February 01, 2005

The Adding Machine

This was a very strange play. I don't see how they could go around and call each other zero, one, two and so on. It would be extremely confusing to me and it was when I was reading the play. Mr. Zero really seems to like his job and his wife is not happy about it really because he has been there so long and has never gotten a raise. When Mr. Zero and the boss talk and Mr. Zero is told that he is going to be replaced he is not happy but at first he does not believe it. The play goes on like he just is disgusted and goes home but there was actually more to it that you did not read right then. His wife when he gets home is complaining because he was late and was very angry, he never responds to what she says which would have to be hard to do especially considering the circumstances. When the cops come to arrest him he remains calm and still does not tell his wife what is going on the policeman tells her that he killed his boss.
When he is talking to the jury he openly admits to killing his boss and is constantly rambling about prices and figures in his head which was annoying and confusing, but when they decided guilty he acted surprised and he did not believe that he should be punished. Which is completely out there, I mean you kill someone, admit it and then think you should not be punished, what kind of world are you living in? Then I was confused for a while as to whether or not he actually died. I finally realized that he did die and then he was being sent back as someone else. This play was kind of about recarnation in a way because each time you are sent back as a different thing all together. The end of the play he is told that next time he will do much worse, what could be worse then murder? Good play, a little confusing and strange, but it makes you think some.

Posted by StephanieWatson at February 1, 2005 09:43 PM | TrackBack

Zero certainly seems obsessed by numbers, but I wonder... can you show us some lines in the play that gave you the idea that he likes his job?

Posted by: Dennis G. Jerz at February 2, 2005 06:07 PM

Another quick comment... "I mean you kill someone, admit it and then think you should not be punished..." Can you apply this statement to "A Jury of Her Peers"?

Posted by: Dennis G. Jerz at February 2, 2005 06:08 PM

Good thought, Dr. Jerz. I'm interested in that statement applied to "A Jury of Her Peers," too.

Stephanie, nice blog. I agree that this play was a bit confusing... But it read well as a story. I guess that there really wasn't much to life for Zero. He killed his boss and wasn't concerned by it, nor did he deny it or try to hide it. His convictions were a bit twisted, like you said, in saying that he didn't think he ought to be punished. Bizarre.

Another point: how did Zero die? Sure, he went to jail, but how much time passes between when he goes to jail and when he dies? Did he, too, commit suicide? We know Daisy killed herself, but how did Zero die? Just curious what you think...

Posted by: Karissa at February 2, 2005 06:36 PM

I'm actually playing Mr. Zero in my school's play. We adapted it for time and other reasons.

I'm a Filipino, and one of the lines is "a nigger has no right to step on a white man's foot". I don't have a white man's foot.

But anyways, the way we cut down the script altered the play's message a great deal...but still, I agree...it IS confusing.

Posted by: Ryanjon at March 11, 2005 08:19 AM
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