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Street Scene Monologue

Street Scene by Elmer L. Rice
Character: Rose Maurrant
Gender: Female
Age (range): 16-18
Style: Drama
Length: 4 minutes


Background Info: One day in the life of a New York apartment building. Rose is frustrated by her parents' unhappiness and aspires to better things. Frank Maurrant murders Anna when he learns of her affair. Rose then leaves the tenement, and her boyfriend Sam Kaplan, behind to make a new, independent life for herself.

Well, I haven't really had any time to do much thinking. But I really think the best thing I could do, would be to get out of New York. You know, like we were saying, this morning - how things might be different, if you only had a chance to breathe and spread out a little. Only when I said it, I never dreamt it would ever be this way.

I like you so much, Sam. I like you better than anybody I know. It would be so nice to be with you. You're different from anybody I know. But I'm just wondering how it would work out. There are lots of things to be considered. Suppose something was to happen - well, suppose I was to have a baby, say. That sometimes happens even when you don't want it to. What would we do then? We'd be tied down then, for life, just like all the other people around here. They all start out loving each other and thinking everything is going to be fine - and before you know it, they find out they haven't got anything and they wish they could do it all over again - only it's too late.

It's what you said just now - about people belonging to each other. I don't think people ought to belong to anybody but themselves. I was thinking, that if my mother had really belonged to herself, and that if my father had really belonged to himself, it never would have happened. It was only because they were always depending on somebody else, for what they ought to have had inside themselves. Do you see what I mean, Sam? That's why I don't want to belong to anybody, and why I don't want anybody to belong to me. I want love more than anything else in the world. But loving and belonging aren't the same thing. Sam, dear, listen. If we say good bye now, it doesn't mean that it has to be forever. Maybe someday, when we're older and wiser, things will be different. Don't look as if it was the end of the world, Sam! It isn't Sam! If you'd only believe in yourself, a little more, things wouldn't look nearly so bad. Because once you're sure of yourself, the things that happen to you, aren't so important. The way I look at it, it's not what you do that matters so much; it's what you are. I'm so fond of you, Sam. And I've got such a lot of confidence in you. Give me a nice kiss!