18 October, 2021

5 Great Monologues in Literature

O’Brien1984
Nineteen Eighty-Four
George Orwell

Now I will tell you the answer to my question. It is this. The Party seeks power entirely for its own sake. We are not interested in the good of others; we are interested solely in power, pure power. What pure power means you will understand presently. We are different from the oligarchies of the past in that we know what we are doing. All the others, even those who resembled ourselves, were cowards and hypocrites. The German Nazis and the Russian Communists came very close to us in their methods, but they never had the courage to recognize their own motives. They pretended, perhaps they even believed, that they had seized power unwillingly and for a limited time, and that just around the corner there lay a paradise where human beings would be free and equal. We are not like that. We know what no one ever seizes power with the intention of relinquishing it. Power is not a means; it is an end. One does not establish a dictatorship in order to safeguard a revolution; one makes the revolution in order to establish the dictatorship. The object of persecution is persecution. The object of torture is torture. The object of power is power. Now you begin to understand me.”

2 thoughts on “5 Great Monologues in Literature

  1. Nice choices, Tee! My favorite monologue (and I know this is cheating because it’s a play instead of narrative) is from Peter Schafer’s “Equus”, about a young boy under the care of a jaded psychologist because he has blinded a herd of horses. It’s an extremely powerful play. But in this monologue, the doctor questions his ability to help the boy, with an extremely personal insight. It reminds me that all is not as it seems and that the “norm” may not be “normal” at all: ” ‘Oh, the primitive world,’ I say. ‘What instinctual truths were lost with it!’ And while I sit there, baiting a poor unimaginative woman with the word, that freaky boy tries to conjure the reality! I sit looking at pages of centaurs trampling the soil of Argos—and outside my window he is trying to become one, in a Hampshire field! . . . I watch that woman knitting, night after night—a woman I haven’t kissed in six years—and he stands in the dark for an hour, sucking the sweat off his God’s hairy cheek! “

Leave a Reply

Your email address will not be published. Required fields are marked *

This site uses Akismet to reduce spam. Learn how your comment data is processed.