A monologue from the play by Neith Boyce and Hutchins Hapgood

download the complete text of Enemies

  • NOTE: This monologue is reprinted from The Provincetown Plays. Ed. George Cram Cook & Frank Shay. New York: D. Appleton and Company, 1921.
  • SHE: Oh, very well, if you're so keen on separating--fine. But remember, you suggest it. I never said I wanted to separate from you--if I had, I wouldn't be here now. You, on account of your love for me, have tyrannized over me, bothered me, badgered me, nagged me, for fifteen years. You have interfered with me, taken my time and strength, and prevented me from accomplishing great works for the good of humanity. You have crushed my soul, which longs for serenity and peace, with your perpetual complaining! But you see, my dear, I am more philosophical than you, and I recognize all this as necessity. Men and women are natural enemies, like cat and dog--only more so. They are forced to live together for a time, or this wonderful race couldn't go on. In addition, in order to have the best children, men and women of totally opposite temperaments must live together. The shock and flame of two hostile temperaments meeting is what produces fine children. Well, we have fulfilled our fate and produced our children, and they are good ones. But really--to expect also to live in peace together--we as different as fire and water, or sea and land--that's too much!