The Night Thoreau Spent In Jail – A Play
Waldo: Henry! Henry! What are you doing in jail?
Henry: Waldo! What are you doing out of jail?
Re-read “The Night Thoreau Spent in Jail” last night. First read was in 2004… I think. It is a two-act play that pretty-much summarises Henry David Thoreau’s life. Not only that. It’s also a literary window into what potentially could be the answer to what’s possibly ailing life/America today–maybe. That is. The answer we’re all searching for, including those not searching, could be in not so much the play but the summary of Thoreau. But then again. Assuming that there is an “answer” might be a bit much. Still. While trying to understand what motivates some people to act the way they act it’s sometimes best to seek out their opposite. Does that mean we need to seek out the people that don’t act the way some/other people act? Hence. I was initially motivated by thoughts of Walden. Even with a very limited knowledge of his work, the mirror of Thoreau’s anti-social nature is an answer to the disease that is convention. I mean. One can only imagine what people at the time thought of Henry David Thoreau. Also. Did rumours abound of what this man was actually doing the whole time in a shack near a lake? Or. Since life today is all about compromise and appeasement isn’t it only natural that so many of us never miss a lunch and look exactly that way? Nomatter. Thoreau definitely spent a night in jail and the reason for that is enough to provide some insight into what is still so terribly wrong with America today. Great play about a dollar tax left unpaid. But I reckon a great play just ain’t enough for the voters of anti-greatness as they all continue to pay more than just their tax.
A Cypripedium, aka “Showy Lady Slipper” that Thoreau tried to show his students when he should have been teaching them math or history or civics. The authors of “The Night Thoreau Spent in Jail”, Jerome Lawrence and Robert E. Lee, put this beautiful flower in their text and added “Last year it didn’t bloom until tomorrow!” at just the right moment.