Hemmed in by poverty and his overbearing mother, Ralph has struggled
Ralph: When I look at him, I’m sad. Let me die like a dog, if I can’t get more from life.
Ralph: Right here in the house! My days won’t be for nothing. Let Mom have the dough. I’m twenty-two and kickin’! I’ll get along. Did Jake die for us to fight about nickels? No! “Awake and sing,” he said. Right here he stood and said it. The night he died, I saw it like a thunderbolt! I saw he was dead and I was born! I swear to God, I’m one week old! I want the whole city to hear it—fresh blood, arms. We got ‘em. We’re glad we’re living.
Odets, Clifford, “Awake and Sing!,” Waiting for Lefty and Other Plays, Grove Press, p. 100-101.
More about this monologue