My dramatic monologue ‘Starship Drudgery’ uses Ed’s character to explore the values of equality, freedom and belonging.
Ed’s situation shows the continued oppression of the working classes despite the advanced technology of a future world. The symbolic cracks in the window (which appear as Ed revolts) show a futuristic society which is so deeply flawed that it cannot function without exploited labourers. Ed is aware of this issue’s historical precedent and his story serves as a warning that unchecked oppression will continue into the far future.
Ed’s family is hugely important to him, indeed the whole reason he is in this situation is to provide for them. A major cause of Ed’s anger is his lost sense of belonging. Although the stars are meant to symbolise home, to him they are only a reminder of how lost, distant and disconnected he is. While the rest of the ship’s crew are united by their shared purpose and social background, Ed is a clear outsider with no sense of belonging.
Although science-fiction, this work challenges issues which are very relevant to our own lives: the lack of respect towards the working-class and the lack of importance placed on home and belonging.