Melanctha, by G. Stein

“I don’t see Melanctha why you should talk like you would kill yourself, just because you’re blue. I’d never kill myself Melanctha just ’cause I was blue. I’d maybe kill somebody else Melanctha ’cause I was blue, but I’d never kill myself…”


“Sometimes she would almost go over, and then the strength in her of not really knowing, would stop the average man in his endeavor. It was a strange experience of ignorance and power and desire. Melanctha did not know what it was that she so badly wanted. She was afraid, and yet she did not understand that here she really was a coward.”

These two passages deliver an insight that invites you into the minds of significantly different characters. While one is assertive yet shallow, the other is passive and thought-provoking. Either way, both passages ignites me, as the reader, to contemplate on character strength. How can it be defined? And is it possible to be strong without being aggressive?

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