Still Stands the House: Hester’s Monologue

The icy wind of the northern blizzard sweeps through the half open door into the living room of the Warren house. Hester stands across the room with her eyes fixated on the portrait of her father as if to comfort herself with the thoughts of her father. The living room is filled with a cold breeze as if to communicate the solitude with which the house finally stands. Although the house braces the heavy blizzard outside; it seems to be giving in as Ruth has not closed the door on her way out. Outside, footsteps of Ruth can be heard from afar as she tries to keep up with the pace of her husband, Bruce Warren. Hester seems to have finally realized that the door is open and rushes to close the door immediately.

HESTER. This house will not be sold: At least not when I am alive! If anyone has a problem with this house, it is them that should leave and let things be as they were in the older days. Surely, my father (God bless his soul) would be dismayed by the ideas of his house being sold. But I do not entirely blame Bruce. It is that woman that has planted those thoughts in him. It was very clear that she never liked it here. All those crazy ideas about changing the setting of this house communicated her hatred for this house and all its contents. But luckily, I have always stood my ground and insisted on minimal changes. (After a dashing look at the door) Wait! Why have they left in the midst of such a huge blizzard? The lantern could have waited. Although I am the one who failed to fill the lantern, I cannot be blamed for their decision to take such a huge risk on their lives. I should go after them. (Hester dashes into her room through the living room exit door and comes back wrapped as if daring to go after his brother. Suddenly, she poses in the living room giving time for thoughts to trickle down his brain) This is nothing but foolishness. Going after my brother and his wife will only be too late. It is only a matter of time before they freeze in the blizzard. Any attempts to go after them would only result in the death of the three of us. Aren’t two deaths better than three? And who will take care of the house if everyone of us perishes under the commanding altar of the blizzard? Surely, it is better that I stick around and wait for them. (Hester seems to have made a decision to stay. She pulls her chair by the fireplace and hums along to the whistling sound of the wind outside.) What if Bruce and Ruth end up for the dead? Surely they cannot die: At least not now. How will I survive in this jungle alone? And how would my father take it? Perhaps I should have filled the lantern earlier to prevent such a calamity. It is now my faulty that Bruce and Ruth will end up dead. (Hester embarks on a loud wail that is subdued by the heavy presence of blizzard outside. She weeps for Bruce and Ruth and hopes that they will be safe. But all this is only but a hope that is impractical.)

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