Stage Directions and Prologue
• Stage directions describe the house and imply that a particular attitude on the part of its owners has led to its current appearance.
• More detailed stage directions describe the location and relationship of the plentiful rooms and their rather dated contents.
• In his study, Beverly speaks with housekeeper Johnna, who is described as being an American Indian.
• In what amounts to a virtual monologue, Beverly quotes poet T.S. Eliot who describes life as “very long.”
• Beverly and Johnna hear Beverly’s wife muttering in another part of the house; Beverly comments on how the pills she’s taking influence her.
• Beverly reveals that while his wife Violet takes pills, he drinks; he also speaks of having burnt a lot of “debris” the night before, and apologizes for the house being as hot as it is.
• Conversation with Johnna reveals that Beverly knew her...
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