The Power of Patriarchy on The Oppressed


The term patriarchy refers to a social system where males contain primary power and are predominate in areas such as political leadership, moral authority, social privilege and control of property. Therefore, in comparing Sophie’s Treadwell’s play Mechanical to this definition it is evident that Mr. Jones exhibits patriarchal traits within the play towards the young women. For instance, in episode one of the play the audience initially witness his patriarchal behavior when he places his hand on her shoulder and she pulls away. This gesture made by Mr. Jones suggests that even though the young woman has denied his advances she is already his property, because he has control over her as the boss. Therefore, he executes this behavior without permission for he is aware that she would do anything to keep her job, so he utilizes his leadership to force her into marriage.

On the other hand, in episode three after they are married Mr. Jones once again displays the trait of patriarchy by constantly giving her orders within the play even though he is aware that she prefers to do other things. In Episode three he states “Aren’t you going to take your hat off−stay awihile? This is all right isn’t it? Huh? Huh?” (20). Here Mr. Jones exhibits the trait of patriarchy in the aspect of moral authority for by constantly asking her these questions he attempts to show her that he knows what is best for her as the husband. He later goes on to say “Better make yourself at home. I’m going to. Say pull down that blind” (20). In this moment, Mr. Jones once again showcases this trait through this statement which suggest that since he is the head of the marriage she should follow his lead and do exactly as he asks her to. Nevertheless, Mr. Jones once more executes this behavior in the episode when he states to the young women that she should not be scared because she is with her husband. Then he later states “you know you’ve got to learn to relax little girl” (23). Here through his statements it is evident that he is attempting to show her that they are not equal in the marriage for he is the male or head of the union that makes all the decisions and gives the commands, while her role is to be the little girl that submits to her husband request without protest. Overall Mr. Jones is a patriarchal character that utilizes his power of leadership and male hood to control and manipulate a young woman who is vulnerable due to the lack of a social life.



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