The Other Tables


Treadwell, Machinal (Scenes 1-5) -- Drama as Literature (EL 250)

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Machinal by Sophie Treadwell

At table three, I think a man is trying to convince a woman to get an abortion.

"MAN. Well, are you going through with it, or ain't you?"
"MAN. ...Bert told me a doctor to go to - gave me the address -"
"WOMAN. I'm not scared. I want it - I want to have it..."

At table two, a man seems to be trying to convince a boy to try his first alcoholic beverage. I think the man is trying to get the boy drunk because he’s a pedophile.

“MAN. I brought you here to give you pleasure – let you taste pleasure.”
“MAN. Have you ever been in love?

BOY. No.

MAN. Never in love with – a woman?

BOY. No – not really.

MAN. What do you mean really?

BOY. Just – that.

MAN. Ah!”

I really hope that I haven't just completely misinterpreted that. That would be awkward.


Note that there's an almost ritualistic quality to the events happening at these tables... what sort of comment do they make about the experiences the Young Woman is going through?

The woman at table three is easily convinced by the man. The boy at table two always follows the suggestions of the man.

I suppose they show how Young Woman doesn't immediately do as she's told.

The table that seemed like they could be hinting at abortion was so much like "Hills Like White Elephants."

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With the exception of Helen, all of the conversations seems scripted (no pun intended). Helen seems to be the only character to feel anything-however selfish her thoughts may be.

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