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September 14, 2005

"Woman finds husband dead."

Treadwell, Machinal (Finish) -- Drama as Literature (EL 250)

HUSBAND: What are you reading?
HUSBAND: You must be reading something.
YOUNG WOMAN: Woman finds husband dead.

Wow, that line is awesome! Talk about major foreshadowing! If the reader is smart enough to pick up on it, they'd know the YOUNG WOMAN is planning on murdering her husband in the following scenes. I absolutely love how Tread put that in there. Similar articles written by the reporters in the court room were probably put in the local papers, too. I think this play would be so neat to actually see on stage, especially the last half.

Posted by AmandaNichols at September 14, 2005 02:16 PM


I noticed that whenever Treadwell foreshadows, she also, in the next scene, assumes that whatever was foreshadowed has already happened. Read my blog on "Foreshadow, Fastforward," for more...

Posted by: David Denninger at September 14, 2005 04:18 PM

I think your soo right Amanda. Actually many of the headlines Helen reads to her husband have some secret murder conotation.

YOUNG WOMAN. Woman leaves all for love-
YOUNG WOMAN. Young wife disappears-

Talk about being in a depressing relationship. She can't even stand to talk to him.

Posted by: Andy LoNigro at September 14, 2005 09:10 PM

I wonder if she's subconsciously selecting her favorite headlines:

"YOUNG WOMAN. Woman leaves all for love -"

"YOUNG WOMAN. Young wife disappears -"

"YOUNG WOMAN. Prisoner escapes - lifer breaks jail - shoots way to freedom -"

I liked this especially:

"HUSBAND. (importantly). All men are born free and entitled to the pursuit of happiness. (YOUNG WOMAN gets up.)"

She only wants to her about the free woman, not men. It just reminds her of how she isn't free.

Posted by: Kayla Sawyer at September 14, 2005 09:55 PM

Another thing that I think is interesting is the reporters during Episode 8 in the courtroom. What is perceived by the FIRST REPORTER seems really different from the SECOND REPORTER.

FIRST REPORTER (writing). Under the heavy artillery fire of the State's attorney's brilliant cross-questioning, the accused woman's defense was badly riddled...
SECOND REPORTER (writing). Undaunted by the Prosecution's machine-gun attack, the defendant was able to maintain her position of innocence...

Which do you think is closer to the truth? Why is there such a difference?

Amanda, you're right...This stuff would definitely be interesting to see on stage.

Posted by: Lorin Schumacher at September 15, 2005 01:29 AM

Thanks for the input everyone!

Andy and Kayla - I see where you're both coming from. The headlines in the play that may seem uunimportant are actually all "secret murder conotations".

Lorin - I picked up on that, too. I'm really not sure which reporter was closer to the truth, maybe neither. She seemed to keep her cool almost until the end. She only lost it after the letter was read from her lover.

Maybe there's a difference because reporters often make things seem more exciting or maybe they just interrpruted Helen's actions differently. Or maybe Treadwell purposely put two completely different interrprutations in te play to let the reader decide? I'm really not sure.
Anyone else have any ideas?

Posted by: Amanda at September 15, 2005 09:40 AM

Kayla that line you posted is one of the best in the play. I actually thought for a moment she was going to kill him right then.

Posted by: Sean Runt at September 15, 2005 01:12 PM

I really enjoyed how the author put that in there. But like i said in my agenda item on my blog(which you should go to and comment:)), i dont know if she did it on purpose or by accident and then realized that she foreshadowed and kind of gave the ending away.

Posted by: Denamarie at September 15, 2005 02:42 PM

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