Sophie Treadwell Writing Styles in Machinal

Sophie Treadwell
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The Tragic Heroine

Although the plot of Machinal would seem to make Helen Jones a villain, her role is quite the contrary. She is clearly intended to be a tragic heroine. The play is written with heated anger. Helen Jones and all other women are doomed to wander the dead wasteland of a male-dominated society. Remember, this is an expressionistic play and its intent is to convey emotion and feeling, not realism. Hence, to read this play from the point of view of realism is to, of course, damn Helen to death by the electric chair and label her a villain. However, through the eyes of expressionism, Helen becomes a heroine, struggling against male oppression for all of womankind. Helen does not murder her husband because she is evil; she is left with no other choice. At the point of the murder it appears that it may be necessary...

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This section contains 531 words
(approx. 2 pages at 400 words per page)
Buy the Machinal Study Guide
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Drama for Students
Machinal from Drama for Students. ©2005-2006 Thomson Gale, a part of the Thomson Corporation. All rights reserved.
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