Staging Difference: Cultural Pluralism in American Theatre and Drama

By Marc Maufort | Go to book overview
9.
While Treadwell seems to be critical of the frontier myth in Machinal, the play's presentation of the frontier myth is not without positive significance. Indeed, the logic of Ginger Strand's recent analysis of Treadwell Machinal is valid here. In dealing with the way in which Machinal represents the legal system's treatment of women, Strand has written that the play "demonstrates how narrative is typically constructed on the suppression of the female experience" (172); however, she concludes, "dramatization itself subverts the machine, giving voice to the voiceless," and, consequently, Machinal"is the first step in the long and arduous task of telling the stories of women's experiences" (174-75).
10.
For a discussion of the original New York reviews, see Wynn192-96 and Heck-Rabi172-76.

Works Cited
Atheam Robert. The Mythic West in Twentieth-Century America. Lawrence: UP of Kansas, 1986.
Heck-Rabi Louise Evelyn. "Sophie Treadwell: Subjects and Structures in 20th Century American Drama." Diss. Wayne State U, 1976.
Derrida Jacques. Positions. Transl. Alan Bass. Chicago: U of Chicago P, 1972.
Dolan Jill. The Feminist Spectator as Critic. Ann Arbor: UMI, 1988.
Fiedler Leslie A. The Return of the Vanishing America. New York: Stein and Day, 1968.
Jeffrey Julia Roy. Frontier Women: The Trans-Mississippi West, 1840-1880. New York: Hill and Wang, 1979.
Kolodny Annette. The Land Before Her: Fantasy and Experience of the American Frontiers, 1630-1860. Chapel Hill: U of North Carolina P, 1984.
_____. The Lay of the Land. Metaphor as Experience and History in American Life and Letters. Chapel Hill: U of North Carolina P, 1975.
Limerick Patricia Nelson. The Legacy of Conquest: The Unbroken Past of the American West. New York: Norton, 1988.
Myres Sandra L. Westering Women and the Frontier Experience: 1800-1915. Albuquerque: U of New Mexico P, 1982.
Nash Gerald D. Creating the West: Historical Interpretations, 1890-1900. Albuquerque: U of New Mexico P, 1991.
Riley Glenda. The Female Frontier: A Comparative View of Women on the Prairie and the Plains. Lawrence: UP of Kansas, 1988.
Slotkin Richard. Regeneration through Violence: The Mythology of the American Frontier, 1600-1860. Middletown, CT: Wesleyan UP, 1973.
Stegner Wallace. "History, Myth, and the Western Writer." The Sound of Mountain Water. New York: Dutton, 1980.
Strand Ginger. "Treadwell's Neologism: Machinal." Theatre Journal 44 ( 1992): 163-75.
Treadwell Sophie. Hope for a Harvest. New York: Samuel French, 1942.

-349-

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