You're Having a irl...Congratulations???

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NURSE (to young woman) "Aren't you glad it's a girl? You're not! Oh my! That's no way to talk! Men want boys - women ought to want girls."

This quote on page 27 in episode four of "Machinal", along with many other quotes in the play, expresses the young woman's unhappiness in life. The young woman is not happy the babe is a girl, because she knows all too well the difficulties that come with being a woman at that time. Althought the young woman was deeply disturbed by the fact that she had to "submit" to motherhood at all, she was even more distraught that the babe turned out to be a girl. Although the young woman did not seem to immediately bond with the child, she probably did not want her daughter to have to suffer the same fate as she did. This quote is also very similar in nature to one uttered by Daisy in "The Great Gatsby": I'm glad it's a girl. And I hope she'll be a fool - that's the best thing a girl can be in this world, a beautiful little fool." Although Daisy is glad to have had a girl, she, too, expresses her worry that her daughter will succumb to a similar fate. Perhaps if Daisy and the young woman were fools, they would be unaware of the confinement of their situations. The young woman would not mind the mechanical life she leads. She would not mind submitting to marriage and to motherhood. Ultimatley, the two aforementioned quotes are similar in that they both express the limited roles of and options for women in the past; in fact, women were expected to marry and bear children (particularly, males), and were not expected to do much, if anything else. No wonder the young woman often felt as though she were choking...   

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