Two families have lived side by side for years in a rural area. Now the husbands are dead, the children have moved to the city, and Lena and Maude are left alone. Are they lonely? Not at all. They enjoy peace and independence after years of hard work raising families. It so happens that Lena is African-American and Maude is white, but this has never affected their friendship. Suddenly, the state decides to build a freeway through their small parcels of land and they will have to move. Their children from the city come to help—or should we say interfere? Here is a play with wonderful humor and great pathos as we ask once again: "What is 'progress' doing to our wonderful world?" The play is full of symbolism. Lena and Maude's friendship, common pleasures and problems have erased any ethnic conflict which may have once been present. Both women show pride in their heritage and in their way of doing things. Lena has the speech of an old-time southern black; Maude uses the pronunciation and syntax of her pioneer Anglo-Saxon ancestors. The rapid cultural changes that have characterized the 20th century are shown in the speech of the children who show the same symbolic shift from the simple rural life to the complex, money-dominated city-world.
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