in twilight zone

One Life, Furnished in Early Poverty (The Twilight Zone)

One Life, Furnished in Early Poverty is the second segment of the eleventh episode from the television series The New Twilight Zone. It is based on the short story "One Life, Furnished in Early Poverty", by Harlan Ellison. The story was first published in the anthology Orbit 8 1970.

Opening narration

He had to go back; it was that simple. Back to the place where his anger had first taken root. Back to find the turning point which had set him on the road to success . . . and loneliness. Because here, in a small Ohio town, lived the shadows of the boy he used to be and the man he could have become. Gus Rosenthal is returning home . . . to the Twilight Zone.


Gus is an angry middle aged man. One day one of his old collectible toy soldiers breaks and Gus knows he must go back to his old house and bury his toy soldier like he did when he was a child. While Gus sits under a tree he is transported back to the 40s where he is able to see himself as a child.

One day when Gus saves the younger him from bullies they start to be friends but young Gus's dad tells older Gus to leave and older Gus agrees. When older Gus tells younger Gus he has to leave younger Gus is so mad he runs away.

Gus then returns to his own time and can remember the time in his childhood where he met his older self. After a while Gus hails a cab and the driver is one of the kids that used to bully Gus. Gus then realizes that although he did not have the greatest childhood he is now a very happy accomplished writer.

Closing narration

It's rather bittersweet how we spend so much time trying to justify ourselves to the shadows of those who are long gone. And even if they were alive, would they remember? Would they recall what they had said or done that made you spend the rest of your life proving yourself? And if you could go back, wouldn't you learn that you were always the master of your fate?

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