Author: Harvey Fergusson
Main Themes:Excerpt: Ralph got out at the Zoo and walked around to stretch his legs. People and other animals staring at each other through bars. At least all of the people stared stupidly and idly. Some of the animals stared, but not all of them. The lions for instance were magnificently indifferent. They had a dignity which the people lacked.... In the bear pit two polar bears carried on a ferocious love affair. A growing knot of people watched them intently, self-conciously, not daring to look at each other, yet unable to forego the spectacle. Blushing wives pulled at their husbands' sleeves, trying to get them away, glancing back regretfully when they had succeeded. Courting couples looked up at the sky and the tree-tops, talked about the weather. Worried parents hurried by, herding their innocent off-spring before them. "Oh look, papa! The bears are fighting." -- "Yes, dear. We'll go look at the monkeys now." One touch of nature makes the whole world blush.
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Main Themes:Excerpt: On Saturday night, however, the three of them usually united for an evening of convivial pleasure. They had a standardized program of dissipation, which, in that unregenerate day before the war, was followed by millions of Americans every Saturday night, just as regularly as many of them went to church the next morning. They would wander among the saloons and cafes, drinking beer, nibbling pickled herrings and cheese and crackers until about eleven o'clock, and then they would adjoin to Hooker's Division, as the Washington Tenderloin was called... Washington, although then somewhat deficient in most forms of public amusement, had a large bi-racial red-light district, conveniently located near the centre of the city, just off Pennsylvania Avenue and directly behind the tower-topped grey mass of the Postoffice building. When the theatres and cafes had closed, these half-darkened streets were crowded with bands of tipsy revellers roaming from house to house, often turned away from the doors for lack of room. Ralph and his companions would go the rounds, buying drinks to pay for their entertainment, dancing with the girls...
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Address: Federal Triangle 20004