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Prince of Tides Monologue

The Prince of Tides by Pat Conroy & Becky Johnston
Character: Tom Wingo
Gender: Male
Age (range): 18 - 55
Style: Drama
Length: 2 minutes


Tom Wingo: I grew up slowly beside the tides and marshes of a Carolina sea island. We lived in a small white house, won by my great-great grandfather, Winston Shadrach Wingo, in a horseshoe game. There are families who live out their entire lives without a single thing of interest happening to them. I've always envied those families. The child of a beautiful woman, I was also a shrimper's son in love with the shape of boats. As a small boy I loved to navigate my father's shrimp boat between the sandbars. I suppose Henry Wingo would have made a pretty good father if he hadn't been such a violent man. From my mother I inherited a love of language and an appreciation of nature. She could turn a walk around the island into a voyage of purest discovery. As a child I thought she was the most extraordinary woman on earth. I wasn't the first son to be wrong about his mother. I don't know when my parents began their war against each other, but I do know the only prisoners they took were their children. When my brother, sister and I needed to escape we developed a ritual. We found a silent, soothing world, where there was no pain, a world without mothers or fathers. We would make a circle bound by flesh and blood and water. And only when we felt our lungs betray us, would we rise toward the light, and the fear of what lay in wait for us above the surface. All this was a long time ago, before I chose not to have a memory.