Friday, February 19, 2010

Them Already Damned People

I haven’t seen “The Grapes of Wrath” yet but I’m working my way through the book. I know the Henry Fonda movie version is different from the book and I expect the play adaptation is as well. But about 2/3 through the book, the Joads have arrived at a government camp and young Rose of Sharon is accosted by a local holier-than-thou evangelical woman. There’s a great little throw-away piece of dialogue that I found amusing. The woman explains that the people of the camp have a dance every Saturday night. The woman finds this sinful:

“You let me warn you now. Every Sat’dy night when that there strang band starts up and should be a-playin’ hymnody, they’re a reelin’ – yes, sir, a-reelin’. I seen ‘em. Won’t go near, myself, nor I don’ let my kin go near.” She paused for emphasis and then said, in a hoarse whisper, ”They do more. They give a stage play.” She backed away and cocked her head to see how Rose of Sharon would take such a revelation.

“Actors?” the girl said in awe.

“No, sir!” the woman exploded. “Not actors, not them already damned people. Our own kinda folks. Our own people. An’ they was little children didn’ know no better in it, an’ they was pertendin’ to be stuff they wasn’t. The devil was jus’ a-struttin’ through this here camp”



Anj said...

During some downtime of rehearsal at a church, I was in the hallway while the church's cleaning crew was working. The woman in charge was instructing the others, "You wear gloves when you do them ashtrays. Don't touch they spit, they's all going to hell."
Actor spit has hell-cooties.

Jennifer said...

A great find, Dave, and a wonderful story, Anj. Thanks for the smiles.