January 30, 2005

Agenda item for "The Adding Machine"

The interesting play that is, The Adding Machine, by Elmer L. Rice, posed many questions about the significance of one's life. Rice openly invites the reader to make their value judgements about what just what does it exactly mean to be a moral person. He intrigues the reader by setting up a "paradise" in which all of the most devious people are found, something that any reader would not have fore guessed. At this point he readily engages the reader to evaluate whether or not these people acted morally wrong or if their actions were indeed justified.
Another question that i found posed by Rice was the significance of a name. In this play the character or Mr. Zero essentially is a "nobody" who is going nowhere in life. Is there a link here? Is Mr. Zero really a zero? I also really liked how all of the other characters possessed symbolic names such as the couples ranging from one until six. This really shows how everyone is essentially a mold of a model. Here are a group of people striving to stand out(the men where different wigs, the women different colors of dress) yet in reality they are really only pawns in the game of life.
This play, i thought, really hit on some of lifes biggest mysteries. Can we really leave a lasting impression on this world? Do our actions in this life come with penalities in the life thereafter. I thought this was a good read, and it really got me to critically think about life.

Posted by MaggiQuinlan at January 30, 2005 06:21 PM

Excellent blog entry, Maggi. All the names in The Adding Machine are significant. Did you notice that, of all the characters, only Daisy Diana Dorothea Devore has a "real" name? Mrs. Zero mentions some movie stars who have real names, but all of the other names are deeply symbolic. I wonder if anyone can figure out what's the deal with "SHRDLU".

I'll give you another hint... ETAION.

Posted by: Dennis G. Jerz at January 30, 2005 10:42 PM
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