Act 1 Scene 1
(Salathiel is at school – Emma and Jane are talking about a dance they want to attend.)
(Salathiel has her head down and is writing at a desk – they are in a common room like area. Emma and Jane have stood up and are having a conversation – everyone is listening with rapt attention. Emma has long red hair – she occasionally tosses back her head – to show off her hair.)
Emma: I can not tolerate these problems any longer! And to what end? Things will remain as they are – so my future prospects are limited to being a man’s wife and I don’t need math to be a goodwife.
Jane: But you might want to further your mind in different arts so that people look to you as being highly knowledgeable – nay, I would even go so far as to say that you might get your own private joy from learning new things. I do not now the equal for pleasure as when I come across a new piece of information.
Emma: Upon my word Jane, sometimes you surprise me exceedingly. I see it a pointless admonition to know something but have no use for it – One should have always make use of what they know – but we cannot. What is that old saying of the town, the curse that was put on us ah: ‘The poor will stay poor and the rich will stay rich – nothing will ever change’ those angels put this curse on us, so why are we even bothering? I say let us merely do what is required of us. I know lets discuss the Christmas ball – it will be amazing. Who shall be taking you to the dance?
Jane: I know not? Who is asking you?
Emma: I want Victor to ask me – it’s only right. He and I are a perfect match, are backgrounds begs it of us – even if I wanted to go with another…I wouldn’t. (Pause) What of you Janey? (Insistent)
Jane: I am unsure – a part of me feels to go with Michael but a part of me is waiting on Daniel still. I really am unsure. You are so lucky you know exactly who you want to ask you. You may give your opinion so decidedly – you never falter a trait I envy greatly.
Emma: It’s rather difficult knowing exactly what one wants. I wish I could take sole credit but I cannot – I merely am resigned to the idea that I am Emma Middleton – I have certain responsibilities that govern my actions. If the world where to at once change, I should be quite at a loss, but being as that is not the case – I find that I may justly call myself a modern woman. I am able to press my opinion unto others and expect it followed. I shall govern my own household when I am older – make my own meals for my husband, I have such ideas for different meals.
[Everyone gasps in awe]
Jane: wow Emma – you are a
Emma: As I said before I’m a modern woman, (Pause – spoken quietly) Independent. (She chuckles)
Salathiel: You contradict yourself Emma and what you speak of is certainly not independence! You making meals – like a mindless drone at home whiles your husband go’s and earns the bread. We have the power to break out of this perpetual cycle we are in – where nothing changes, there is no curse! If you wished it – I am sure your father would organise a space for you inFactoryTown – where you could have your own restaurant.
[There is silence – they look around slightly afraid]
Emma: My own restaurant?! Are you moonstruck Salathiel? Exactly what planet do you live on? Here on earth, in Revolutioshire, nothing shall change; I cannot simply decide to open up my own place of business – it matters not who my father is. Our society dictates that a woman must tend to her home and a man must look after that woman. That is the way of things, its how it has always been and it is how it shall always be. (Pause) Where exactly did they take you on your travels? You have come back worse than before; I would have thought such a thing was not even conceivable! What should I expect from you? You are not one of us!
Salathiel: You are just afraid! Afraid to be someone who has hope! To dream of a better future! I hear in you the need to do something more but you insist on repressing it. All of you listen – we don’t have to-
Emma: Silence Salathiel. Who are you anyway? You’re a nobody, born to parents who rightfully cast you aside! Living with a class that should not be rubbing shoulders with girls like us. That is what happens when we change the order of things – we start to think above ourselves! You are not worthy to speak to us in such a manner – to demand our attention in such a way. I know not why they allowed you back – it is clear what you are; an aberration, a freak of nature. What’s all this talk of hope? Such things will never happen no matter how much we wish and pray they might! Life is this – at least I will inherit money and be saved from the factories but you; you are going to stay here –
Salathiel: I am not! I am going to become whoever I want to be! Anyone can. Do you not see that is all I am trying to say – that we must rise above ourselves. We must not be afraid. Jane – if you want – you can become a doctor. Don’t you want to become a Doctor? Don’t you Janey?
Jane: (uncertainly) Well I? I have always
Emma: Janey? (Laughs) Only her friends call her Janey? And you have no friends Salathiel – what kind of name is that anyway. You’re a freak – have you taken a look at yourself in the mirror lately. No one talks to you! Why would they want to? Jane can’t become a Doctor! Women are not allowed to become Doctors – we are taught that woman are not as clever as men – so why should they make her one? And even then, she has no need for work – she is going to marry money – so she doesn’t have to work – and not fractionise with the likes of you.
Salathiel: Say what you want about me Emma Middleton, but at least I am truthful with myself, I can see what I want and I am not afraid to take it. I am not afraid – not afraid to hope – not afraid to try – if I want – I shall ask a guy to go to the dance with me. I can take control of my life –
Emma: I am fearful of nothing! The dance, you? That will never happen! No one will ask you and no one will accept your request. You are an outsider, or have you not noticed – clearly your travels washed away the memories of your past here – let me reacquaint you with who you really are (She grabs a looking glass from her pocket – and thrusts it at Salathiel).Take a good look at who you are – you are not one us – you have never been – and you will never be – white hair – strange features – I suggest, in fact I demand that you: Stay away from us – lest you infect us with the diseases you are carrying.
Jane: Yeah I think, we should leave, I – come on Emma – let’s leave her to her delusions.
Emma: Certainly she is delusional – asking men to the dance – have you ever heard of anything so ridiculous. We are who we are – this is our fate – we are used to ours – get used to yours.
Salathiel: I shall never accept – My Fate is what I make of it. Everything is possible for one who believes.
Emma: Come Jane, she is crazy. Let’s leave before she attacks us.
(They walk off the stage, Emma looks back at Salathiel with awe)