Some of the changes made to William Saroyan's novel The Human Comedy
1943 ORIGINAL EDITION
1966 REVISED PAPERBACK
|After a moment he smiled the smile of the Macauley people -- the gentle, wise, secret smile which said Yes to all things.||After a moment he smiled the smile of the Macauley people -- the gentle, wise, secret smile which said Hello to all things.|
[The telegraph manager, Mr. Spangler, asks the 14-year-old messenger about what future he's mapped out for himself.] |
"Well... I don't know for sure, but I guess I'd like to be somebody some day. Maybe a composer or somebody like that -- some day."
"That's fine," Spangler said, "and this is the place to start. Music all around you -- real music -- straight from the world -- straight from the hearts of people. Hear those telegraph keys? Beautiful music."
"Well... I don't know for sure, but I guess I'd like to be somebody some day."
"You will be," Spangler said.
|Mr. Grogan went on, his mouth full of cocoanut cream. 'Do you feel this world is going to be a better place after the War?'|
Homer thought for a moment and then said, 'Yes, sir.'
'Do you like cocoanut cream?' Mr. Grogan said.
'Yes, sir,' Homer said.
Mrs. Macauley looked at the boy.
"You must try to understand," she began to say, then stopped.
Ulysses tried to understand but didn't know just what was to be understood.
"Understand what?" he said.
"Marcus," Mrs. Macauley said, "has gone away from Ithaca."
"Why?" Ulysses said.
"Marcus is in the Army," Mrs. Macauley said.
| "Where's Marcus?"|
"Marcus is in the Army," Mrs. Macauley said.
|Mrs. Macauley turned to Bess and Mary. "Death," she said, "is not an easy thing for anyone to understand, least of all a child, but every life shall one day end." She looked now at Ulysses. "That day came for your father two years ago." She looked back at Bess and Mary. "But as long as we are alive," she said, "as long as we are together, as long as two of us are left, and remember him, nothing in the world can take him from us. His body can be taken but not him. You shall know your father better as you grow and know yourself better,' she said. 'He is not dead, because you are alive. Time and accident, illness and weariness took his body, but already you have given it back to him, younger and more eager than ever. I don't expect you to understand anything I'm telling you. But I know you will remember this -- that nothing good ever ends. If it did, there would be no people in the world -- no life at all, anywhere. And the world is full of people and full of wonderful life."||"Two years ago your father died, Ulysses. But as long as we are alive, as long as we are together, as long as two of us are left and remember him, nothing in the world can take him from us."|
|Bess and Mary took the boy to his room. When they were gone and she sat alone, the woman heard a footstep and turned. There at the door she saw Matthew Macauley as if he were not dead.|
'I fell asleep,' he said. ' I was very sleepy. Please forgive me, Katey.'
He laughed as if it were Ulysses laughing, and when Bess came back to the parlor she said, 'He laughed just before we tucked him in.'
|Bess and Mary took the boy to his room. When they were gone and Mrs. Macauley sat alone, she thought she heard a footstep and turned. There at the door she thought she saw Matthew Macauley, as if he were Ulysses himself all over again instead of a grown man who had died so recently and yet so long ago.|
|The teacher stopped now a moment and looked at the boy who, for some reason that even he could not understand, was on the verge of tears.||[Deleted]|
|When you leave this school -- long after you have forgotten me -- I shall be watching for you in the world, and I shall never be startled by the good things I know you shall do.||When you leave this school -- long after you have forgotten me -- I shall be watching for you in the world.|
|The ancient-history teacher blew her nose again and touched her handkerchief to her eyes. "Race against Hubert Ackley in the two-twenty low hurdles. If there isn't time to change to your track clothes, run as you are, even if everybody laughs at you. Before you go very far along in the world, you will hear laughter many times, and not the laughter of men alone, but the mocking laughter of things themselves seeking to embarrass and hold you back -- but I know you will pay no attention to that laughter. Run along to the field, Homer Macauley. I shall be watching." The second son of the Macauley family of Santa Clara Avenue in Ithaca, California, turned and walked out of the room.||
Again Miss Hicks blew her nose and touched her handkerchief to her eyes. "Run along to the athletic field, now."|
The second son of the Macauley family of Santa Clara Avenue in Ithaca, California, turned and walked out of the room.
| "You ran beautifully," she said, "every one of you!"
"I'm sorry," Hubert Ackley said, "Miss Hicks. I should have stayed in, with Homer."
"It's all right now," Miss Hicks said, "and it was good of you to wait for Homer to get up when he was interfered with."
| "Mr. Byfield," she said, "why are you punishing Homer Maculey?"
"Excuse me, Miss Hicks," the coach said. "I will make my decisions without any assistance from the ancient history department..."
| Speechless, Byfield pointed to Miss Hicks.
"Miss Hicks stood above the man. "I've told you many times, Mr. Byfield, not to push people around," she said. "They don't like it. " She turned to the pricipal of the school. "Mr. Byfield owes Joe an apology."
| Speechless, Byfield pointed to Miss Hicks.
"Mr. Byfield owes Joe Terranova an apology."
|"You must allow Mr. Byfield to apologize. He is not apologizing to you or to your people. He is apologizing to our own country. You must give him the privilege of once again trying to be an American."||"You must allow Mr. Byfield to apologize. You must give him the privilege of once again trying to be an American."|
|"Yes," the principal of the school said, "brighten up. The War isn't going to last forever."||"Yes, the principal said, "brghten up, every one of you, please."|
|They were sporting around in the street at a game improvised out of their happiness at being free for the night, out of the noble and ridiculous world and its constant comedy, and out of the refreshing rain.||They were sporting around in the street at a game improvised out of their happiness at being free for the night, and out of the refreshing rain.|
|[The soldier named "Fat" hands a telegram for his girlfriend to old Mr. Grogran.] |
MY DARLING, I LOVE YOU, I MISS YOU, I THINK OF YOU ALWAYS. KEEP WRITING. THANKS FOR THE SWEATER. I AM LEARNING REAL POLITICAL ECONOMY NOW. WE WILL BE GOING INTO ACTION SOON. DON'T FORGET TO GO TO CHAPEL SUNDAY AND PRAY FOR US. I AM HAPPY. I LOVE YOU. NORMAN.
MY DARLING, I LOVE YOU, I MISS YOU, I THINK OF YOU ALWAYS. KEEP WRITING. KEEP STUDYING. KEEP WAITING. KEEP BELIEVING. DON'T FORGET ME. DON'T EVER FORGET ME BECAUSE I AM THE ONE WHO WILL NEVER FORGET YOU. NORMAN.
|A man doesn't begin to really love his country until it's in trouble. All the rest of the time he takes it for granted --like his family.||[Deleted]|
|In the lobby of the theatre the young woman did not mind so much leaving the picture so soon after its beginning. "You do love me, don't you?" she said to Spangler. "Yes, you do. You know you do."||In the lobby of the theatre, Diana said, "You do love me, don't you?"|
|Homer dropped the dime into the man's hat and hurried to his bicycle. He had swung onto his bicycle and had gone twenty yards down the street when he decided that something was wrong with what he had done, so he turned around and hurried back, dropped his bicycle on the sidewalk and ran over to the man who had lost his legs thirty years ago, and this time Homer dropped a quarter -- his own -- into the hat.||Homer dropped the dime into the man's hat and hurried to his bicycle.|
|Now the three soldiers began leaping over one another at a swift, crazy game of leap-frog, pushing down the dark, immortal street nearer and nearer to the War.||Now, the three soldiers began leaping over one another at a swift game of leap-frog, pushing down the dark, wet street nearer and nearer to whatever the hell might be next for each of them, God-helping.|
|"Well," Spangler said, "you're waiting for the part of him that died to die in you, too..."||"Well," Spangler said not knowing for sure whether he was lying or telling the truth, "you're waiting for the part of him that died to die in you, too..."|
And here are the two final sentences of both books...
|She smiled at the solider. Her smile was for him who was now himself her son. She smiled as if he were Marcus himself and the solider and his two brothers moved toward the door, toward the warmth and light of home.||Sick to death, she nevertheless smiled at the solider, and said, "Won't you please come in and let us show you around the house?"|