In "The Earth is Made of Glass," Joseph Cotten stars as man who commits murder to find out if Ralph Waldo Emerson’s reflections on universal compensation are true.
Joseph Cotten As the episode opens, Nurse Adams and Dr. West are discussing Mr. Richard Steel, a patient who has just died. She asks him what should be done with Mr. Steel’s personal items. The doctor looks through Mr. Steel’s possessions and comes across a diary and begins to read….
From Mr. Steel’s diary, we learn that he and a friend had a intellectual dispute over the truth of Ralph Waldo Emerson’s 1841 essay Compensation. They argued over the theory that whatever a man does comes back to him—measure for measure. If one commits a crime, then that person will be punished in one way or another.
Mr. Steel wanted to test that theory by committing a murder in such a way that the law of universal compensation would be proved nonexistant. So, he committed a murder.
Now, he is dead.
Was Emerson right?
"The Earth is Made of Glass" was written by Silvia Richards and produced/directed by William Spier. Joseph Cotten starred. Also appearing were Joseph Kearns, Gale Gordon, Cathy Lewis, and William Johnstone. This episode aired on September 27, 1945.