Machinal Themes

Sophie Treadwell
This Study Guide consists of approximately 22 pages of chapter summaries, quotes, character analysis, themes, and more - everything you need to sharpen your knowledge of Machinal.
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Expressionism

Expressionism is the leading theme in Machinal. Expressionism is a theory in art, drama, or writing that seeks to depict the subjective emotions and responses that objects and events arouse in the artist, dramatist or writer. Before exploring expressionism in Machinal, the term "subjective" must first be understood. To depict a subjective emotion or response, Treadwell would have to perfectly convey her personal feeling. Philosophically, it is impossible to convey a subjective emotion or response because it is inherent to each individual; it is a matter of personal taste. Hence, Treadwell cannot convey her subjective feeling to anyone because once someone else experiences her attempt to convey her emotion or response, it necessarily becomes the other person's subjective interpretation of her emotion or response. This is a difficult concept to grasp, but it is crucial to understanding expressionism.

Artistically, expressionism exists in a remarkable way. In attempts to...

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This section contains 816 words
(approx. 3 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.