Mechanics

The entire of the latter portion of the drama Mechanical by Sophie Treadwell is much more disconnected than the first half. It takes on a very robotic nature, where as charcters such as Helen seem to be less people and more robotic. In this sense,  we find very flat (monotonous, shallow, insipid dialogue between the characters that makes you wounder why it is even there at all. This often leaves much to be desired, and many of the characters, though we get a sense of who they are in terms of how they think and act, what generally makes them who they are, there is no real depth there, at all, upon which we could make conclusions about them and their actions. Likewise, it is nearly impossible to decipher their significance to the play.

We can, for example, say that Helen was psychotic or inhibited anti-social behavior; but to find a reason/method to her madness is nearly impossible. Similarly, characters become more purposeless, the whole play becomes more methodical, machine like, and the play seems to be moving along in the pattern of a soft of breaking down machine, that still functions serving to tell the plot. However, the play does this in a disjointed manner that the play now upholds, the way that holds through to the mechanical theme and psychological breakdown of h=Helen We see that her life has become a displeasing routine and her husband nags her fir purposes unknown to us, like always to close the blind. Helen also has weird social interactions.
What’s interesting is that the only time Helen was seemingly normal was when she was having her affair, talking and flirting with the second man in the bar. And although she gets used to her daily life with her husband, interacting with him she cannot shake the feeling of being a inmate in the prison of life, forced into this loveless marriage where she is repulsed by her husband. In this she becomes mechanical, instantly recoiling from his touch. Like every broken machine we see her kinks in functionality when she has to speak to her husband, and responds out of irritation and suffocation. She portrays the idea of a cages bird who chirps only in instances of freedom with her lover but is either silent, preoccupied in thought or crying out in fear, and boredom while she is with her husband. In the cast of the latter she seems like a person who committed an action-getting married- that was detrimental to her life and mental health. We see this repetition of choices which doom her coming down to the end of the play. She chooses to have an affair that, if known will ruin her reputation. This choice is like that of marriage because it was made to meet a certain end-provide her with freedom and some enjoyment of life as marriage was a move made to ensure that she could continue taking care of herself and her mother- but it only serves to make her even more miserable with her husband and suffocates her further. Her choice to kill her husband, again to gain freedom as . This all comes together to portray her as a systemically chained animal, a wound up toy who acts according to the person who pulls her strings or winds her up. However, when she uses any agency of her own she winds up detrimentally causing herself immense sorrow and retribution for her actions later on. This all leads to the question: what is a good choice, do we (women )ever really make our own choices or are we machines fighting against scheduled programming with no real agency at all.

Advertisements

Leave a Reply

Fill in your details below or click an icon to log in:

WordPress.com Logo

You are commenting using your WordPress.com account. Log Out / Change )

Twitter picture

You are commenting using your Twitter account. Log Out / Change )

Facebook photo

You are commenting using your Facebook account. Log Out / Change )

Google+ photo

You are commenting using your Google+ account. Log Out / Change )

Connecting to %s