Offstage importance

| | Comments (4)

I found the offstage 'scenes' in Episode Two of the play Machinal very interesting in context to the conversation happening between the Mother and the Young Woman. It was interesting that whatever was brought up in the conversation was almost acted out in a way through the voices off stage. For example, when the Mother and Young Woman were talking about her father and the Young Woman asked her Mother if she ever loved her father. Offstage there is a 'scene' between a Wife and a Husband where the Wife is telling her husband to not do "that silly kiss" (18) and in response to her Husband asking "Silly Kiss?"(18) the Wife says, "You look so silly - oh I know what's coming when you look like that - and kiss me like that - don't - go - away - "(18). This conversation between a Wife and Husband could be a flashback in the Mother's mind of her and her husband. This shows that she could have loved him at one point. The offstage scenes might also serve to give us insight about what is going through the Young Woman or Mother's mind when they bring up these topics. 

Another thing in Episode two that jumped out at me was when the Mother was talking about to marry someone you do not have to love him. the Mother even says, "Love! - what does that amount to! Will it clothe you? Will it feed you? Will it pay the bills?" (17). This was a topic that was also brought up in The Great Gatsby. This shows that the attitude of most women in the 20s was that they only wanted to marry for the money, and love was just something that could possibly happen on the side.



When I read the love part in this episode I was thinking about The Great Gatsby as well and how Daisy wanted money and how this mother wanted money. But the Young Woman seems to want actual love. She marries for the money because of her mother I think, but in the end all she really wanted was the passionate love.

Joshua wilks said:

Yeah the idea of marrying for money is prevalent throughout the Great Gatsby.
on my blog I talk about the same quote "Love! - what does that amount to! Will it clothe you? Will it feed you? Will it pay the bills?"
However I dont know if the women really wants love or just thinks she wants it, because that is the typical romantic idea of marrying the love of your life.
I think her name is YOUNG women for a reason. When someone thinks of young person (including us college people) there is a kind of naiveness associated with them. Maybe this young women is just young and naive.

Alyssa Sanow said:

I also found this part of episode two very interesting. It seemed to me that the off-stage conversations were "what needed to be said, but could not be." Even the conversation between the boy and girl, "BOY'S VOICE. Come on out.
BOY'S VOICE. Nobody'll see you.
GIRL'S VOICE. It's dark now - come on.
give the audience insight into the cultural norms during that period, if not into the memories or thoughts of the young woman and her mother.

In response to Josh's comment, I found in interesting that the young woman was referred to as YOUNG WOMAN throughout the play even though her husband was HUSBAND. This is true except for the first night of her affair. There, she is referred to as WOMAN and he is simply MAN, placing them both on equal playing fields.

Rebecca Marrie said:

If you think about it, even today money is a prevalent factor in marriage. In fact, some may say a couple's income is the essence of marriage. I have been known to say, jokingly of course, that I want to marry a doctor who works long hours and makes enough money to support my non-working lifestyle. In reality though, I think this is a concept not untrue to many marriages. No one wants to be in a constant state of worry as to whether or not they can make the car payments, house payment, gas bills, etc. I realize that the dream of finding your "true love" is sweet, and in a perfect world would be possible, but with the economy as it is right now, a young, uneducated woman can't afford to waste time searching for her soulmate. She would be much better off marrying a rich man, who works long hours and can support her.

Leave a comment

Type the characters you see in the picture above.


Recent Comments

Rebecca Marrie on Offstage importance: If you think about it, even to
Alyssa Sanow on Offstage importance: I also found this part of epis
Joshua wilks on Offstage importance: Yeah the idea of marrying for
Chelsie Bitner on Offstage importance: When I read the love part in t