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Transcript of Machinal
The costumes stay true to the era: 1920's
Simple in style, no jewelry or hats.
Rigid and structured
colored, flowy and less structured outfit for the affair.
Helen is trapped in an emotionless routine marriage.
Helen's illicit relationship gives the audience the only glimpse of emotion and passion showing her living rather than existing.
Notices how much society, including her husband, confines and objectifies her. She feels there is no escape from the mechanical society she exists in.
Thrust Stage: Representational
Distancing Effect - Brecht
To make the stage seem like a prison, that the characters are confined to this machine and cannot escape their everyday routine.
Very simple set to seem empty and void of life.
Metal colors or essentially no color except for scene 5 & 6.
The background has many symmetrical squares of different sizes to represent structured, rigid, repetitive society.
The few set pieces there are, are moved by the actors. Society as a machine is kept running by people individually
Title means "automatic" or "mechanical" in French.
A woman's role during the 1920's: Constricted to the strictly regimented role of wife, mother, housekeeper, and sexual partner.
Emotion and love is foolish, naive and not conducive to a structured and successful life that is expected from society at that time.
Women essentially are left trapped in a hellish and loveless marriage that creates a routine and systematized life. A life that is void of life.
What to Take Away
Color: Episode 5 & 6
The scene defies society's norm's. It does not fit into the machine that is society.
The only scenes in which Helen experiences real emotion and life.
Green: color of balance and growth. self-reliance as a positive and possessiveness as a negative.
Yellow: Optimistic and cheerful.
Magenta: color of universal harmony and emotional balance.
Pink: unconditional love and nurturing.
Metal-like colors to enhance the idea and style of machinery.
The idea of no color is to enhance the idea of this machine-like society being void of life, only existing and repeating.