I am a person. I think, I see, I desire.

Drama scene from the one-act eplay, “Paper Ink, Flesh Bone”, a father plans on making set plans for his daughter’s arranged marriage.

RICHARD: We will be having James Wellington over for dinner tomorrow.

DELILAH: What for?

HANNAH: Your father believes he’s a sound match.

DELILAH: For whom?

RICHARD: You are becoming of age now, dear.

DELILAH: (Sharply) …Am I now?

RICHARD: Aging is no laughing matter.

DELILAH: Why would you think I would be interested in James? I have my studies to tend to.

RICHARD: James comes from one of the finest families in town. Education will only take you so far, won’t it?

DELILAH: Literature.

RICHARD: Pardon?

DELILAH: Literature. I have great admiration for literature.

HANNAH: Books?

DELILAH: You have seen them before, mother, I am sure of it.

HANNAH: That’s no way to speak.

RICHARD: What is literature in the face of love?

DELILAH: Love? Did you just speak the word, love?

RICHARD: Why, certainly. You cannot compare paper and ink to flesh and bone.

DELILAH: I should have the right to my education.

RICHARD: Do not embarrass me.

DELILAH: Embarrass you?

RICHARD: Tomorrow evening you will greet Mr. Wellington with open arms and act the lady, even if you don’t wish to be one.

DELILAH: And then what?

RICHARD: Whatever do you mean?

DELILAH: Off to your private discussion room, or whichever you call it nowadays, to deal me over to him?

HANNAH: Delilah!

DELILAH: What do I look like to you? I can think of the word, but I shall not speak it! I will not showcase myself for some buffoon, because he happens to come from a respectable family. What about my self-respect? What about the things I have the ambition for? Why do I have to obey and surrender my own self to some made up rules by the likes of you, because you, you think you have the right over me? What right?! I am an individual, I am a person. I think, I see, I desire. I will not meet James Wellington. I refuse to give up my education!

Delilah gets up from the table.

RICHARD: How dare you leave this table? Sit down this instant, young lady!

Delilah stands still.

The nerve! This is my house, and you are my daughter! Where do you get your audacity? You come back here and sit with your mother and me until you are done having your dinner.

DELILAH: I am finished eating. May I be excused?

RICHARD: Your plate is still half full. Sit.

DELILAH: I am no longer hungry.


Delilah slowly motions back to her chair.

There you are. We will finish our meals, have a bit of wine, digest, and have a pleasant (coughs) evening.


DELILAH: Mother, may I be excused, please?




Delilah runs from the table and exits the room.

Richard glares at Hannah.

RICHARD: You see, that is the problem.

Richard chews bread.

HANNAH: (disgusted) Can’t you see she is disturbed?

RICHARD: I do see that, yes.

HANNAH: You would rather have her sit here watching you drink?

RICHARD: Mind your tongue, Hannah.

HANNAH: Our daughter is…she is different, Richard.

RICHARD: (laughs) Different, you say.


RICHARD: Alright, settle down. Surely, we are still civilized people.

HANNAH: But you don’t listen.

RICHARD: I listen with both ears just fine darling.

HANNAH: I’ve had enough.

RICHARD: Don’t you dare.

HANNAH: Or what?

RICHARD: Don’t leave me alone in here.

HANNAH: Your behavior has been revolting. Not sure I wish to stay and bear it.

RICHARD: Have I been that terrible?

HANNAH: Worse. Far worse.

RICHARD: Mind if I smoke?

Hannah nods no.

Richard lights a cigar.

Trouble is the way in which the world works…makes us do things I should think are out of character. Have we a choice? (beat) That child will be the damned death of me.

  • To read the full one-act ePlay, find purchase link below:

Paper Ink Flesh Bone by Joseph ArnoneIn the one-act eplay, “Paper Ink, Flesh Bone” Richard tries to have his daughter Delilah meet and marry James Wellington not out of love but out of necessity to keep the family from financial ruin.  2 Women, 1 Man. Drama/Family Drama.

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Joseph Arnone