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September 13, 2005

Marriage should be for love!

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

MOTHER: "Love! -what does that amount to? Will it clothe you? Will it feed you? Will it pay the bills?

YOUNG WOMAN: "No! But it's real just the same!


MOTHER: "So you're going to marry him now!?"

YOUNG WOMAN: "I suppose so."

"Machinal" shares some similar themes with "A Doll's House." The Young Woman is marrying for the same reason Mrs. Linde did- for money instead of love. Though she does so in her daughter's future interest, it is kind of disgusting that the Young Woman's mother supports this ideal. While Mrs. Linde's story has a happier ending, this play promises murder.
The men in both plays, while not necessarily innocent, are victimized. Nora keeps Torvald in the dark about her true capabilities and actions, and the Young Woman by marrying Mr. J sends him a false message of love. She even bears him a child! It is predicatable that this kind of dishonest behavior, in the interest of financial security, will hurt more people than it intended to help, as in "A Doll's House."
Hopefully, the Young Woman will realize that all of the soon-to-happen unraveling of her life, is mostly her fault. In "A Doll's House," Nora decides to start over, but she doesn't commit murder. What happens differently in this play to cause such dramatic action?

(As a side note: some parts of the play where many people are shouting out one-line responses to their environment is like trying to read spam. These instances were primarily in the office scene. Did anyone else find this annoying?)

Posted by DavidDenninger at September 13, 2005 11:47 AM


Yes, David, I found that quite annoying. The office scene is a good example of it. It was hard to keep up with and confused me a little.

Posted by: Amanda at September 13, 2005 02:04 PM

You're right David. I didn't really pick up on the similarities before, but after reading your blog, I do see what you mean. You're very right, both of the women bring this upon for themselves, and in both plays, they had fairly good intentions. But you're right, how easy is it to start over after you've killed someone?

Posted by: Chera Pupi at September 13, 2005 03:33 PM

I really enjoyed your comment about the offstage voices. I thought they were quite annoying as well. They kept popping up in the weirdest moments in the play. But i think the author put them in the play on purpose.

Posted by: Denamarie at September 13, 2005 04:50 PM

Yeah, I had to read the office scene three times.

I just wanted the Filing Clerk to stop saying "Hot dog!"

Posted by: Kayla Sawyer at September 13, 2005 08:54 PM

Where you read "Hot dog!" think a more modern slang word like "Dude!" It's a very flexible word that, in different contexts, can take on a variety of meanings.

Posted by: Dennis G. Jerz at September 13, 2005 09:01 PM

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