How does positivism philosophy relate to Treadwell's Machinal?

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wordprof | College Teacher | (Level 1) Educator Emeritus

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The relationship of Positivism and Machinal is articulated in the actions of The Girl (her character name); she acts outside ethical or legal limitations because her only recourse lay in murdering her abusive husband.  Positivism states that so-called morality is an imperfect, early form of logic, one that gets imbedded in social “laws” and habits, but which follows a “natural” logic of its own.  The heroine, most often seen as a feminist ideal, is actually confronted with a situation that the “law of the land” did not have an avenue to help her; the economic mise-en-scene gives her no alternative.  The play justifies her action in a convincing way, and the positivist philosopher would applaud her transcending  “morality” with a logical solution.  The sexual drives demonstrated in the play are in a sense false motives – it is just a manifestation of the freedom that she craves and deserves. The play’s expressionistic style also lends itself to the abstractions of Positivism.