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September 13, 2005

Uncaring Mothers

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

YOUNG WOMAN: Ma, there's something I want to ask you - something important.
MOTHER: Is it mealy?
YOUNG WOMAN: S'all right. Ma - tell me.
MOTHER: Three pounds for a quarter
YOUNG WOMAN: Ma - tell me -
MOTHER: (her dull voice brightening) There's the garbage. (Goes to door - or dumbwaiter- opens it. Stop radio)

The Mother in Machinal is very uncaring of her daughter's feelings. Previously to this quote, the Young Woman tries to talk to her mother, but she interrupts and keeps telling her to eat a potato. Then the Young Woman attempts to talk to her mother again, and almost succeeds, however the garbage comes and Mother jumps up from the table. The stage directions even says that her "dull voice [brightens]". Why would her mother be more concerned and happy with the garbage than her own daughter? This bothers me because I know I would feel hurt in a situation like and am also grateful that my own family doesn't treat me the way Mother treats the Young Woman.

Posted by AmandaNichols at September 13, 2005 02:18 PM


You're right, that was kind of weird. I thought alot of this play was weird though, but I can't imagine a mother being so selfish and not caring about her own daughter and how she feels. Especially since that's what a mother does, she gives advice. Not only that, but it seems like she doesn't care at all that her daughter is supporting her!

Posted by: Chera Pupi at September 13, 2005 03:55 PM

I also feel that the mom is very uncaring. I feel that the mom also wanted the young woman to marry Mr. J. for the money to help support herself. She is very selfish and ignorant.

Posted by: Denamarie at September 13, 2005 04:52 PM

The mother makes quite evident her preoccupation with menial tasks, but she does care about her daughter's future. However disgusting her mother's unapprieciation for love, she does try to look out for her daughter's financial well being.

Posted by: David Denninger at September 13, 2005 09:16 PM

The Mother knows that she and her daughter will be able to live more comfortably if she's married. She just happens to think that living well is more important than love. Love just isn't that much of an important concept to her (just like with many cultures).

Posted by: Kayla Sawyer at September 13, 2005 09:21 PM

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