Start > Vom Bürgerkrieg bis zur Jahrhundertwende > Israel Zangwill, "The Melting Pot", 1908
Israel Zangwill, "The Melting Pot", 1908
In dem Stück "The Melting Pot" des im Londoner East-End geborenen Theaterschriftstellers Israel Zangwill wird in der Schlussszene der Schmelztiegel Amerika beschworen, der alle religiösen und ethnischen Unterschiede, die Menschen aller Stände zu einem neuen Volk der Hoffnung verschmelze. Das Stück machte die Metapher des Verschmelzens des Alten zu einem Neuen populär, die jedoch zuvor schon in diesem Kontext verwandt worden war.



[Vera und David stehen ruhig, Hand in Hand, auf dem Dachgarten des Settlement House, in dem Vera wohnt.]



Look! How beautiful the sunset is after the storm!

[DAVID turns. The sunset, which has begun to grow beautiful just after VERA'S entrance, has now reached its most magnificent moment; below there are narrow lines of saffron and pale gold, but above the whole sky is one glory of burning flame.]


DAVID [Prophetically exalted by the spectacle]

It is the fires of God round His Crucible. [He drops her hand and points downward.]

There she lies, the great Melting Pot — listen! Can't you hear the roaring and the bubbling? There gapes her mouth

[He points east]

— the harbour where a thousand mammoth feeders come from the ends of the world to pour in their human freight. Ah, what a stirring and a seething! Celt and Latin, Slav and Teuton, Greek and Syrian, — black and yellow —


VERA [Softly, nestling to him]

Jew and Gentile —



Yes, East and West, and North and South, the palm and the pine, the pole and the equator, the crescent and the cross—how the great Alchemist melts and fuses them with his purging flame! Here shall they all unite to build the Republic of Man and the Kingdom of God. Ah, Vera, what is the glory of Rome and Jerusalem where all nations and races come to worship and look back, compared with the glory of America, where all races and nations come to labour and look forward!

[He raises his hands in benediction over the shining city.]

Peace, peace, to all ye unborn millions, fated to fill this giant continent— the God of our children give you Peace.

[An instant's solemn pause. The sunset is swiftly fading, and the vast panorama is suffused with a more restful twilight, to which the many-gleaming lights of the town add the tender poetry of the night. Far back, like a lonely, guiding star, twinkles over the darkening water the torch of the Statue of Liberty. From below comes up the softened sound of voices and instruments joining in "My Country, 'tis of Thee." The curtain falls slowly.]





Zangwill, Israel,
The Works of Israel Zangwill: Edition de Luxe, vol. 12,
(1969; reprint, London: Globe Publishing Co, 1925), 184-185.