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[Perspectives] A woman revolts

Women’s rights have regained attention with the 2017 and 2018 Women’s Marches, and the #MeToo and Time’s Up movements. Thus, it is surprising to discover an evocative portrait of a woman ill at ease with patriarchal society that feels entirely modern but was written in 1928. Sophie Treadwell wrote her masterpiece Machinal—one of the finest examples of American expressionism—almost a century ago, taking inspiration from the case of Ruth Snyder, the first woman in New York state to die in the electric chair after having been condemned for the murder of her husband.