In her play “Machinal”, Sophie Treadwell examines the life of an ordinary young woman living in a mechanistic, materialistic world. Helen, the protagonist in the play, is a desperate soul in search of a way to escape from the oppressive conditions of her everyday life. To achieve this, she enters into a loveless marriage, which unfortunately only serves to trap her further in an inescapable, mechanistic existence.
Treadwell uses expressionist techniques to bring to life the struggles of the protagonist and the oppressive environment which she must endure. Her utilization of these tools gives a unique insight into the struggles of a woman oppressed by a society which imposes strict gender roles and ignores the emotional life of its inhabitants. By employing the expressionist style, Treadwell is also able to convey the dehumanizing effect of mechanization on Helen.
Through the course of the play, Helen struggles to gain a sense of control over her life and to find the “somebody” or “something” which will set her free. In the end, however, she finds herself trapped in an inescapable cycle of oppression. As a result, the audience is left with a deep sense of sympathy for Helen and her plight.
Now, you can read this masterpiece in PDF format by downloading the free copy of Machinal written by Sophie Treadwell. The PDF format ensures that you can read the play on your computer, tablet, or smartphone without any hassle. The document is optimized for all devices and is easy to navigate.
If you wish to gain a deeper understanding of the play and its themes, you can also access the PDF document of two scholarly papers which offer a more detailed analysis of the work. These articles can be found in the URL links provided above.