Sunday, May 1, 2011

Some More Skin of Our Teeth Excerpts

Because there's a lot of good material. First, Maggie Antrobus's kiss-off to her cheating husband is just some really great feminism:

Before I go, I have a letter.... I have a message to throw into the ocean.... It's a bottle. And in the bottle's a letter. And in the letter is written all the things that a woman knows.

It's never been told to any man and it's never been told to any woman, and if it finds its destination, a new time will come. We're not what books and plays say we are. We're not what advertisements say we are. We're not in the movies and we're not on the radio.

We're not what you're all told and what you think we are: We're ourselves. And if any man can find one of us he'll learn why the whole universe was set in motion. And if any man harm any one of us, his soul--the only soul he's got--had better be at the bottom of the ocean--and that's the only way to put it.

Next, George Antrobus to his son Henry, who he had been fighting in a just-ended seven-year war, articulating what every participant in armed conflict has ever felt afterward:

You're the last person I wanted to see. The sight of you dries up all my plans and hopes. I wish I were back at war still, because it's easier to fight you than to live with you. War's a pleasure--do you hear me?--War's a pleasure compared to what faces us now: trying to build up a peace-time with you in the middle of it.

This last one is actually Plato, selected by Wilder to embody one of the hours of the night. I found it most fitting to the late Donald Trump madness;

Then tell me, O Critias, how will a man choose the ruler that shall rule over him? Will he not choose a man who has first established order in himself, knowing that any decision that has its spring from anger or pride or vanity can be multiplied a thousand fold in its effects upon the citizens?

Anger, pride, and vanity, of course, are all that Trump has going for him.

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