"Every Good Boy Deserves Favor"
from the play by Tom Stoppard
(A political prisoner relates a friend's troubles with the authorities)
Alexander: One day they arrested a friend of mine for possessing a controversial book, and they kept him in mental hospitals for a year and a half. I thought this was an odd thing to do. Soon after he got out, they arrested a couple of writers, A and B, who had published some stories under different names. Under their own names they got five years and seven years hard labor. I thought this was most peculiar. A friend, C, demonstrated against the arrest of A and B. I told him he was crazy to do it, and they put him back in the mental hospital. D was a man who wrote to various people about the trial of A and B and held meetings with his friends E, F, G, and H, who were all arrested, so I, J, K, L, and a fifth man demonstrated against the arrest of E, F, G, and H, and were themselves arrested. D was arrested the next day. The fifth man was my friend C, who had just got out of the mental hospital where they put him for demonstrating against the arrest of A, B, and I told him he was crazy to demonstrate against the arrest of E, F, G, and H, and he got three years in labor camp. I thought this really wasn't fair. M complied a book on the trials of C, I, J, K, and L, and with his colleagues, N, O, P, Q, R and S attended the trial of T who had written a book about his experiences in a labor camp, and who got a year in a labor camp. This trial took place in August the twenty-first of 1968, and in the courtroom it was learned that the Russian had gone to the aid of Czechoslovakia. M, N, O, P, Q, R and S decided to demonstrate in Red Square the following Sunday, when they were all arrested and variously disposed of in labor camps, psychiatric hospitals and internal exile. Three years had passed since the arrest of A and B. C finished his sentence about the same time as A and then he did something really crazy. He started telling everybody that sane people were being put in mental hospitals for their political opinions. By the time B finished his sentence, C was on trial for anti-Soviet agitation and slander, and he got seven years in prison and labor camps, and five years exile...you see all the trouble writers cause.
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