Nine months...and counting!

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"Nine scenes-perhaps echoling the nine months of gestation"


In reading the introduction of Machinal it struck me that Treadwell is associating the nine scenes with the nine months of gestation for a women.  I know that I don't think that I would have put those two things together, however since she points this out it was quite interesting to connect the two. 

In episode four on page 27 where the nurse asks "aren't you glad its a girl?  You're not! Oh, my!  That's no way to talk!  Men want boys-women ought to want girls."  This reminds me of many stories all the way back to the Bible that showed if girls were born it was of no importance to the men, it was the boys that were "valued" because they were the ones to carry on the family name.  However girls were important to carry on the duties expected of women. 

But what was more intriging was that the young women when she gave birth was not speaking and did not seem to have any desire to see the baby.  During this time I understand that they say how women go through a very hormonal and emotional period of having ups and downs but it just struck me as though that could Treadwell have been possibly writing in a way to have us feel that this was just another "duty" that the young woman was expected to do, not because she wanted a child or family?  In this time period as Treadwell mentioned it was a woman's goal to marry for financial security not for love.  And a child was just another way to steal away a young woman's freedom. 

As on page 56 though when the husband states, "a mother's a very precious thing, a good mother.  And a childs a very precious thing.  Precious jewels."  Doesn't this prove that woman and children to men in this era were just items of value that a man was expected to have, not because of a desire to have a loving family and that they were people, not belongings? 

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