Wednesday, July 5, 2017

"Luddites of the Industrial Revolution" dramatic monologue for male

Luddites of the Industrial Revolution
by D. M. Larson

January, 1813

I miss the England of my childhood. Many of us were poor, but our lives were simple and uncomplicated. Our air was clean and the land was pure. Our farms sustained us and gave us what we needed. But the desires of wealth seduced the greedy and they plotted new ways to profit. The steam powered machines of these wretched times gave them the means to grow their fortunes, in turn, changing our lives forever.

Everyone has been seduced by the power of these mechanical monsters in this age of steam. People wonder in amazement at the steam powered creatures that occupy our factories. But at what cost?

We once used wind and water for our work, keeping our vocations simple and clean. These new machines demand coal to create steam power, but this comes at a price. Miners rip up the land for coal to feed these hungry monsters. People have left the gentle countryside farms and crowded into cities to find work in the factories. But, they are met with low wages and disease.

I am on trial today because of the wrongs they say I have committed, but I say I am here because of the justices I have done. Our government passes laws to protect the factories from harm. Who is protecting the people?

I am proud of my defiance. I cheered as I smashed those job stealing machines with a sledgehammer. I celebrated as I watched the fire, I set with my own hands, burn the factory to the ground. I confess to standing up against the wrongs that have been done to me and my community.

They call me a Luddite to tear me down, but wear this name as a badge of honor. I proudly follow General Ludd on his quest to destroy the mechanized mannances of our land. I despise the new machines that replaced my vocation. For many generations, my family has been proud of our skills, passing them down from father to son.  But, this noble tradition is only a memory, because those machines allow the factory owners to bring in unskilled workers, with no experience and no training, to do our jobs. Once my vocation was a craft with products made lovingly by artisans, but now the machines spew out poor imitations. There is no pride in what they create, only profit. Skilled men are cast aside, because they seek cheaper labor. These factories employ women and children to feed their madness.

They even prefer women and children because they don’t need to pay them as much as they pay men. Sometimes men send their whole families to earn enough wage to make up for his lost income. But there is no rest for these families. I even heard of a pregnant woman who gave birth one day and had to go back to work the next because they needed the money so badly. This is not a living wage they pay, but a slave wage.

Children are driven to work endless hours for a mere pittance, never seeing the sunlight. They abuse these children and task them to do dangerous jobs, because they are expendable. These workers have all become slaves to the machines.

I plead guilty to destroying your steam powered creations, because they are savage beasts that ravaged my community. The machines shroud our homes in darkness. They spew out black stench that fills the air and turns day into night. The dirty air chokes us and fills our lungs with disease. The smoke from the factories injects the clouds with their toxins and infects the rain.  Our water is poisoned by this an acid rain.

The greed of the factory owners has cast us into the abyss of an industrial nightmare. Is this really a revolution? Or a curse?


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