Machinal, first produced on Broadway in 1928 and based on a true incident, tells the story of a young woman struggling to find peace and freedom in a world that values efficiency and stoicism. In nine episodic scenes, this woman experiences a thankless job, a loveless marriage, and finally an illicit affair that gives her a first and only taste of freedom before being forced to bow to an unforgiving judgment. Sophie Treadwell's play is considered a staple in feminist literature, and it speaks to any person who has ever questioned the traditional definition of happiness.
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