Damaged Goods (1914)
- Summaries (3)
"Damaged Goods" pictures the terrible consequences of vice and the physical ruin that follows the abuse of moral law. It is a stirring plea for a pure life before marriage, in order to make impossible the transmission of unhealthy hereditary traits to future generations.
A young man, against his own desires, is forced into circumstances which end in a night of debauchery with a girl of the streets. Later he comes across a college friend, who is a horrible beggar and learns that is the result of the disease ensuing from a life of license. He is seized with the dread that he too may have become a victim. The methods of real specialists in handling the dread disease and the way that the thousands of quack doctors make themselves rich by preying on young men and boys are also shown.
George Dupont had always been a hardworking student while at college. He was graduated clean in mind and healthy in body and returned to the home of his mother, a wealthy widow, intent on practicing law. His simple mindedness and attractiveness made him an easy prey for women. He was seduced by Mrs. James Forsythe, an evil intentioned young married woman, and then got into difficulties with a seamstress, before his mother and aunt determined that he should marry Henriette Locke, the daughter of Senator Locke. Shortly before his marriage, he was given a farewell dinner by his bachelor friends which was followed by a night of debauchery with a girl of the streets. Later on discovering an old school friend in a deformed and twisted beggar of the streets and learning that disease following upon a life in debauchery had changed the one time noted athlete into a degenerate specimen of humanity, George was seized with a dread lest he may have contracted the terrible disease. He purchased a scientific treatise on the subject and on comparing the symptoms described with symptoms which had appeared in him he realizes that his one night of fun had ended as he had little dreamed. Intent on suicide he goes to a park where he is rescued by the very girl of the streets with whom he had spent the night following the dinner given by his bachelor friends. She has been regenerated under the care of a noted specialist for whom she is now acting as a nurse. She tells George that he also can find relief. George goes to the specialist's office and is told that if he marries before the expiration of two years he will be a criminal in the eyes of the law. Although the specialist promises him a positive cure if he will follow his instructions carefully, George, dissatisfied after a few weeks' treatment, visits a quack, who gives him a prescription and guarantees a positive cure within three months. George, satisfied when the quack tells him that he is cured, marries Henriette. Later, when their child is born, the loathsome disease becomes evident in his progeny. He learns that the quack has done nothing to bring about his cure, and that he has been a criminal against society, by disregarding the instructions of the specialist. The horrible truth becomes known to his wife. Her father, broken-hearted at the disgrace upon himself, his daughter and her child, goes in search of Dupont. But the latter, realizing the shame he has heaped upon all those dear to him, does the only thing possible under the circumstances, commits suicide.
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