THE QUIET REVOLUTION


MARIE, a young francophone woman in her late thirties, reads the following letter.)

 
July 23, 1963
 
Dear Josie,
 
Thank you for your letter and card. I had a wonderful birthday and only wish you had been here to share it with me. I have never felt more alive and excited. It sounds like Paris is fun and exciting for you also and I am glad. Perhaps, however, you might consider returning home to visit your old friends soon. After all, five years is a long time. What do you say?
 
I do not know how much you have heard, but things back here have changed greatly since you left. It is not the same old Quebec that you found so stifling and unimaginative. Ever since we got rid of Duplessis, it is as though a dark veil or blanket has been lifted and fresh air and light has flooded into every nook and cranny of our society.
 
Just last night I was at a play called "The Train" by a young Quebec playwright named Michel Tremblay and the night before I was at a Gilles Vigneault concert. At both events the air was electric with the excitement and vibrancy of a culture coming of age. Everyone is saying that Vigneault and Tremblay are destined for international stardom and they are just two of a growing number of artists, writers, and performers that are emerging in force here.
 
It is so hard to describe in a letter the sense of liberation we feel here, the enthusiasm and excitement with which we face each day and every tomorrow. There is just so much happening. The Lesage government is introducing new social programs almost daily. It has nationalized Hydro Quebec, and is revamping the entire school system.
 
If ever there was time to come home, my dear friend, it is now. We are in the midst of a true revolution. It is not a violent one, it is a quiet one. It is a revolution of our soul and I want you here to share it.
 
Your loving friend,
 
Monique