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Pariah, Or The Outcast

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Pariah, Or The Outcast

by August Strindberg

Genre: Drama
Setting: International
Format of Original Source: Play
Recommended Adaptation Length:

Candidate for Adaptation? Not Likely

EXCERPT:

MR. X. It’s the mask that they pull off; that’s not a bad idea.

MR. Y. You jest! Then they cut down your rations, so that every day, every hour you feel a distinct difference between life and death; all life’s functions are repressed; you feel yourself grovelling, and your soul, which should be bettered and uplifted there, is put on a starvation cure, driven back a thousand years in time; you are only allowed to read what was written for the barbarians of the migratory period; you are allowed to hear about nothing but that which can never come to pass in heaven, but what happens on earth remains a secret; you are torn from your own environment, moved down out of your class; you come under those who come under you; you have visions of living in the bronze age, feel as if you went about in an animal’s skin, lived in a cave, and ate out of a trough! Ugh!

MR. X. That’s quite rational. Any one who behaves as if he belonged to the bronze age ought to live in the historic costume.

MR. Y. [Spitefully]. You scoff, you, you who have behaved like a man of the stone age! And you are allowed to live in the gold age!

MR. X. [Searchingly and sharp]. What do you mean by that last expression–the gold age?

MR. Y. [Insidiously]. Nothing at all.

MR. X. That’s a lie; you are too cowardly to state your whole meaning.

MR. Y. Am I cowardly? Do you think that? I wasn’t cowardly when I dared to show myself in this neighborhood, where I have suffered what I have.–Do you know what one suffers from most when one sits in there? It is from the fact that the others are not sitting in there too.

MR. X. What others?

MR. Y. The unpunished.

MR. X. Do you allude to me?

MR. Y. Yes.

MR. X. I haven’t committed any crime.

MR. Y. No? Haven’t you?


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