Sometime after World War II, a small group of people make a pact to develop their telepathic abilities as a means of communicating, foregoing any type of oral communication. One couple, the Nielsens, announce that they are migrating to a small town in the USA, German Corners, Pa. After a tragic fire at their house 10 years later, Sheriff Harry Wheeler and his wife Cora take in the only survivor, the now orphaned Ilsa Nielsen. The young girl has never learned to speak, always using telepathy to communicate with her parents. They don't quite understand why Ilsa won't speak to them and Cora sees her as a replacement for the daughter she lost in an accident some years ago. When they enroll Ilsa in school, her teacher is determined to make her act like all the other children. Written by
The main street that Ilsa runs across is the same one used in the episode "I Sing the Body Electric" See more »
What you're witnessing is the curtain-raiser to a most extraordinary play; to wit, the signing of a pact, the commencement of a project. The play itself will be performed almost entirely offstage. The final scenes are to be enacted a decade hence and with a different cast. The main character of these final scenes is Ilse, the daughter of Professor and Mrs. Nielsen, age two. At the moment she lies sleeping in her crib, unaware of the singular drama in which she is to be ...
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One of the reviewers is so bent on pushing his/her political agenda that s/he seems to have missed the point altogether. A liberal philosophy of education bent on results rather than the marvelous conservative one of opportunity???? This episode is NOT about approaches to schooling. And my goodness, the parents who denied their child the ability to speak have NOT given her opportunity to succeed in a world where speech is essential.
Mr. Serling is criticizing the arrogance of parents who think they know what's best for their child but are actually cruel and damage them. He criticizes parents who treat their children as objects to be molded but who don't see them as people with needs and rights of their own. As the sheriff's wife states, the welfare of a child is everyone's concern. But Serling also recognizes the inadequacy of "love only" in repairing the damage done.
And by the way, it was "liberals" who came up with the idea of "equal opportunity." The traditional way actually afforded less opportunity for those of limited means or without family connections. But again, that isn't even the point of this episode.
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