The Man Who Had All the Luck
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It took more than fifty years for The Man Who Had All the Luck to be appreciated for what it truly is: the first stirrings of a genius that would go on to blossom in such masterpieces as Death of a Salesman and The Crucible. Infused with the moral malaise of the Depression era, the drama centers on David Beeves, a man whose every obstacle to personal and professional success seems to crumble before him. But his good fortune merely serves to reveal the tragedies of those around him in greater relief, offering evidence of a capricious god or, worse, a godless, arbitrary universe. David's journey toward fulfillment becomes a nightmare of existential doubts, a desperate grasp for reason in a cosmos seemingly devoid of any, and a struggle that will take him to the brink of madness.
again. AMOS [peevishly. This has been in him a long time]: He never called them in the first place. PAT: Now, Amos . . . DAVID [reprimanding]: Dad . . . AMOS: He didn’t. He didn’t call them. [To PAT.] I want him to know! DAVID [to PAT]: But last summer you said . . . PAT: I’ve picked up the phone a lot of times . . . but I . . . I wanted it to happen . . . naturally. It ought to happen naturally, Dave. SHORY: You mean you don’t want to hear them say no. PAT: Well . . . yes, I admit that.
Pyle. This took him to military bases around the country and though the final film—The Story of GI Joe—was written by others, in 1944 he published a book about his experiences: Situation Normal. These ventures were financially rewarding but scarcely satisfying for a man whose eyes were still on Broadway. Then came his breakthrough. A play he had originally written as a novel was accepted. At twenty-nine, and after six years, he had, seemingly, arrived. He was to be produced on Broadway, today,
world. DAVID: Except when they fall, Mr. Dibble, except when they fall. DIBBLE: Mink never fall! DAVID: Oh, now, Mr. Dibble . . . DIBBLE: They don’t! It’s their keepers fall down on them. When a feller goes broke tryin’ to raise mink it’s mainly because he’s a careless man. From everything I’ve seen, David, you ain’t that kind. You got a farm here clean as a hospital and mink needs a clean place. You’re the first and only man I thought of when I decided to sell off some of my breeders when my
time I know something. I ain’t gonna touch a baseball again as long as I live! PAT [frantically]: Amos, you don’t know what you’re saying . . . ! AMOS: I couldn’t ever stand out on a diamond again! I can’t do it! I know! I can’t! [Slight pause.] I ain’t goin’ to let you kid me anymore. I’m through. [He rises. PAT sobs into his hands.] DAVID [AMOS keeps shaking his head in denial of everything]: What do you mean, through? Amos, you can’t lay down. Listen to me. Stop shaking your head—who gets
here tonight, won’t you? GUS: The first thing to do is sit down. As he leads her to the couch—she is near tears. HESTER: I kept calling you and calling you. GUS [taking off his coat]: Now get hold of yourself; there’s nothing to do till he finds out. I’m sorry, I was in Burley all afternoon, I just got home. What did Dibble tell you? [He returns to her.] HESTER: Just that he was losing animals, and he thought it was silkworm in the feed. They share the same carload. GUS: Ah. David notices