The Children

I’ve been telling myself that since the

Martha Dobie

The Children's Hour

See more monologues from Lillian Hellman


Age Range
Act 3
Time & Place
The living room.
Time Period
Show Type

Monologue Context

At this point in the play, the women have been outcast from Lancet. They have lost

Monologue Text

I’ve been telling myself that since the night we heard the child say it. I lie in bed night after night praying that it isn't true. But I know about it now. It’s there. I don’t know how. I don’t know why. But I did love you. I do love you. I resented your marriage; maybe because I wanted you; maybe I wanted you all these years; I couldn’t call it by a name but maybe it’s been there ever since I first knew you-- [...] I never felt that way about anybody but you. I’ve never loved a man--I never knew why before. Maybe it’s that. [...] It’s funny, it’s all mixed up. There’s something in you and you don’t do anything about it because you don’t know it's there. Suddenly a little girl gets bored and tells a lie--and there, that night, you see it for the first time, and you say to yourself, did she see it, did she sense it--? [...] She found the one lie with the ounce of truth. I guess they always do. I’ve ruined your life and I’ve ruined my own. I swear I didn’t know it, I swear I didn’t mean it--- . Oh, I feel so God-damned sick and dirty--I can’t stand it anymore.

Hellman. Lillian. The Children’s Hour, Dramatists Play Service, Inc., 1934, pp. 66-67.

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