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DOS PASSOS, John



Manhattan Transfer

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Plates slip endlessly through Bud’s greasy fingers. Smell of swill and hot soapsuds. Twice round with the little mop, dip, rinse and pile in the rack for the longnosed Jewish boy to wipe. Knees wet from spillings, grease creeping up his forearms, elbows cramped.

“Hell this aint no job for a white man.”

“I dont care so long as I eat,” said the Jewish boy above the rattle of the dishes and the clatter and seething of the range where three sweating cooks fried eggs and ham and hamburger steak and browned potatoes and cornedbeef hash.

“Sure I et all right,” said Bud and ran his tongue round his teeth dislodging a sliver of salt meat that he mashed against his palate with his tongue. Twice round the little mop, dip, rinse and pile in the rack for the longnosed Jewish boy to wipe. There was a lull. The Jewish boy handed Bud a cigarette. They stood leaning against the sink.

“Aint no way to make money dishwashing.” The cigarette wabbled on the Jewish boy’s heavy lip as he spoke.

“Aint no job for a white man nohow,” said Bud. “Waitin’s better, they’s the tips.”
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The 42nd Parallel

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Duluth; girderwork along the waterfront, and the shackcovered hills and the tall thin chimneys and the huddle of the hunchshouldered grain elevators under the smoke from the mills scrolled out dark against a huge salmoncolored sunset.
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"In my day it wasn't considered ladylike, it was thought to be demeaning." "But it isn't now," Janey would say getting into a temper. Then it would be a great relief to get out of the stuffy house and the stuffy treeshaded streets of Georgetown and to stop by for Alice Dick and go down town to the moving pictures and to see the pic-tures of foreign countries, and the crowds on F Street and to stop in at a drugstore for a soda afterwards, before getting on the Georgetown car, and to sit up at the fountain talking about the picture they'd seen and Olive Thomas and Charley Chaplin and John Bunny. She began to read the paper every day and to take an interest in politics. She began to feel that there was a great throbbing arclighted world somewhere outside and that only living in Georgetown where everything was so poky and old-fashioned, and Mommer and Popper were so poky and old-fashioned, kept her from breaking into it. Postcards from Joe made her feel like that too. He was a sailor on the battleship Connecticut. There'd be a picture of the waterfront at Havana or the harbor of Marseille or Villefranche or a photograph of a girl in peasant costume inside a tinsel horseshoe and a few lines - hoping she was well and liked her job, never a word about himself. She wrote him long letters full of questions about himself and foreign countries but he never answered them. Still it gave her a sort of feeling of adventure to get the postcards. Whenever she saw a navy man on the street or marines from Quantico she thought of Joe and wondered how he was getting on. The sight of a gob lurching along in blue with his cap on one side took a funny twist at her heart.

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The Big Money

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America our nation has been beaten by strangers who have bought the laws and fenced off the meadows and cut down the woods and turned our pleasant cities into slums and sweated the wealth out of our people and when they want to hire the executioner to throw the switch but do they know that the old words of the immigrants are being renewed in blood and agony tonight do they know that the old american speech of the haters of oppression is new tonight in the mouth of an old women from Pittsburgh of a husky boilermaker from Frisco who hopped freights clear from the Coast to come here in the mouth of a Back bay socialworker in the mouth of an Italian printer of a hobo in arkansas the language of the beaten nation is not forgotten in our ears tonight the men in the deathhouse made the old words new before they died.

If it had not been for these things, I might have lived out my life talking at streetcorners to scorning men. I might have died unknown, unmarked, a failure. This is our career and our triumph. Never in our full life can we hope to do such work for tolerance, for justice, for man's understanding of man as we do by accident.

now their work is over the immigrants haters of oppression lie quiet in black suits in the little undertaking parlor in the North End the city is quiet the men of the conquering nation are not to be seen on the streets tonight

they have won why are they scared to be seen on the streets? on the streets you see only the downcast faces of the beaten the streets belong to the beaten nation all the way to the cemetery where the bodies of the immigrants are to be burned we line the curbs in the drizzling rain we crowd the wet sidewalks elbow to elbow silent pale looking with scared eyes at the coffins

we stand defeated America

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