   ―Oh yes, that‘ll be fine. Two of those.‖
     ―Anything else?‖ The grocer cocked his head on one side, looking at her pleasantly. ―How
     about afterwards? What you going to give him for afterwards?‖
     ―Well-what would you suggest, Sam?‖
     The man glanced around his shop. ―How about a nice big slice of cheesecake? I know he likes
10   that.‖
     ―Perfect,‖ she said. ―He loves it.‖
     And when it was all wrapped and she had paid, she put on her brightest smile and said,
     ―Thank you, Sam. Goodnight.‖
     ―Goodnight, Mrs. Maloney. And thank you.‖
15   And now, she told herself as she hurried back, all she was doing now, she was returning home
     to her husband and he was waiting for his supper; and she must cook it good, and make it as
     tasty as possible because the poor man was tired; and if, when she entered the house, she
     happened to find anything unusual, or tragic, or terrible, then naturally it would be a shock
     and she‘d become frantic with grief and horror. Mind you, she wasn‘t expecting to find
20   anything. She was just going home with the vegetables. Mrs. Patrick Maloney going home
     with the vegetables on Thursday evening to cook supper for her husband.
     That‘s the way, she told herself. Do everything right and natural. Keep things absolutely
     natural and there‘ll be no need for any acting at all.
     Therefore, when she entered the kitchen by the back door, she was humming a little tune to
25   herself and smiling.
     ―Patrick!‖ she called. ―How are you, darling?‖
     She put the parcel down on the table and went through into the living room; and when she
     saw him lying there on the floor with his legs doubled up and one arm twisted back
     underneath his body, it really was rather a shock. All the old love and longing for him welled
30   up inside her, and she ran over to him, knelt down beside him, and began to cry her heart out.
     It was easy. No acting was necessary.
     A few minutes later she got up and went to the phone. She know the number of the police
     station, and when the man at the other end answered, she cried to him, ―Quick! Come quick!
     Patrick‘s dead!‖
35   ―Who‘s speaking?‖
     ―Mrs. Maloney. Mrs. Patrick Maloney.‖
     ―You mean Patrick Maloney‘s dead?‖
     ―I think so,‖ she sobbed. ―He‘s lying on the floor and I think he‘s dead.‖
     ―Be right over,‖ the man said.
40   The car came very quickly, and when she opened the front door, two policeman walked in.
     She know them both-she know nearly all the man at that precinct-and she fell right into a
     chair, then went over to join the other one, who was called O‘Malley, kneeling by the body.
     ―Is he dead?‖ she cried.
     ―I‘m afraid he is. What happened?‖



                                                   89
     Lamb to the Slaughter by Roald Dahl

     Briefly, she told her story about going out to the grocer and coming back to find him on the
     floor. While she was talking, crying and talking, Noonan discovered a small patch of
     congealed blood on the dead man‘s head. He showed it to O‘Malley who got up at once and
     hurried to the phone.
 5   Soon, other men began to come into the house. First a doctor, then two detectives, one of
     whom she know by name. Later, a police photographer arrived and took pictures, and a man
     who know about fingerprints. There was a great deal of whispering and muttering beside the
     corpse, and the detectives kept asking her a lot of questions. But they always treated her
     kindly. She told her story again, this time right from the beginning, when Patrick had come in,
10   and she was sewing, and he was tired, so tired he hadn‘t wanted to go out for supper. She told
     how she‘d put the meat in the oven-‖it‘s there now, cooking‖- and how she‘d slopped out to
     the grocer for vegetables, and come back to find him lying on the floor.
     Which grocer?‖ one of the detectives asked.
     She told him, and he turned and whispered something to the other detective who immediately
15   went outside into the street.
     In fifteen minutes he was back with a page of notes, and there was more whispering, and
     through her sobbing she heard a few of the whispered phrases-‖...acted quite normal...very
     cheerful...wanted to give him a good supper…peas...cheesecake...impossible that she...‖
     After a while, the photographer and the doctor departed and two other men came in and took
20   the corpse away on a stretcher. Then the fingerprint man went away. The two detectives
     remained, and so did the two policeman. They were exceptionally nice to her, and Jack
     Noonan asked if she wouldn‘t rather go somewhere else, to her sister‘s house perhaps, or to
     his own wife who would take care of her and put her up for the night.
     No, she said. She didn‘t feel she could move even a yard at the moment. Would they mind
25   awfully of she stayed just where she was until she felt better. She didn‘t feel too good at the
     moment, she really didn‘t.
     Then hadn‘t she better lie down on the bed? Jack Noonan asked.
     No, she said. She‘d like to stay right where she was, in this chair. A little later, perhaps, when
     she felt better, she would move.
30   So they left her there while they went about their business, searching the house. Occasionally
     on of the detectives asked her another question. Sometimes Jack Noonan spoke at her gently
     as he passed by. Her husband, he told her, had been killed by a blow on the back of the head
     administered with a heavy blunt instrument, almost certainly a large piece of metal. They
     were looking for the weapon. The murderer may have taken it with him, but on the other hand
35   he may have thrown it away or hidden it somewhere on the premises.
     ―It‘s the old story,‖ he said. ―Get the weapon, and you‘ve got the man.‖
     Later, one of the detectives came up and sat beside her. Did she know, he asked, of anything
     in the house that could‘ve been used as the weapon? Would she mind having a look around to
     see if anything was missing-a very big spanner, for example, or a heavy metal vase.
40   They didn‘t have any heavy metal vases, she said.
     ―Or a big spanner?‖
     She didn‘t think they had a big spanner. But there might be some things like that in the
     garage.
     The search went on. She knew that there were other policemen in the garden all around the
45   house. She could hear their footsteps on the gravel outside, and sometimes she saw a flash of
     a torch through a chink in the curtains. It began to get late, nearly nine she noticed by the
     clock on the mantle. The four men searching the rooms seemed to be growing weary, a trifle
     exasperated.


                                                    90
     Lamb to the Slaughter by Roald Dahl

     ―Jack,‖ she said, the next tome Sergeant Noonan went by. ―Would you mind giving me a
     drink?‖
     ―Sure I‘ll give you a drink. You mean this whiskey?‖
     ―Yes please. But just a small one. It might make me feel better.‖
 5   He handed her the glass.
     ―Why don‘t you have one yourself,‖ she said. ―You must be awfully tired. Please do. You‘ve
     been very good to me.‖
     ―Well,‖ he answered. ―It‘s not strictly allowed, but I might take just a drop to keep me going.‖
     One by one the others came in and were persuaded to take a little nip of whiskey. They stood
10   around rather awkwardly with the drinks in their hands, uncomfortable in her presence, trying
     to say consoling things to her. Sergeant Noonan wandered into the kitchen, come out quickly
     and said, ―Look, Mrs. Maloney. You know that oven of yours is still on, and the meat still
     inside.‖
     ―Oh dear me!‖ she cried. ―So it is!‖
15   ―I better turn it off for you, hadn‘t I?‖
     ―Will you do that, Jack. Thank you so much.‖
     When the sergeant returned the second time, she looked at him with her large, dark tearful
     eyes. ―Jack Noonan,‖ she said.
     ―Yes?‖
20   ―Would you do me a small favor-you and these others?‖
     ―We can try, Mrs. Maloney.‖
     ―Well,‖ she said. ―Here you all are, and good friends of dear Patrick‘s too, and helping to
     catch the man who killed him. You must be terrible hungry by now because it‘s long past
     your suppertime, and I know Patrick would never forgive me, God bless his soul, if I allowed
25   you to remain in his house without offering you decent hospitality. Why don‘t you eat up that
     lamb that‘s in the oven. It‘ll be cooked just right by now.‖
     ―Wouldn‘t dream of it,‖ Sergeant Noonan said.
     ―Please,‖ she begged. ―Please eat it. Personally I couldn‘t tough a thing, certainly not what‘s
     been in the house when he was here. But it‘s all right for you. It‘d be a favor to me if you‘d
30   eat it up. Then you can go on with your work again afterwards.‖
     There was a good deal of hesitating among the four policemen, but they were clearly hungry,
     and in the end they were persuaded to go into the kitchen and help themselves. The woman
     stayed where she was, listening to them speaking among themselves, their voices thick and
     sloppy because their mouths were full of meat.
35   ―Have some more, Charlie?‖
     ―No. Better not finish it.‖
     ―She wants us to finish it. She said so. Be doing her a favor.‖
     ―Okay then. Give me some more.‖
     ―That‘s the hell of a big club the gut must‘ve used to hit poor Patrick,‖ one of them was
40   saying. ―The doc says his skull was smashed all to pieces just like from a sledgehammer.‖
     ―That‘s why it ought to be easy to find.‖
     ―Exactly what I say.‖




                                                    91
    Lamb to the Slaughter by Roald Dahl

    ―Whoever done it, they‘re not going to be carrying a thing like that around with them longer
    than they need.‖
    One of them belched.
    ―Personally, I think it‘s right here on the premises.‖
5   ―Probably right under our very noses. What you think, Jack?‖
    And in the other room, Mary Maloney began to giggle

    Lamb to the Slaughter – Questions
    Answer these questions using evidence and quotations from the story:
        1. What is the mood like at the beginning of the story? Choose some words or phrases
           that help create the mood. What effect do these words have on the reader?
        2. Where is the story set? Place, indoors, outdoors, past or present?
        3. What is the story actually about? What do you think the author wanted to achieve?
        4. Who are the main characters in the story? Describe them. Find some quotations that
           show what they are like. Which characters do you like or dislike?
        5. Does the author use lots of description or hardly any? Do they use direct speech? Do
           they tell the story in the first or third person? Why do the do this?
        6. Is there suspense in the story? When does it begin? What adds to the suspense? When
           does it end?
        7. What is the twist or surprise ending? Did you expect it? What effect does this twist
           have on the reader?
        8. What did you enjoy most or least about the story?
        9. Comprehension Questions for ―Lamb to the Slaughter‖ by Roald Dahl
        10. What do you think Patrick told his wife when she came home?
        11. Why was it a bad time to tell her this?
        12. Why is the title of the story important? What does it mean?




                                                   92
     Through the Tunnel by Doris Lessing


     Through the Tunnel by Doris Lessingvi
     Going to the shore on the first morning of the holiday, the young English boy stopped at a
     turning of the path and looked down at a wild and rocky bay, and then over to the crowded
     beach he knew so well from other years. His mother walked on in front of him, carrying a
     bright-striped bag in one hand. Her other arm, swinging loose, was very white in the sun. The
 5   boy watched that white, naked arm, and turned his eyes, which had a frown behind them,
     toward the bay and back again to his mother. When she felt he was not with her, she swung
     around. "Oh, there you are, Jerry!" she said. She looked impatient, then smiled. "Why,
     darling, would you rather not come with me? Would you rather-" She frowned,
     conscientiously worrying over what amusements he might secretly be longing for which she
10   had been too busy or too careless to imagine. He was very familiar with that anxious,
     apologetic smile. Contrition sent him running after her. And yet, as he ran, he looked back
     over his shoulder at the wild bay; and all morning, as he played on the safe beach, he was
     thinking of it.
     Next morning, when it was time for the routine of swimming and sunbathing, his mother said,
15   "Are you tired of the usual beach, Jerry? Would you like to go somewhere else?"
     "Oh, no!" he said quickly, smiling at her out of that unfailing impulse of contrition - a sort of
     chivalry. Yet, walking down the path with her, he blurted out, "I'd like to go and have a look
     at those rocks down there."
     She gave the idea her attention. It was a wild-looking place, and there was no one there, but
20   she said, "Of course, Jerry. When you've had enough come to the big beach. Or just go
     straight back to the villa, if you like." She walked away, that bare arm, now slightly reddened
     from yesterday's sun, swinging. And he almost ran after her again, feeling it unbearable that
     she should go by herself, but he did not.
     She was thinking, Of course he's old enough to be safe without me. Have I been keeping him
25   too close? He mustn't feel he ought to be with me. I must be careful.
     He was an only child, eleven years old. She was a widow. She was determined to be neither
     possessive nor lacking in devotion. She went worrying off to her beach.
     As for Jerry, once he saw that his mother had gained her beach, he began the steep descent to
     the bay. From where he was, high up among red-brown rocks, it was a scoop of moving
30   bluish green fringed with white. As he went lower, he saw that it spread among small
     promontories and inlets of rough, sharp rock, and the crisping, lapping surface showed stains
     of purple and darker blue. Finally, as he ran sliding and scraping down the last few yards, he
     saw an edge of white surf, and the shallow, luminous movement of water over white sand,
     and, beyond that, a solid, heavy blue.
35   He ran straight into the water and began swimming. He was a good swimmer. He went out
     fast over the gleaming sand, over a middle region where rocks lay like discolored monsters
     under the surface, and then he was in the real sea - a warm sea where irregular cold currents
     from the deep water shocked his limbs.
     When he was so far out that he could look back not only on the little bay but past the
40   promontory that was between it and the big beach, he floated on the buoyant surface and
     looked for his mother. There she was, a speck of yellow under an umbrella that looked like a
     slice of orange peel. He swam back to shore, relieved at being sure she was there, but all at
     once very lonely.
     On the edge of a small cape that marked the side of the bay away from the promontory was a
45   loose scatter of rocks. Above them, some boys were stripping off their clothes. They came
     running, naked, down to the rocks. The English boy swam towards them, and kept his
     distance at a stone's throw. They were of that coast, all of them burned smooth dark brown,



                                                    93
     Through the Tunnel by Doris Lessing

     and speaking a language he did not understand. To be with them, of them, was a craving that
     filled his whole body. He swam a little closer; they turned and watched him with narrowed,
     alert dark eyes. Then one smiled and waved. It was enough. In a minute, he had swum in and
     was on the rocks beside them, smiling with a desperate, nervous supplication. They shouted
 5   cheerful greetings at him, and then, as he preserved his nervous, uncomprehending smile, they
     understood that he was a foreigner strayed from his own beach, and they proceeded to forget
     him. But he was happy. He was with them.
     They began diving again and again from a high point into a well of blue sea between rough,
     pointed rocks. After they had dived and come up, they swam around, hauled themselves up,
10   and waited their turn to dive again. They were big boys — men to Jerry. He dived, and they
     watched him, and when he swam around to take his place, they made way for him. He felt he
     was accepted, and he dived again, carefully, proud of himself.
     Soon the biggest of the boys poised himself, shot down into the water, and did not come up.
     The others stood about, watching. Jerry, after waiting for the sleek brown head to appear, let
15   out a yell of warning; they looked at him idly and turned their eyes back towards the water.
     After a long time, the boy came up on the other side of a big dark rock, letting the air out of
     his lungs in a spluttering gasp and a shout of triumph. Immediately, the rest of them dived in.
     One moment, the morning seemed full of chattering boys; the next, the air and the surface of
     the water were empty. But through the heavy blue, dark shapes could be seen moving and
20   groping.
     Jerry dived, shot past the school of underwater swimmers, saw a black wall of rock looming
     at him, touched it, and bobbed up at once to the surface, where the wall was a low barrier he
     could see across. There was no one visible; under him, in the water, the dim shapes of the
     swimmers had disappeared. Then one, and then another of the boys came up on the far side of
25   the barrier of rock, and he understood that they had swum through some gap or hole in it. He
     plunged down again. He could see nothing through the stinging salt water but the blank rock.
     When he came up, the boys were all on the diving rock, preparing to attempt the feat again.
     And now, in a panic of failure, he yelled up, in English, "Look at me! Look!" and he began
     splashing and kicking in the water like a foolish dog.
30   They looked down gravely, frowning. He knew the frown. At moments of failure, when he
     clowned to claim his mother's attention, it was with just this grave, embarrassed inspection
     that she rewarded him. Through his hot shame, feeling the pleading grin on his face like a scar
     that he could never remove, he looked up at the group of big brown boys on the rock and
     shouted, "Bonjour! Merci! Au revoir! Monsieur, monsieur!" while he hooked his fingers
35   round his ears and waggled them.
     Water surged into his mouth; he choked, sank, came up. The rock, lately weighed with boys,
     seemed to rear up out of the water as their weight was removed. They were flying down past
     him, now, into the water; the air was full of falling bodies. Then the rock was empty in the hot
     sunlight. He counted one, two, three . . . .
40   At fifty, he was terrified. They must all be drowning beneath him, in the watery caves of the
     rock! At a hundred, he stared around him at the empty hillside, wondering if he should yell
     for help. He counted faster, faster, to hurry them up, to bring them to the surface quickly, to
     drown them quickly - anything rather than the terror of counting on and on into the blue
     emptiness of the morning. And then, at a hundred and sixty, the water beyond the rock was
45   full of boys blowing like brown whales. They swam back to the shore without a look at him.
     He climbed back to the diving rock and sat down, feeling the hot roughness of it under his
     thighs. The boys were gathering up their bits of clothing and running off along the shore to
     another promontory. They were leaving to get away from him. He cried openly, fists in his
     eyes. There was no one to see him, and he cried himself out.
50   It seemed to him that a long time had passed, and he swam out to where he could see his
     mother. Yes, she was still there, a yellow spot under an orange umbrella. He swam back to the


                                                    94
     Through the Tunnel by Doris Lessing

     big rock, climbed up, and dived into the blue pool among the fanged and angry boulders.
     Down he went, until he touched the wall of rock again. But the salt was so painful in his eyes
     that he could not see.
     He came to the surface, swam to shore and went back to the villa to wait for his mother. Soon
 5   she walked slowly up the path, swinging her striped bag, the flushed, naked arm dangling
     beside her. "I want some swimming goggles," he panted, defiant and beseeching.
     She gave him a patient, inquisitive look as she said casually, "Well, of course, darling."
     But now, now, now! He must have them this minute, and no other time. He nagged and
     pestered until she went with him to a shop. As soon as she had bought the goggles, he
10   grabbed them from her hand as if she were going to claim them for herself, and was off,
     running down the steep path to the bay.
     Jerry swam out to the big barrier rock, adjusted the goggles, and dived. The impact of the
     water broke the rubber-enclosed vacuum, and the goggles came loose. He understood that he
     must swim down to the base of the rock from the surface of the water. He fixed the goggles
15   tight and firm, filled his lungs, and floated, face down, on the water. Now he could see. It was
     as if he had eyes of a different kind — fish eyes that showed everything clear and delicate and
     wavering in the bright water.
     Under him, six or seven feet down, was a floor of perfectly clean, shining white sand, rippled
     firm and hard by the tides. Two greyish shapes steered there, like long, rounded pieces of
20   wood or slate. They were fish. He saw them nose towards each other, poise motionless, make
     a dart forward, swerve off, and come around again. It was like a water dance. A few inches
     above them, the water sparkled as if sequins were dropping through it. Fish again — myriads
     of minute fish, the length of his fingernail, were drifting through the water, and in a moment
     he could feel the innumerable tiny touches of them against his limbs. It was like swimming in
25   flaked silver. The great rock the big boys had swum through rose sheer out of the white sand,
     black, tufted lightly with greenish weed. He could see no gap in it. He swam down to its base.
     Again and again he rose, took a big chestful of air, and went down. Again and again he
     groped over the surface of the rock, feeling it, almost hugging it in the desperate need to find
     the entrance. And then, once, while he was clinging to the black wall, his knees came up and
30   he shot his feet out forward and they met no obstacle. He had found the hole.
     He gained the surface, clambered about the stones that littered the barrier rock until he found
     a big one, and, with this in his arms, let himself down over the side of the rock. He dropped,
     with the weight, straight to the sandy floor. Clinging tight to the anchor of stone, he lay on his
     side and looked in under the dark shelf at the place where his feet had gone. He could see the
35   hole. It was an irregular, dark gap, but he could not see deep into it. He let go of his anchor,
     clung with his hands to the edges of the hole, and tried to push himself in.
     He got his head in, found his shoulders jammed, moved them in sidewise, and was inside as
     far as his waist. He could see nothing ahead. Something soft and clammy touched his mouth,
     he saw a dark frond moving against the greyish rock, and panic filled him. He thought of
40   octopuses, of clinging weed. He pushed himself out backward and caught a glimpse, as he
     retreated, of a harmless tentacle of seaweed drifting in the mouth of the tunnel. But it was
     enough. He reached the sunlight, swam to shore, and lay on the diving rock. He looked down
     into the blue well of water. He knew he must find his way through that cave, or hole, or
     tunnel, and out the other side.
45   First, he thought, he must learn to control his breathing. He let himself down into the water
     with another big stone in his arms, so that he could lie effortlessly on the bottom of the sea.
     He counted. One, two, three. He counted steadily. He could hear the movement of blood in
     his chest. Fifty-one, fifty-two . . . . His chest was hurting. He let go of the rock and went up
     into the air. He saw that the sun was low. He rushed to the villa and found his mother at her
50   supper. She said only "Did you enjoy yourself?" and he said "Yes."



                                                     95
     Through the Tunnel by Doris Lessing

     All night, the boy dreamed of the water-filled cave in the rock, and as soon as breakfast was
     over he went to the hay.
     That night, his nose bled badly. For hours he had been underwater, learning to hold his breath,
     and now he felt weak and dizzy. His mother said, "I shouldn't overdo things, darling, if I were
 5   you."
     That day and the next, Jerry exercised his lungs as if everything, the whole of his life, all that
     he would become, depended upon it. And again his nose bled at night, and his mother insisted
     on his coming with her the next day. It was a torment to him to waste a day of his careful self-
     training, but he stayed with her on that other beach, which now seemed a place for small
10   children, a place where his mother might lie safe in the sun. It was not his beach.
     He did not ask for permission, on the following day, to go to his beach. He went, before his
     mother could consider the complicated rights and wrongs of the matter. A day's rest, he
     discovered, had improved his count by ten. The big boys had made the passage while he
     counted a hundred and sixty. He had been counting fast, in his fright. Probably now, if he
15   tried, he could get through that long tunnel, but he was not going to try yet. A curious, most
     unchildlike persistence, a controlled impatience, made him wait. In the meantime, he lay
     underwater on the white sand, littered now by stones he had brought down from the upper air,
     and studied the entrance to the tunnel. He knew every jut and corner of it, as far as it was
     possible to see. It was as if he already felt its sharpness about his shoulders.
20   He sat by the clock in the villa, when his mother was not near, and checked his time. He was
     incredulous and then proud to find he could hold his breath without strain for two minutes.
     The words "two minutes", authorized by the clock, brought the adventure that was so
     necessary to him close.
     In another four days, his mother said casually one morning, they must go home. On the day
25   before they left, he would do it. He would do it if it killed him, he said defiantly to himself.
     But two days before they were to leave - a day of triumph when he increased his count by
     fifteen - his nose bled so badly that he turned dizzy and had to lie limply over the big rock
     like a bit of seaweed, watching the thick red blood flow on to the rock and trickle slowly
     down to the sea. He was frightened. Supposing he turned dizzy in the tunnel? Supposing he
30   died there, trapped? Supposing — his head went around, in the hot sun, and he almost gave
     up. He thought he would return to the house and lie down, and next summer, perhaps, when
     he had another year's growth in him - then he would go through the hole.
     But even after he had made the decision, or thought he had, he found himself sitting up on the
     rock and looking down into the water, and he knew that now, this moment when his nose had
35   only just stopped bleeding, when his head was still sore and throbbing — this was the
     moment when he would try. If he did not do it now, he never would. He was trembling with
     fear that he would not go, and he was trembling with horror at that long, long tunnel under the
     rock, under the sea. Even in the open sunlight, the barrier rock seemed very wide and very
     heavy; tons of rock pressed down on where he would go. If he died there, he would lie until
40   one day — perhaps not before next year — those big boys would swim into it and find it
     blocked.
     He put on his goggles, fitted them tight, tested the vacuum. His hands were shaking. Then he
     chose the biggest stone he could carry and slipped over the edge of the rock until half of him
     was in the cool, enclosing water and half in the hot sun. He looked up once at the empty sky,
45   filled his lungs once, twice, and then sank fast to the bottom with the stone. He let it go and
     began to count. He took the edges of the hole in his hands and drew himself into it, wriggling
     his shoulders in sidewise as he remembered he must, kicking himself along with his feet.
     Soon he was clear inside. He was in a small rock-bound hole filled with yellowish-grey water.
     The water was pushing him up against the roof. The roof was sharp and pained his back. He
50   pulled himself along with his hands — fast, fast — and used his legs as levers. His head
     knocked against something; a sharp pain dizzied him. Fifty, fifty-one, fifty-two . . . . He was


                                                    96
     Through the Tunnel by Doris Lessing

     without light, and the water seemed to press upon him with the weight of rock. Seventy-one,
     seventy-two . . . . There was no strain on his lungs. He felt like an inflated balloon, his lungs
     were so light and easy, but his head was pulsing.
     He was being continually pressed against the sharp roof, which felt slimy as well as sharp.
 5   Again he thought of octopuses, and wondered if the tunnel might be filled with weed that
     could tangle him. He gave himself a panicky, convulsive kick forward, ducked his head, and
     swam. His feet and hands moved freely, as if in open water. The hole must have widened out.
     He thought he must be swimming fast, and he was frightened of banging his head if the tunnel
     narrowed.
10   A hundred, a hundred and one. . . The water paled. Victory filled him. His lungs were
     beginning to hurt. A few more strokes and he would be out. He was counting wildly; he said a
     hundred and fifteen, and then, a long time later, a hundred and fifteen again. The water was a
     clear jewel-green all around him. Then he saw, above his head, a crack running up through
     the rock. Sunlight was falling through it, showing the clean dark rock of the tunnel, a single
15   mussel shell, and darkness ahead.
     He was at the end of what he could do. He looked up at the crack as if it were filled with air
     and not water, as if he could put his mouth to it to draw in air. A hundred and fifteen, he heard
     himself say inside his head — but he had said that long ago. He must go on into the blackness
     ahead, or he would drown. His head was swelling, his lungs cracking. A hundred and fifteen,
20   a hundred and fifteen pounded through his head, and he feebly clutched at rocks in the dark,
     pulling himself forward, leaving the brief space of sunlit water behind. He felt he was dying.
     He was no longer quite conscious. He struggled on in the darkness between lapses into
     unconsciousness. An immense, swelling pain filled his head, and then the darkness cracked
     with an explosion of green light. His hands, groping forward, met nothing, and his feet,
25   kicking back, propelled him out into the open sea.
     He drifted to the surface, his face turned up to the air. He was gasping like a fish. He felt he
     would sink now and drown; he could not swim the few feet back to the rock. Then he was
     clutching it and pulling himself up on it. He lay face down, gasping. He could see nothing but
     a red-veined, clotted dark. His eyes must have burst, he thought; they were full of blood. He
30   tore off his goggles and a gout of blood went into the sea. His nose was bleeding, and the
     blood had filled the goggles.
     He scooped up handfuls of water from the cool, salty sea, to splash on his face, and did not
     know whether it was blood or salt water he tasted. After a time, his heart quieted, his eyes
     cleared, and he sat up. He could see the local boys diving and playing half a mile away. He
35   did not want them. He wanted nothing but to get back home and lie down.
     In a short while, Jerry swam to shore and climbed slowly up the path to the villa. He flung
     himself on his bed and slept, waking at the sound of feet on the path outside. His mother was
     coming back. He rushed to the bathroom, thinking she must not see his face with bloodstains,
     or tearstains, on it. He carne out of the bathroom and met her as she walked into the villa,
40   smiling, her eyes lighting up. "Have a nice morning?" she asked, laying her head on his warm
     brown shoulder a moment.
     "Oh, yes, thank you," he said.
     "You look a bit pale." And then, sharp and anxious. "How did you bang your head?"
     "Oh, just banged it," he told her.
45   She looked at him closely. He was strained. His eyes were glazed-looking. She was worried.
     And then she said to herself, "Oh, don't fuss! Nothing can happen. He can swim like a fish."
     They sat down to lunch together.
     "Mummy," he said, "I can stay under water for two minutes — three minutes, at least."
     It came bursting out of him.


                                                     97
Through the Tunnel by Doris Lessing

"Can you, darling?" she said. "Well, I shouldn't overdo it. I don't think you ought to swim any
more today."
She was ready for a battle of wills, but he gave in at once. It was no longer of the least
importance to go to the bay.

Through the Tunnel – Questions
    1.   Which two areas of the coast does Jerry look at when he stands on the path?
    2.   Why does his mother feel impatient with Jerry and worry over things he might secretly be
         thinking about?
    3.   Why does he feel sorry for staying behind?
    4.   When he runs to catch up with his mother, what does he look back at and why does he think
         about it all morning?
    5.   What do the local boys mean to Jerry?
    6.   Why is it so important to him that he should try to join them and what is the event that
         separates him from them so that he cries?
    7.   What do the local boys look like and what impression do you get of them from their behavior?
    8.   Why was Jerry happy when he first joined them and how did he feel when he began diving?
    9.   What do the local boys do that Jerry fails to do?
    10. How do they react when Jerry starts to behave in a silly way (like a foolish dog)?
    11. Why does he feel `hot shame' when they look at him?
    12. Does Jerry stay with the local boys and join them as a friend?
    13. How does Jerry prepare for his big test?
    14. Which things encourage him and which things might give him good reason to forget the whole
        idea?
    15. What does he feel when he finds the entrance to the tunnel and looks into it?
    16. What does he do about his breathing?
    17. What does he do while he is lying underwater on the sand?
    18. What happens during the night following Jerry's first day of training and again two days
        before he is due to go home?
    19. Why does this make him afraid of what might happen in the tunnel?
    20. Why does he feel he has to get through the tunnel?
    21. Jerry's mother lays her head on his `warm brown shoulder'. This is the first time it is
        mentioned that Jerry is brown. Why is it mentioned at the end of the story?
    22. In the first paragraph of the story we are told about the mother's complexion. What does she
        mean to Jerry and how does he see himself in relation to her?
    23. What color are the local boys and what importance do they have for him?
    24. When Jerry's mother lays her head on his shoulder, does she act as she would to a child?
    25. Jerry may look pale, but does he feel pale and helpless any more?
    26. Which group of people does he belong to now?
    27. What will Jerry prove to himself if he succeeds in swimming through the tunnel?
    28. Is Jerry's meeting with the local boys a success?
    29. Do you think she is really casual and uninterested in what Jerry does?
    30. What makes the account of Jerry's journey through the tunnel exciting?



                                                   98
     Loyalties by Adewale Maja-Pearce


     Loyalties by Adewale Maja-Pearce
     I was twelve years old at the time. One afternoon my father came rushing home earlier than
     usual.
       ‗Wife,‘ he shouted to my mother who was out the back preparing food; ‗wife, have you not
     heard the news?‘ He was so excited he went rushing through the house. I followed him.
 5   ‗Aren‘t you ashamed of yourself, a grown man like you rushing around like a small boy?
     What is it?‘ my mother said.
     ‗Ojukwu has announced the new state of Biafra. We are no longer Nigerians, you hear? We
     are now Biafrans,‘ he said and smiled.
     ‗And what then?‘ my mother asked.
10   ‗Woman, don‘t you know what you are saying? Don‘t you realize this is an important day, a
     historic occasion?‘
     My mother stood up and put her hands on her hips. Her face was streaming from the heat of
     the fire.
     ‗‘Whether we are in Nigeria or whether we are in Biafra we are almost out of firewood,‘ she
15   said.
     My father raised his hands to the sky.‗Events of world importance are taking place and you
     are telling me about firewood. Trust a woman,‘ he said and walked away.
     That evening the schoolmaster and the barber and the man who owned the Post Office came
     to our house.
20   ‗Boy, come here,‘ the schoolmaster called.
     ‗Come and hear what teacher has to say,‘ my father ordered.
     ‗Seven nines are?‘
     ‗Sixty-three,‘ I answered.
     ‗Good. Now, if twenty Nigerians soldiers march into our village and five Biafran women
25   attack them with saucepans who will win?‘ he asked, and the barber collapsed on the floor.
     My mother took me by the arm and we left the room. But I crept back and stood by the door.
     ‗What was I telling you the other day? That Ojukwu is a real man, just the sort of leader we
     need to get things moving. Those dirty Nigerians will taste pepper if they try to attack us, let
     me tell you,‘ my father was saying.
30   ‗That‘s the way to talk,‘ the schoolmaster said. ‗Just let them try. Biafra stands supreme.‘
     ‗They were saying on the news that five countries have already recognized us,‘ the postmaster
     said.
     My mother called me. ‗Where were you? Must you always be sneaking about listening to
     what foolish men are saying? Biafra, Nigeria, what difference? Have we suddenly acquired
35   two heads? Go and collect the goat and tie him up for the night,‘ she said, and added: ‗After
     all, he is now a Biafran goat so we must take better care of him.‘
     During the next few weeks everybody was talking about it. But as my mother kept saying,
     the only difference it made was the increased cost of food.
     And then there was a rumor that Federal troops were marching towards us. Biafran soldiers
40   appeared overnight. In their new uniforms and polished guns they looked smart. They drove
     up and down in their jeeps and raised dust everywhere. All my friends worshipped them.



                                                    99
     Loyalties by Adewale Maja-Pearce

     One morning I woke up and heard gunfire in the distance. A plane flew overhead.
     ‗Hurry, hurry, we are under attack,‘ my father shouted.
     ‗Where are we going?‘ my mother asked.
     ‗Are you blind, woman, can‘t you see the others heading for the forest?‘ my father said.
 5   ‗But what about our troops?‘ I asked.
     ‗What troops?‘ They ran away last night.‘
     My mother rushed into the bedroom and started dragging clothes onto the bed.
     ‗We have no time for that,‘ my father said.
     When we got outside I saw that it was true. The entire village was heading for the forest, the
10   schoolmaster in the lead.
     We spent two days and nights in the bush.
     ‗So this is your great Biafra,‘ my mother said. ‗Where is Ojukwu, I didn‘t see him?‘
     ‗Shut up, woman,‘ my father said.
     On the third day my father said to me: ‗Go and see if the soldiers are still there.‘
15   ‗You want to get the boy killed?‘ my mother said, reaching for me.
     ‗Leave him, they won‘t harm a child,‘ my father said; and to me: ‗I don‘t ask you to show
     yourself, you hear?‘
     I crept to the edge of the forest. The village was completely deserted, except for a few hens.
     And then I saw our goat. He was eating the food in front of the Post Office. I knew the
20   owner would be angry. I forgot my father‘s warning and started running. Three armed
     Nigerian soldiers stepped out of the barber‘s shop, their rifles in heir hands, and waited for
     me.
     ‗Where are your people?‘ one of them asked. I pointed in the direction.
     ‗Are they afraid of us?‘   I nodded. ‗Go and tell them we mean no harm.‘
25     As soon as I got back to the clearing everyone began talking at once. I told them what had
     happened. An argument began. Some wanted to stay and others wanted to go, but we were
     all hungry and there was no food left. Because of the mosquitoes no one had slept well. So
     we went.
     The soldiers kept to their word. By the next day everything had returned to normal. At the
30   end of the week the soldiers pulled out.
     One evening the barber, the schoolmaster and the man who owned the Post Office came to
     our house. My father sent me out to buy bottles of beer. When I returned my father was
     saying: ‗Those dirty Biafrans, what did I tell you? As usual it was all talk. When it comes to
     talk there is nothing they cannot do.‘
35   The schoolmaster called me. ‗Boy, if the Biafran soldiers cover twenty miles a day how long
     will it take them to reach the Cameroons?‘
     The barber held his sides and groaned.
     ‗Don‘t mind them,‘ my father said. My mother called me from the back.
     ‗Go and collect our Nigerian goat,‘ she said.




                                                     100
     The Gold Cadillac By Mildred Taylor


     The Gold Cadillac By Mildred Taylorvii

     Before Reading
     1. What is your most important material possession? Explain why.
     2. What do you think your parents would say is their most important material
     possession? Why do you think they would say that?
     3. Think of a time you were really afraid. Write about how you felt and what caused
     your fears.
     4. Think of a memorable family trip. It doesn‘t have to be a trip that was fun, though
     it could be; rather it should be a trip that you remember well—maybe because a lot of
     things went wrong, or something exciting happened, or you went to a place you‘d
     never been before. Write about this trip in as much detail as possible. Be sure to
     include the things you saw, smelled, heard, experienced along the way.
     5. How close are you to your extended family? Do you know your cousins and aunts
     and uncles? Does your extended family get together often? Do you think it‘s
     important for extended family to be close to one another? Why/why not? Write about
     a time you‘ve spent with your extended family.
     6. Imagine that you have been arrested, not for committing a crime but simply for
     who you are. How would you react? Who could help you?
                                       ******************

     My sister and I were playing out on the front lawn when the gold Cadillac rolled up and my
     father stepped from behind the wheel. We ran to him, our eyes filled with wonder. ―Daddy,
     whose Cadillac?‖ I asked. And Wilma demanded, ―Where‘s our Mercury?‖ My father
     grinned. ―Go get your mother and I‘ll tell you all about it.‖ ―Is it ours?‖ I cried. ―Daddy, is it
 5   ours?‖ ―Get your mother!‖ he laughed. ―And tell her to hurry!‖ Wilma and I ran off to obey
     as Mr. Pondexter next door came from his house to see what this new Cadillac was all about.
     We threw open the front door, ran through the downstairs front parlor and straight through
     the house to the kitchen where my mother was cooking and one of my aunts was helping her.
     ―Come on, Mother- Dear!‖ we cried together. ―Daddy say come on out and see this new car!‖
10   ―What?‖ said my mother, her face showing her surprise. ―What‘re you talking about?‖ ―A
     Cadillac!‖ I cried. ―He said hurry up!‖ relayed Wilma.
       And then we took off again, up the back stairs to the second floor of the duplex. Running
     down the hall, we banged on all the apartment doors. My uncles and their wives stepped to
     the doors. It was good it was a Saturday morning. Everybody was home. ―We got us a
15   Cadillac! We got u a Cadillac!‖ Wilma and I proclaimed in unison. We had decided that the
     Cadillac had to be ours if our father was driving it and holding on to the keys. ―Come on
     see!‖ Then we raced on, through the upstairs sunroom, down the front steps, through the
     downstairs sunroom, and out to the Cadillac. Mr. Pondexter was still there. Mr. LeRoy and
     Mr. Courtland from down the street were there too and all were admiring the Cadillac as my
20   father stood proudly by, pointing out the various features. ―Brand-new 1950 Coupe de Ville!‖
     I heard one of the men saying.
      ―Just off the showroom floor!‖ my father said. ―I just couldn‘t resist it.‖ My sister and I eased
     up to the car and peeked in. It was all gold inside. Gold leather seats. Gold carpeting. Gold
     dashboard. It was like no car we had owned before. It looked like a car for rich folks.
25    ―Daddy, are we rich?‖ I asked. My father laughed. ―Daddy, it‘s ours, isn‘t it?‖ asked Wilma,
     who was older and more practical than I. She didn‘t intend to give her heart too quickly to
     something that wasn‘t here. ―You like it?‖ ―Oh, Daddy, yes!‖




                                                    101
     The Gold Cadillac By Mildred Taylor

      He looked at me. ―What ‗bout you, ‗lois?‖ ―Yes, sir!‖ My father laughed again. ―Then I
     expect I can‘t much disappoint my girls, can I? It‘s ours all right!‖ Wilma and I hugged our
     father with our joy. My uncles came from the house and my aunts, carrying their babies,
     came out too. Everybody surrounded the car and owwed and ahhed. Nobody could believe it.
 5   Then my mother came out. Everybody stood back grinning as she approached the car. There
     was no smile on her face. We all waited for her to speak. She stared at the car, then looked at
     my father, standing there as proud as he could be. Finally she said, ―You didn‘t buy this car,
     did you, Wilbert?‖
      ―Gotta admit I did. Couldn‘t resist it.‖ ―But. . . but what about our Mercury? It was perfectly
10   good!‖ ―Don‘t you like the Cadillac, Dee?‖ ―That Mercury wasn‘t even a year old!‖ My
     father nodded. ―And I‘m sure whoever buys it is going to get themselves a good car. But
     we‘ve got ourselves a better one. Now stop frowning, honey, and let‘s take ourselves a ride in
     our brand-new Cadillac!‖ My mother shook her head. ―I‘ve got food on the stove,‖ she said
     and turning away walked back to the house.
15    There was an awkward silence and then my father said, ―You know Dee never did much like
     surprises. Guess this here Cadillac was a bit too much for her. I best go smooth things out
     with her.‖ Everybody watched as he went after my mother. But when he came back, he was
     alone. ―Well, what she say?‖ asked one of my uncles.
      My father shrugged and smiled. ―Told me I bought this Cadillac alone, I could just ride in it
20   alone.‖ Another uncle laughed. ―Uh-oh! Guess she told you!‖ ―Oh, she‘ll come around,‖ said
     one of my aunts. ―Any woman would be proud to ride in this car.‖ ―That‘s what I‘m banking
     on,‖ said my father as he went around to the street side of the car and opened the door. ―All
     right! Who‘s for a ride?‖ ―We are!‖ Wilma and I cried.
      All three of my uncles and one of my aunts, still holding her baby, and Mr. Pondexter
25   climbed in with us and we took off for the first ride in the gold Cadillac. It was a glorious ride
     and we drove all through the city of Toledo. We rode past the church and past the school. We
     rode through Ottawa Hills where the rich folks lived and on into Walbridge Park and past the
     zoo, then along the Maumee River. But none of us had had enough of the car so my father
     put the car on the road and we drove all the way to Detroit. We had plenty of family there
30   and everybody was just as pleased as could be about the Cadillac. My father told our Detroit
     relatives that he was in the doghouse with my mother about buying the Cadillac. My uncles
     told them she wouldn‘t ride in the car. All the Detroit family thought that was funny and
     everybody, including my father, laughed about it and said my mother would come around. It
     was early evening by the time we got back home, and I could see from my mother‘s face she
35   had not come around. She was angry now not only about the car, but that we had been gone
     so long. I didn‘t understand that, since my father had called her as soon as we reached Detroit
     to let her know where we were. I had heard him myself. I didn‘t understand either why she
     did not like that fine Cadillac and thought she was being terribly disagreeable with my father.
     That night as she tucked Wilma and me in bed I told her that too.
40    ―Is that your business?‖ she asked. ―Well, I just think you ought to be nice to Daddy. I think
     you ought to ride in that car with him! It‘d sure make him happy.‖ ―I think you ought to go to
     sleep,‖ she said and turned out the light. Later I heard her arguing with my father. ―We‘re
     supposed to be saving for a house!‖ she said. ―We‘ve already got a house!‖ said my father.
     ―But you said you wanted a house in a better neighborhood. I thought that‘s what we both
45   said!‖ ―I haven‘t changed my mind.‖ ―Well, you have a mighty funny way of saving for it,
     then. Your brothers are saving for houses of their own and you don‘t see them out buying
     new cars every year!‖ ―We‘ll still get the house, Dee. That‘s a promise!‖ ―Not with new
     Cadillacs we won‘t!‖ said my mother and then she said a very loud good night and all was
     quiet.
50    The next day was Sunday and everybody figured that my mother would be sure to give in
     and ride in the Cadillac. After all, the family always went to church together on Sunday. But
     she didn‘t give in. What was worse she wouldn‘t let Wilma and me ride in the Cadillac


                                                   102
     The Gold Cadillac By Mildred Taylor

     either. She took us each by the hand, walked past the Cadillac where my father stood waiting
     and headed on toward the church, three blocks away. I was really mad at her now. I had been
     looking forward to driving up to the church in that gold Cadillac and having everybody see.
      On most Sunday afternoons during the summertime, my mother, my father, Wilma, and I
 5   would go for a ride. Sometimes we just rode around the city and visited friends and family.
     Sometimes we made short trips over to Chicago or Peoria or Detroit to see relatives there or
     to Cleveland where we had relatives too, but we could also see the Cleveland Indians play.
     Sometimes we joined our aunts and uncles and drove in a caravan out to the park or to the
     beach. At the park or the beach Wilma and I would run and play. My mother and my aunts
10   would spread a picnic and my father and my uncles would shine their cars. But on this
     Sunday afternoon my mother refused to ride anywhere. She told Wilma and me that we could
     go. So we left her alone in the big, empty house, and the family cars, led by the gold Cadillac,
     headed for the park. For a while I played and had a good time, but then I stopped playing and
     went to sit with my father. Despite his laughter he seemed sad to me. I think he was missing
15   my mother as much as I was.
      That evening my father took my mother to dinner down at the corner café. They walked.
     Wilma and I stayed at the house chasing fireflies in the backyard. My aunts and uncles sat in
     the yard and on the porch, talking and laughing about the day and watching us. It was a soft
     summer‘s evening, the kind that came every day and was expected. The smell of charcoal and
20   of barbecue drifting from up the block, the sound of laughter and music and talk drifting
     from yard to yard were all a part of it. Soon one of my uncles joined Wilma and me in our
     chase of fireflies and when my mother and father came home we were at it still. My mother
     and father watched us for awhile, while everybody else watched them to see if my father
     would take out the Cadillac and if my mother would slide in beside him to take a ride. But it
25   soon became evident that the dinner had not changed my mother‘s mind. She still refused to
     ride in the Cadillac. I just couldn‘t understand her objection to it.
      Though my mother didn‘t like the Cadillac, everybody else in the neighborhood certainly
     did. That meant quite a few folks too, since we lived on a very busy block. On one corner
     was a grocery store, a cleaner‘s, and a gas station. Across the street was a beauty shop and a
30   fish market, and down the street was a bar, another grocery store, the Dixie Theater, the café,
     and a drugstore. There were always people strolling to or from one of these places and
     because our house was right in the middle of the block just about everybody had to pass our
     house and the gold Cadillac. Sometimes people took in the Cadillac as they walked, their
     heads turning for a longer look as they passed. Then there were people who just outright
35   stopped and took a good look before continuing on their way. I was proud to say that car
     belonged to my family. I felt might important as people called to me as I ran down the street.
     ―‘Ey, ‘lois! How‘s that Cadillac, girl? Riding fine?‖ I told my mother how much everybody
     liked that car. She was not impressed and made no comment.
      Since just about everybody on the block knew everybody else, most folks knew that my
40   mother wouldn‘t ride in the Cadillac. Because of that, my father took a lot of good- natured
     kidding from the men. My mother got kidded too as the women said if she didn‘t ride in that
     car, maybe some other woman would. And everybody laughed about it and began to bet on
     who would give in first, my mother or my father. But then my father said he was going to
     drive the car south into Mississippi to visit my grandparents and everybody stopped laughing.
45    My uncles stopped. So did my aunts. Everybody. ―Look here, Wilbert,‖ said one of my
     uncles, ―it‘s too dangerous. It‘s like putting a loaded gun to your head.‖ ―I paid good money
     for that car,‖ said my father. ―That gives me a right to drive it where I please. Even down to
     Mississippi.‖ My uncles argued with him and tried to talk him out of driving the car south.
     So did my aunts and so did the neighbors, Mr. LeRoy, Mr. Courtland, and Mr. Pondexter.
50   They said it was a dangerous thing, a mighty dangerous thing, for a black man to drive an
     expensive car into the rural south.




                                                  103
     The Gold Cadillac By Mildred Taylor

      ―Not much those folks hate more‘n to see a northern Negro coming down there in a fine car,‖
     said Mr. Pondexter. ―They see those Ohio license plates, they‘ll figure you coming down
     uppity, trying to lord your fine car over them!‖ I listened, but I didn‘t understand. I didn‘t
     understand why they didn‘t want my father to drive that car south. It was his. ―Listen to
 5   Pondexter, Wilbert!‖ cried another uncle. ―We might‘ve fought a war to free people overseas,
     but we‘re not free here! Man, those white folks down south‘ll lynch you soon‘s look at you.
     You know that!‖ Wilma and I looked at each other. Neither one of us knew what lynch meant,
     but the word sent a shiver through us. We held each other‘s hand.
      My father was silent, then he said: ―All my life I‘ve had to be heedful of what white folks
10   thought. Well, I‘m tired of that. I worked hard for everything I got. Got it honest, too. Now I
     got that Cadillac because I liked it and because it meant something to me that somebody like
     me from Mississippi could go and buy it. It‘s my car, I paid for it, and I‘m driving it south.‖
     My mother, who had said nothing through all this, now stood. ―Then the girls and I‘ll be
     going too,‖ she said. ―No!‖ said my father. My mother only looked at him and went off to the
15   kitchen.
      My father shook his head. It seemed he didn‘t want us to go. My uncles looked at each other,
     then at my father. ―You set on doing this, we‘ll all go,‖ they said. ―That way we can watch
     out for each other.‖ My father took a moment and nodded. Then my aunts got up and went
     off to their kitchens too.
20    All the next day my aunts and my mother cooked and the house was filled with delicious
     smells. They fried chicken and baked hams and cakes and sweet potato pies and mixed potato
     salad. They filled jugs with water and punch and coffee. Then they packed everything in huge
     picnic baskets along with bread and boiled eggs, oranges and apples, plates and napkins,
     spoons and forks and cups. They placed all that food on the back seats of the cars. It was like
25   a grand, grand picnic we were going on, and Wilma and I were mighty excited. We could
     hardly wait to start. My father, my mother, Wilma, and I got into the Cadillac. My uncles, my
     aunts, my cousins got into the Ford, the Buick, and the Chevrolet, and we rolled off in our
     caravan headed south. Though my mother was finally riding in the Cadillac, she had no
     praise for it. In fact, she said nothing about it at all. She still seemed upset and since she still
30   seemed to feel the same about the car, I wondered why she had insisted upon making this trip
     with my father.
      We left the city of Toledo behind, drove through Bowling Green and down through the Ohio
     countryside of farms and small towns, through Dayton and Cincinnati, and across the Ohio
     River into Kentucky. On the other side of the river my father stopped the car and looked back
35   at Wilma and me sand said, ―Now from here on, whenever we stop and there‘re white people
     around, I don‘t want either one of you to say a word. Not one word! Your mother and I‘ll do
     all the talking. That understood?‖
      ―Yes, sir,‖ Wilma and I both said, though we didn‘t truly understand why. My father nodded,
     looked at my mother and started the car again. We rolled on, down Highway 25 and through
40   the bluegrass hills of Kentucky. Soon we began to see signs. Signs that read: WHITE ONLY,
     COLORED NOT ALLOWED. Hours later, we left the Bluegrass State and crossed into
     Tennessee. Now we saw even more of the signs saying: WHITE ONLY, COLORED NOT
     ALLOWED. We saw the signs above water fountains and in restaurant windows. We saw
     them in ice cream parlors and at hamburger stands. We saw them in front of hotels and
45   motels, and on the restroom doors of filling stations. I didn‘t like the signs. I felt as if I were
     in a foreign land.
      I couldn‘t understand why the signs were there and I asked my father what the signs meant.
     He said they meant we couldn‘t drink from the water fountains. He said they meant we
     couldn‘t stop to sleep 9in the motels. He said they meant we couldn‘t stop to eat in the
50   restaurants. I looked at the grand picnic basket I had been enjoying so much. Now I
     understood why my mother had packed it. Suddenly the picnic did not seem so grand. Finally
     we reached Memphis. We got there at a bad time. Traffic was heavy and we got separated


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     The Gold Cadillac By Mildred Taylor

     from the rest of the family. We tried to find them but it was no use. We had to go on alone.
     We reached the Mississippi state line and soon after we heard a police siren. A police car
     came up behind us. My father slowed the Cadillac, then stopped. Two white policemen got
     out of their car. They eyeballed the Cadillac and told my father to get out. ―Whose car is this,
 5   boy?‖ they asked. I saw anger in my father‘s eyes. ―It‘s mine,‖ he said.
      ―You‘re a liar,‖ said one of the policemen. ―You stole this car.‖ ―Turn around, put your
     hands on top of that car and spread eagle,‖ said the other policeman.
      My father did as he was told. They searched him and I didn‘t understand why. I didn‘t
     understand either why they had called my father a liar and didn‘t believe that the Cadillac was
10   his. I wanted to ask but I remembered my father‘s warning not to say a word and I obeyed
     that warning. The policeman told my father to get in the back of the police car. My father did.
     One policeman got back into the police car. The other policeman slid behind the wheel of our
     Cadillac. The police car started off. The Cadillac followed. Wilma and I looked at each other
     and at our mother. We didn‘t know what to think. We were scared.
15    The Cadillac followed the police car into a small town and stopped in front of the police
     station. The policeman stepped out of our Cadillac and took the keys. The other policeman
     took my father into the police station. ―Mother-Dear!‖ Wilma and I cried. ―What‘re they
     going to do to our daddy? They going to hurt him?‖ ―He‘ll be all right,‖ said my mother.
     ―He‘ll be all right.‖ But she didn‘t sound so sure of that. She seemed worried. We waited
20   More than three hours we waited. Finally my father came out of the police station. We had
     lots of questions to ask him. He said the police had given him a ticket for speeding and locked
     him up. But then the judge had come. My father had paid the ticket and they had let him go.
      He started the Cadillac and drove slowly out of the town, below the speed limit. The police
     car followed us. People standing on steps and sitting on porches and in front of stores stared
25   at us as we passed. Finally we followed. Dusk was falling. The night grew black and finally
     the police car turned around and left us.
      We drove and drove. But my father was tired now and my grandparents‘ farm was still far
     away. My father said he had to get some sleep and since my mother didn‘t drive, he pulled
     into a grove of trees at the side of the road and stopped. ―I‘ll keep watch,‖ said my mother.
30   ―Wake me if you see anybody,‖ said my father. ―Just rest,‖ said my mother. So my father
     slept. But that bothered me. I needed him awake. I was afraid of the dark and of the woods
     and of whatever lurked there. My father was the one who kept us safe, he and my uncles. But
     already the police had taken my father away from us once today and my uncles were lost.
      ―Go to sleep, baby,‖ said my mother. ―Go to sleep.‖ But I was afraid to sleep until my father
35   woke. I had to help my mother keep watch. I figured I had to help protect us too, in case the
     police came back and tried to take my father away again. There was a long, sharp knife in the
     picnic basket and I took hold of it, clutching it tightly in my hand. Ready to strike, I sat there
     in the back of the car, eyes wide, searching the blackness outside the Cadillac. Wilma, for a
     while, searched the night took, then she fell asleep. I didn‘t want to sleep, but soon I found I
40   couldn‘t help myself as an unwelcome drowsiness came over me. I had an uneasy sleep and
     when I woke it was dawn and my father was gently shaking me. I woke with a start and my
     hand went up, but the knife wasn‘t there. My mother had it.
      My father took my hand. ―Why were you holding the knife, ‘lois?‖ he asked. I looked at him
     and at my mother. ―I – I was scared,‖ I said. My father was thoughtful. ―No need to be scared
45   now, sugar,‖ he said. ―Daddy‘s here and so is Mother-Dear.‖ Then after a glance at my
     mother, he got out of the car, walked to the road, looked down it one way, then the other.
     When he came back and started the motor, he turned the Cadillac north, not south. ―What‘re
     you doing?‖ asked my mother.
      ―Heading back to Memphis,‖ said my father. ―Cousin Halton‘s there. We‘ll leave the
50   Cadillac and get his car. Driving this car any farther south with you and the girls in the car,
     it‘s just not worth the risk.‖ And so that‘s what we did. Instead of driving through Mississippi


                                                    105
     The Gold Cadillac By Mildred Taylor

     in golden splendor, we traveled its streets and roads and highways in Cousin Halton‘s solid,
     yet not so splendid, four-year-old Chevy. When we reached my grandparents‘ farm, my
     uncles and aunts were already there. Everybody was glad to see us. They had been worried.
     They asked about the Cadillac. My father told them what had happened, and they nodded and
 5   said he had done the best thing.
      We stayed one week in Mississippi. During that week I often saw my father, looking deep in
     thought, walk off alone across the family land. I saw my mother watching him. One day I ran
     after my father, took his hand, and walked the land with him. I asked him all the questions
     that were on my mind. I asked him why the policemen had treated him the way they had and
10   why people didn‘t want us to eat in the restaurants or drink from the water fountains or sleep
     in the hotels. I told him I just didn‘t understand all that.
      My father looked at me and said that it all was a difficult thing to understand and he didn‘t
     really understand it himself. He said it all had to do with the fact that black people had once
     been forced to be slaves. He said it had to do with our skins being colored. He said it had to
15   do with stupidity and ignorance. He said it had to do with the law, the law that said we could
     be treated like this here in the South. And for that matter, he added, any other place in these
     United States where folks thought the same as so many folks did here in the South. But he
     also said, ―I‘m hoping one day thought we can drove that long road down here and there
     won‘t be any signs. I‘m hoping one day the police won‘t stop us just because of the color of
20   our skins and we‘re riding in a gold Cadillac with northern plates.‖
      When the week ended, we said a sad goodbye to my grandparents and all the Mississippi
     family and headed in a caravan back toward Memphis. In Memphis we returned Cousin
     Halton‘s car and got our Cadillac. Once we were home my father put the Cadillac in the
     garage and didn‘t drive it. I didn‘t hear my mother say any more about the Cadillac. I didn‘t
25   hear my father speak of it either.
      Some days passed and then on a bright Saturday afternoon while Wilma and I were playing
     in the backyard, I saw my father go into the garage. He opened the garage door wide so the
     sunshine streamed in, and began to shine the Cadillac. I saw my mother at the kitchen
     window staring out across the yard at my father. For a long time, she stood there watching my
30   father shine his car. Then she came out and crossed the yard to the garage and I heard her say,
     ―Wilbert, you keep the car.‖ He looked at her as if he had not heard. ―You keep it,‖ she
     repeated and turned and walked back to the house. My father watched her until the back door
     had shut behind her. Then he went on shining the car and soon began to sing. About an hour
     later he got into the car and drove away. That evening when he came back he was walking.
35   The Cadillac was nowhere in sight.
      ―Daddy, where‘s our new Cadillac?‖ I demanded to know. So did Wilma. He smiled and put
     his hand on my head. ―Sold it,‖ he said as my mother came into the room. ―But how come?‖ I
     asked. ―We poor now?‖ ―No, sugar. We‘ve got more money towards our new house now and
     we‘re all together. I figure that makes us about the richest folks in the world.‖ He smiled at
40   my mother and she smiled too and came into his arms.
      After that we drove around in an old 1930s Model A Ford my father had. He said he‘d
     factory-ordered us another Mercury, this time with my mother‘s approval. Despite that, most
     folks on the block figured we had fallen on hard times after such a splashy showing of good
     times and some folks even laughed at us as the Ford rattled around the city. I must admit that
45   at first I was pretty much embarrassed to be riding around in that old Ford after the splendor
     of the Cadillac. But my father said to hold my head high. We and the family knew the truth.
     As fine as the Cadillac had been, he said, it had pulled us apart for awhile. Now, as ragged
     and noisy as that old Ford was, we all rode in it together and we were a family again. So I
     held my head high.
50    Still though, I thought often of that Cadillac. We had had the Cadillac only a little more than
     a month, but I wouldn‘t soon forget its splendor or how I‘d felt riding around inside it. I



                                                   106
The Gold Cadillac By Mildred Taylor

wouldn‘t soon forget either the ride we had taken south in it. I wouldn‘t soon forget the signs,
the policemen, or my fear. I would remember that ride and the gold Cadillac all my life.

The Gold Cadillac – Questions
    1. What car did the family own before they bought the Gold Cadillac?
Mercury            Ford Model T Honda Chevy
    2. What happens to the Cadillac at the end of the story?
They keep it       They give it to their friend       They sell it They wash it
    3. How does Lois's mother react to the new Cadillac?
She loves it and wants to ride in it          She tells everyone about it
She refuses to ride in it                     She doesnt react at all
    4. Where did father want to drive the Gold Cadillac to?
Detroit            Mississippi      Flordia           Memphis
    5. Who bought the Gold Cadillac?
Mother             Lois             Uncle Nacho                Father
    6. What do the police FIRST accuse Lois's father of?
Stealing the car     Driving too fast         Having a light out        Driving through a stop sign
Answer these questions in complete sentences:
1. Why does the narrator think it is good that her father brought home the gold Cadillac on a
Saturday morning?
2. What does the narrator‘s mother think they should be saving for?
3. In what part of the United States do some of the characters feel it would be dangerous for
an African American man to drive an expensive car?
4. What does the narrator see that makes her feel as if she were in a foreign land?
5. What happens to the gold Cadillac?
6. Which words show the excitement and enthusiasm of the sisters?
7. ‗lois cannot understand why her mother is angry about driving to Detroit. (Page 72 line14)
Explain why.
8. Describe the character of Dee, the mother. What is your opinion of her?
9. Why do the family take so much food with them on their Sunday trips?
10. What signs are there that the family live in a close-knit neighborhood?
11. How does Taylor create the celebratory atmosphere in the first half of the story?
12. What changes take place in the story as soon as Wilbert mentions Mississippi?
13. Mr. Pondexter warns Wilbert that the Mississippi police will think he             .
14. What kind of attitude do the police show towards Wilbert when they stop him?
15. Which words reveal their attitude?
16. Do you think the narrator is similar to either of her parents?
17. What changes does she undergo?
18. What does the story gain by having a child narrator?
19. Describe the changes that the couple undergo.
20. What does this story tell us about the individual in a racist society?




                                                  107
     Hope is the Thing with Feathers by Emily Dickinson

     Poems

     Hope is the Thing with Feathers by Emily Dickinsonviii
     1. Hope is the thing with feathers
     That perches in the soul,
 5   And sings the tune--without the words,
     And never stops at all,


     2. And sweetest in the gale is heard;
     And sore must be the storm
10   That could abash the little bird
     That kept so many warm.


     3. I've heard it in the chillest land,
     And on the strangest sea;
15   Yet, never, in extremity,
     It asked a crumb of me.

     Hope - Questions
     1.   What metaphor does Dickinson use to define hope?
     2.   Why does Dickinson use the word ―perch‖? How can hope ―perch‖?
     3.   Is ―hope‖ expressed in a positive or negative way in stanza 1?
     4.   Why is hope "sweetest" during a storm? When do we most need hope, when things are going well
          or when they are going badly?
     5.   What are the elements of nature that the ―little bird‖ fights against? What do the elements
          symbolize?
     6.   Sore is being used in the sense of very great or severe; abash means to make ashamed,
          embarrassed, or self-conscious. Essentially only the most extreme or impossible-to-escape storm
          would affect the bird/hope. If the bird is "abashed" what would happen to the individual's hope?
          In a storm, would being "kept warm" be a plus or a minus, an advantage or a disadvantage?
     7.   What kind of place would "chillest" land be? Would you want to vacation there, for instance? Yet
          in this coldest land, hope kept the individual warm. Is keeping the speaker warm a desirable or an
          undesirable act in these circumstances? Is "the strangest sea" a desirable or undesirable place to
          be? Would you need hope there? The bird, faithful and unabashed, follows and sings to the
          speaker ("I've heard it") under the worst, the most threatening of circumstances.
     8.   The last two lines are introduced by "Yet." What kind of connection does "yet" establish with the
          preceding ideas/stanzas? Does it lead you to expect similarity, contrast, an example, an
          irrelevancy, a joke? Even in the most critical circumstances the bird never asked for even a
          "crumb" in return for its support. What are the associations with "crumb"? Would you be satisfied
          if your employer offered you "a crumb" in payment for your work? Also, is "a crumb" appropriate
          for a bird?




                                                       108
     Friendship by Kahlil Gibran


     Friendship by Kahlil Gibranix
     And a youth said, "Speak to us of Friendship."
     Your friend is your needs answered.
     He is your field which you sow with love and reap with thanksgiving.
 5   And he is your board and your fireside.
     For you come to him with your hunger, and you seek him for peace.
     When your friend speaks his mind you fear not the "nay" in your own mind, nor do you
     withhold the "ay."
     And when he is silent your heart ceases not to listen to his heart;
10   For without words, in friendship, all thoughts, all desires, all expectations are born and
     shared, with joy that is unacclaimed.
     When you part from your friend, you grieve not;
     For that which you love most in him may be clearer in his absence, as the mountain to the
     climber is clearer from the plain.
15   And let there be no purpose in friendship save the deepening of the spirit.
     For love that seeks aught but the disclosure of its own mystery is not love but a net cast forth:
     and only the unprofitable is caught.
     And let your best be for your friend.
     If he must know the ebb of your tide, let him know its flood also.
20   For what is your friend that you should seek him with hours to kill?
     Seek him always with hours to live.
     For it is his to fill your need, but not your emptiness.
     And in the sweetness of friendship let there be laughter, and sharing of pleasures.
     For in the dew of little things the heart finds its morning and is refreshed.




                                                    109
     Still I Rise by Maya Angelou


     Still I Rise by Maya Angeloux
     You may write me down in history                Out of the huts of history's shame
     With your bitter, twisted lies,                 I rise
     You may trod me in the very dirt                Up from a past that's rooted in pain
 5 But still, like dust, I'll rise.            40 I rise
                                                     I'm a black ocean, leaping and wide,
     Does my sassiness upset you?                    Welling and swelling I bear in the tide.
     Why are you beset with gloom?                   Leaving behind nights of terror and fear
     'Cause I walk like I've got oil wells           I rise
10 Pumping in my living room.                  45 Into a daybreak that's wondrously clear
                                                     I rise
     Just like moons and like suns,                  Bringing the gifts that my ancestors gave,
     With the certainty of tides,                    I am the dream and the hope of the slave.
     Just like hopes springing high,                 I rise
15 Still I'll rise.                            50 I rise
                                                     I rise.
     Did you want to see me broken?
     Bowed head and lowered eyes?
     Shoulders falling down like teardrops.
20 Weakened by my soulful cries.


     Does my haughtiness offend you?
     Don't you take it awful hard
     'Cause I laugh like I've got gold mines
25 Diggin' in my own back yard.


     You may shoot me with your words,
     You may cut me with your eyes,
     You may kill me with your hatefulness,
30 But still, like air, I'll rise.


     Does my sexiness upset you?
     Does it come as a surprise
     That I dance like I've got diamonds
35 At the meeting of my thighs?




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     O what is that sound by W. H. Auden
     O what is that sound which so thrills the ear
       Down in the valley drumming, drumming?
     Only the scarlet soldiers, dear,
      The soldiers coming.
 5
     O what is that light I see flashing so clear
       Over the distance brightly, brightly?
     Only the sun on their weapons, dear,
       As they step lightly.
10
     O what are they doing with all that gear,
       What are they doing this morning, this morning?
     Only their usual manoeuvres, dear.
       Or perhaps a warning.
15
     O why have they left the road down there,
       Why are they suddenly wheeling, wheeling?
     Perhaps a change in their orders, dear.
       Why are you kneeling?
20
     O haven't they stopped for the doctor's care,
       Haven't they reined their horses, their horses?
     Why, they are none of them wounded, dear.
       None of these forces.
25
     O is it the parson they want, with white hair,
       Is it the parson, is it, is it?
     No, they are passing his gateway, dear,
       Without a visit.
30
     O it must be the farmer who lives so near.
       It must be the farmer so cunning, so cunning?
     They have passed the farmyard already, dear,
       And now they are running.
35
     O where are you going? Stay with me here!
       Were the vows you swore deceiving, deceiving?
     No, I promised to love you, dear,
       But I must be leaving.
40
     O it's broken the lock and splintered the door,
       O it's the gate where they're turning, turning;
     Their boots are heavy on the floor
       And their eyes are burning.
    TECHIYA – Renewal by             HaRav Kook


    TECHIYA – Renewal by             HaRav Kookxi
    Give me, give me                          Our words like arrows
    rays of light,                            will hit their marks,
    Too much for me, too much                 And to our quarreling brothers and sisters
 5 these pits of darkness.               30 speak of our wrongdoing.
    Give me the gift                          To raise ourselves beyond the divisions,
    of purity of thought,                     for the greatness of the people,
    Enough for me, enough                     To expand our consciousness
    these prisons of confusion.               as broad as the ocean.
10 Gift me, gift me                      35 To shake the dust
    with the power of desire,                 from the lands of our exile
    Extend to me                              That are cleaving
    balls of fire.                            to our sickly hearts.
    I'll explode with them                    To understand the principle
15 the false towers and structures       40 that is everything,
    And the vanity of vanities                The Torah, our destiny,
    that dwell within.                        the power of the Divine.
    I proclaim liberation                     To be concerned for the soul,
    for my words and my pen                   the soul of our people,
20 Without keeping                       45 Turned over desolate,
    my wine in its barrel.                    in its exile from its home.
    And without fear                          To awaken life,
    the anxiety of the enslaved               for the renewal of the people
    We will announce together                 On the earth and in the heavens,
25 words/matters of                      50 As they are there.
    unity/uniqueness/unification.




                                        112
     The Poison Tree by William Blakexii
         1. I was angry with my friend;
     I told my wrath, my wrath did end.
     I was angry with my foe:
     I told it not, my wrath did grow.
 5       2. And I watered it in fears,
     Night & morning with my tears:
     And I sunned it with smiles,
     And with soft deceitful wiles.
         3. And it grew both day and night.
10   Till it bore an apple bright.
     And my foe beheld it shine,
     And he knew that it was mine.
         4. And into my garden stole,
     When the night had veiled the pole;
15   In the morning glad I see;
     My foe outstretched beneath the tree.




     The Sick Rose by William Blake
20       1. Rose, thou art sick!
     The invisible worm
     That flies in the night,
     In the howling storm,
         2. Has found out thy bed
25   Of crimson joy:
     And his dark secret love
     Does thy life destroy.
Poetic Terms


Poetic Terms
simile a comparison using "as" or "like"
alliteration the deliberate repetition of consonant sounds
assonance deliberate repetition of identical or similar vowel sounds
echo repetition of key word or idea for effect
hyperbole exaggeration for dramatic effect
metaphor a comparison not using as or like when one thing is said to be another
onomatopoeia "sound echoing sense"; use of words resembling the sounds they mean
oxymoron a seeming contradiction in two words put together
paradox seeming contradiction that surprises by its conciseness
personification attribution of human motives or behaviors to impersonal agencies
rhyming couplet a pair of lines which end-rhyme expressing one clear thought
rhyme repetition of same sounds
rhythm internal 'feel' of beat and meter perceived when poetry is read aloud. Stresses at
regular intervals
symbol an image loaded with significance beyond literal definition; suggestive rather than
definitive. 1. natural symbols - symbols recognized as standing for something in particular
even by people from different cultures. (Rain = fertility or the renewal of life; a forest =
mental darkness or chaos; a mountain = stability). 2. conventional symbols - symbols which
people have agreed to accept as standing for something other than themselves (rose = a
symbol for love).
tone, mood feelings or meanings conveyed in the poem




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Poetic Terms




Elements of a Short Story
SETTING
The time and location in which a story takes place is called the setting. For some stories the setting is
very important, while for others it is not. There are several aspects of a story's setting to consider when
examining how setting contributes to a story (some, or all, may be present in a story):
a) place - geographical location. Where is the action of the story taking place?
b) time - When is the story taking place? (historical period, time of day, year, etc)
c) weather conditions - Is it rainy, sunny, stormy, etc?
d) social conditions - What is the daily life of the character's like? Does the story contain local color
(writing that focuses on the speech, dress, mannerisms, customs, etc. of a particular place)?
e) mood or atmosphere - What feeling is created at the beginning of the story? Is it bright and cheerful
or dark and frightening?

PLOT
The plot is how the author arranges events to develop his basic idea; It is the sequence of events in a
story or play. The plot is a planned, logical series of events having a beginning, middle, and end. The
short story usually has one plot so it can be read in one sitting. There are five essential parts of plot:
a) Introduction - The beginning of the story where the characters and the setting is revealed.
b) Rising Action - This is where the events in the story become complicated and the conflict in the
story is revealed (events between the introduction and climax).
c) Climax - This is the highest point of interest and the turning point of the story. The reader wonders
what will happen next; will the conflict be resolved or not?
d) Falling action - The events and complications begin to resolve themselves. The reader knows what
has happened next and if the conflict was resolved or not (events between climax and denouement).
e) Denouement - This is the final outcome or untangling of events in the story.

CONFLICT
Conflict is essential to plot. Without conflict there is no plot. It is the opposition of forces which ties
one incident to another and makes the plot move. Conflict is not merely limited to open arguments,
rather it is any form of opposition that faces the main character. Within a short story there may be only
one central struggle, or there may be one dominant struggle with many minor ones.
There are four kinds of conflict:
1) Man vs. Man (physical) - The leading character struggles with his physical strength against other
men, forces of nature, or animals.
2) Man vs. Circumstances (classical) - The leading character struggles against fate, or the
circumstances of life facing him/her.
3) Man vs. Society (social) - The leading character struggles against ideas, practices, or customs of
other people.
4) Man vs. Himself/Herself (psychological) - The leading character struggles with himself/herself; with
his/her own soul, ideas of right or wrong, physical limitations, choices, etc.

CHARACTER
There are two meanings for the word character:
The Characteristics of a Person -




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Poetic Terms

In order for a story to seem real to the reader its characters must seem real. Characterization is the
information the author gives the reader about the characters themselves. The author may reveal a
character in several ways:
a) his/her physical appearance
b) what he/she says, thinks, feels and dreams
c) what he/she does or does not do
d) what others say about him/her and how others react to him/her
Characters are convincing if they are: consistent, motivated, and life-like (resemble real people)

POINT OF VIEW
Point of view, or p.o.v., is defined as the angle from which the story is told.
1. The story is told through the eyes of a child
2. The story is told so that the reader feels as if they are inside the head of one character and knows all
their thoughts and reactions.
3. First Person
4. Third Person (He, She, It) We know only what the character knows and what the author allows
him/her to tell us.

THEME
The theme in a piece of fiction is its controlling idea or its central insight. It is the author's underlying
meaning or main idea that he is trying to convey. The theme may be the author's thoughts about a topic
or view of human nature.




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Poetic Terms

Notes

i
   William Saroyan (1908-1981) American author, b. Fresno, Calif. Of Armenian background and
extremely prolific, he created works that combine optimism, sentimentality, and a rhapsodic love of
country. William Saroyan is buried with other Armenian artists and intellectuals at the Pantheon park
in Yerevan, Armenia.
ii
    Richard Peck (1934-) in Decatur, Illinois, a town he describes as quiet and safe. His mother,
Virginia, was a dietician and his father, Wayne, was a merchant who often rode his Harley Davidson to
work. Richard was crazy about cars when he was young and took pride in the fact that he could
instantly identify the make and model of each on-coming car. He went to college in England and then
served in the army. He then became a junior high school teacher. He taught in Illinois and in New York
City. Then his real steps into the writing profession began. In 1971 he left teaching to become a full
time writer. For many years Richard Peck signed on as a temporary lecturer for around the world
cruises. These trips enabled him to travel, to teach and to meet people who sometimes appear in his
books. He advises young people who want to become writers to get to know people who don't conform
to the group. This is a common theme in many of his novels. Disliking much of modern technology,
Richard Peck does not have a computer. He types his manuscripts on a regular typewriter.
iii
    Evan Hunter (1926-2005) He has since established himself as one of the foremost explorers of the
American psyche. Eight of his ten books have been made into motion pictures or television mini series.
He also penned the screenplay for THE BIRDS. Evan Hunter died Wednesday, July 6th 2005, at his
home in Weston, Conn. He was 78.
iv
    Guy de Maupassant (1850-1893) French novelist and short-story writer. He worked in a
government office at Paris and became known c.1880. He wrote many short stories, novels, plays, and
travel sketches until 1891, when he went mad. He died in a sanitarium. Maupassant's style and
treatment of subject include classic simplicity, clarity, and objective calm. Maupassant portrays his
characters as unhappy victims of their greed, desire, or vanity but presents even the most sordid details
of their lives without sermonizing.
v
    Roald Dahl (1916-1990) in Wales. One of the most popular children's book authors of all time, Dahl
began his career writing adult horror stories and magazine articles, including a Saturday Evening Post
series about his experiences as a World War II Royal Air Force pilot. Dahl's children's books, however,
are lighthearted. He wrote Charlie and the Chocolate Factory (1964) and Matilda (1990). After
graduating from secondary school, Dahl joined an exploring expedition to Newfoundland. From 1937
to 1939 he worked in Dar es Salaam and then enlisted with the RAF at the dawn of World War II. He
survived a crash landing in Libya and went on to serve as a fighter pilot in Greece and Syria before
taking an assignment in Washington as an assistant air attaché.
vi
     Doris Lessing was born Doris May Tayler in Persia (now Iran) on October 22, 1919. Both of her
parents were British: her father, who had been crippled in World War I, was a clerk in the Imperial
Bank of Persia; her mother had been a nurse. In 1925, lured by the promise of getting rich through
maize farming, the family moved to the British colony in Southern Rhodesia (now Zimbabwe).
Lessing's fiction is autobiographical, much of it emerging out of her experiences in Africa. Drawing
upon her childhood memories and her serious engagement with politics and social concerns, Lessing
has written about the clash of cultures, the injustices of racial inequality, the struggle among opposing
elements within an individuals own personality, and the conflict between the individual conscience and
the collective good. In 1956, in response to Lessing's courageous outspokenness, she was declared a
prohibited alien in both Southern Rhodesia and South Africa.
vii
     Mildred D. Taylor was born in Jackson, Mississippi, on September 13, 1943, but moved with her
family to Toledo, Ohio, where she spent most of her childhood. She went to public schools and college
in Toledo. After graduating from the University of Toledo, she joined the Peace Corp and spent two
years teaching English and history. While living in Africa, she observed black pride and independence
which reminded her of stories her father told her.
viii
     Emily Dickinson (1830-1886) in Amherst, Massachusetts. She‘s known as "The Belle of Amherst"
Emily Dickinson lived quietly in Amherst, Massachusetts and wrote poetry for most of her adult life.
Her verses were short but inventive, and her themes universal: love, death, and her relationship with
God and nature. Dickinson was not famous during her lifetime; she rarely left Amherst and according
to the Encyclopedia Britannica, "after the late 1860s she never left the boundaries of the family's
property." Dickinson's wrote over 1,700 poems but only a handful of her poems were published during
her lifetime. She is now considered one of America's finest 19th-century poets. Among her best-known
poems are "Because I could not stop for Death" and "I cannot live with You."




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Poetic Terms


ix
    Kahlil Gibran (1883 – 1931), born in Lebanon, was a poet, philosopher, and artist. His poetry has
been translated into more than twenty languages and his drawings and paintings have been exhibited in
the great capitals of the world. He lived in the United States, which he made his home during the last
twenty years of his life.
x
   Maya Angelou (1928-) is one of the great voices of contemporary literature and as a remarkable
Renaissance woman. Being a poet, educator, historian, best-selling author, actress, playwright, civil-
rights activist, producer and director, Dr. Angelou continues to travel the world making appearances,
spreading her legendary wisdom. She has the unique ability to break the barriers of race and class
between reader and subject throughout her books of poetry and her autobiographies
xi
    Abraham Isaac Kook (1865–1935) was the first Ashkenazi chief rabbi of the British Mandate for
Palestine, the founder of the Religious Zionist Yeshiva Merkaz HaRav, Jewish thinker, Halachist,
Kabbalist and a renowned Torah scholar. He is known in Hebrew as ‫ הרב אברהם יצחק הכהן קוק‬HaRav
Avraham Yitzchak HaCohen Kook, and by the acronym HaRaAYaH or simply as "HaRav." He was
one of the most celebrated and influential Rabbis of the 20th century.
xii
    William Blake (1757-1827). He spent his life in London. When he was nearly 25, Blake married
Catherine Bouchier. They had no children but were happily married for almost 45 years. In his poems,
Blake looks at human nature and society in optimistic and pessimistic terms, respectively - and Blake
thinks that you need both sides to see the whole truth.




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