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Wild Nights! and Grandpa Clemens & Angelfish 1906: Two One Act Plays

Wild Nights! and Grandpa Clemens & Angelfish 1906   

Author: Joyce Carol Oates
Publisher:
 Samuel French
Year: 2009
Length: 100 pages
Preview: Google

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Contents

  • Wild Nights!
  • Grandpa Clemens & Angelfish 1906

Excerpt

From "Grandpa Clemens & Angelfish 1906"

MADELYN: (childlike boastfulness) Everyone will see this beautiful pin, and want to know what it is. Shall I tell them—I am an "angelfish"—I belong to the Aquarium Club? And Admiral Clemens is the president?

CLEMENS: Well—you need not tell all, dear Maddy. It is a secret society, you know.

MADELYN: Why?

CLEMENS: Why? Why, because—there are secret societies in the world, dear girl, and the Aquarium Club is one of them. That's why.

MADELYN: (puzzled) Oh. Yes...

CLEMENS: A secret society is only secret if it remains secret, you see. If its secret status is revealed, it is no longer "secret." That is the logic, dear Maddy.

MADELYN: Oh...yes. I see.

CLEMENS: A logic like mathematics, yes? If twenty divided by five is four, so then twenty divided by four is five; and five divided by four is—twenty. Yes?

MADELYN: It is...?

CLEMENS: Such is the logic of mathematics and geometry. One cannot refute it, even as one cannot comprehend it.

MADELYN: A secret society is to make people feel left out, I always thought. There are girls in our school...though "secret societies" are forbidden...who want to make others feel hurt, and jealous. That is the logic, I think.

CLEMENS: (impressed) Well—! Persuasively argued, dear Maddy. And all the more reason to keep the Aquarium Club more or less secret—so as not to make other little girls feel hurt, and jealous. Yes?