The Social Significance of the Modern Drama : Part 10, Chapter 1 : John Galsworthy
(1869 - 1940) ~ Russian-American Mother of Anarcho-Communism : She is an Anarchist, pure and simple. She represents the idea of Anarchism as framed by Josiah Warren, Proudhon, Bakunin, Kropotkin, Tolstoy. Yet she also understands the psychologic causes which induce a Caserio, a Vaillant, a Bresci, a Berkman, or a Czolgosz to commit deeds of violence. (From : Hippolyte Havel Bio.)
• "It is the private dominion over things that condemns millions of people to be mere nonentities, living corpses without originality or power of initiative, human machines of flesh and blood, who pile up mountains of wealth for others and pay for it with a gray, dull and wretched existence for themselves." (From : "What I Believe," by Emma Goldman, New York World,....)
• "The individual educator imbued with honesty of purpose, the artist or writer of original ideas, the independent scientist or explorer, the non-compromising pioneers of social changes are daily pushed to the wall by men whose learning and creative ability have become decrepit with age." (From : "Minorities Versus Majorities," by Emma Goldman.)
• "Each child responds differently to his environment. Some become rebels, refusing to be dazzled by social superstitions. They are outraged by every injustice perpetrated upon them or upon others. They grow ever more sensitive to the suffering round them and the restriction registering every convention and taboo imposed upon them." (From : "Was My Life Worth Living?" by Emma Goldman, secti....)
Part 10, Chapter 1
THE power of the modern drama as an interpreter of the pressing questions of our time is perhaps nowhere evident as clearly as it is in England to-day.
Indeed, while other countries have come almost to a standstill in dramatic art, England is the most productive at the present time. Nor can it be said that quantity has been achieved at the expense of quality, which is only too often the case.
The most prolific English dramatist, John Galsworthy, is at the same time a great artist whose dramatic quality can be compared with that of only one other living writer, namely, Gerhart Hauptmann. Galsworthy, even as Hauptmann, is neither a propagandist nor a moralist. His background is life, " that palpitating life," which is the root of all sorrow and joy.
His attitude toward dramatic art is given in the following words:
"I look upon the stage as the great beacon light of civilization, but the drama should lead the social thought of the time and not direct or dictate it."
"The great duty of the dramatist is to, present life as it really is. A true story, if told sincerely, is the strongest moral argument that can be put on the stage. It is the business of the dramatist so to present the characters in his picture of life that the inherent moral is brought to light without any lecturing on his part."
"Moral codes in themselves are, after all, not lasting, but a true picture of life is. A man may preach a strong lesson in a play which may exist for a day, but if he succeeds in presenting real life itself in such a manner as to carry with it a certain moral inspiration, the force of the message need never be lost, for a new interpretation to fit the spirit of the time can renew its vigor and power."
John Galsworthy has undoubtedly succeeded in presenting real life. It is this that makes him so thoroughly human and universal.
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