The American Clock

Dear Mom and Pa. It’s not really a job b

Lee Baum

The American Clock

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Basics

Character
Gender
Age Range
Style
Scene
Act 2
Time & Place
America, 1930s
Length
Time Period
Show Type

Monologue Context

Lee has graduated from college in the middle of the Great Depression. There are few jobs around and

Monologue Text

Dear Mom and Pa. It’s not really a job because they don’t pay me, but they let me eat in the galley and I sleep on deck. The Mississippi is so beautiful, but sometimes it’s frightening. Yesterday we stopped at a little town where they were handing out beans and meat to the hungry. The meat was full of maggots, you could see them wriggling out when the butcher cut into it. Suddenly a man with a gun pointed it at the butcher and forced him to give out the good meat which the government had paid him for, but which he kept for his paying customers. I keep trying to imagine how Mark Twain would deal with a scene like that. [... …] The boom of the twenties was a gigantic fake. The rich have simply looted the people. And all President Hoover can say is have confidence! I’ve passed fields of corn rotting on the stalks unsold, and sheriff’s guarding them while on the road people fall down from hunger.--There is going to be a revolution, Mama…

Arthur Miller. The American Clock. Methuen London Ltd., 1983. pp.45-6.




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