The Adding Machine BY geoff71 593 The Adding Machine – Director Character Analysis Mr. Zero – The main character in the Adding Machine, Mr. Zero is an individual that has clearly become a victim of a mechanized and industrial society. This society has robbed him of his true humanity and he has become someone who associates solely with his profession. Zero, a bookkeeper for the past 25 years, has let his profession overtake his life in multiple ways. He truly believes in his mind that holding the same profession for the past 25 years is a great accomplishment whereas in reality he is just being exploited as another blue collar worker.
His Job has begun to affect his mental capacity as well. He cannot get these fgures out of his head and on many occasions he begins to recite these numbers off the top of his head for no apparent reason. He swears that he is not crazy but with how he acts, that question is surely warranted. Throughout the play, we also see Zero having to deal with a few complicated relationships in his life. From his wife to Mrs. Zero, it seems that his work always comes first and has a hard time being in a true relationship due to his devotion to his work.
In the end, Zero learns that he ultimately has always been a so alled “slave” to his bosses and rulers and will continue to be so for as long as his soul lives. Mrs. Zero – Mrs. Zero is the wife of Mr. Zero. She is a very unappreciative woman who throughout much of the play criticizes her husband for the work he does. She is always there to point out that he has done nothing in his career and has made no advances in nearly 25 years at the same Job. She says she was a fool to marry him and that all she has gotten out of their marriage is being a slave to make him a home.
She complains that her husband never treats her to gifts and how she has nothing to how from her marriage. This is all because she is greatly concerned with her image and how others view her. You can see during the party she hosts she is concerned about how the company will view her home and her marriage and is probably a driving factor of why she complains so much about Mr. Zero. There is a change in Mrs. Zero during the play. When Zero is in Jail, Mrs. Zero comes to visit and we see a different side of her.
She talks about how she got on Zero too much during their marriage and told him all the things she was grateful for during their time together. Until Zero brings up Daisy, where Mrs. Zero loses control as she has always told Zero to never go after other women, Mrs. Zero showed a different side of her and was a result of the separation she experienced from her husband and the comfort that came with him. Daisy – Daisy is a woman who works with Zero as an accountant at the department store. Daisy has fallen madly in love with Zero during all the time they have worked she wishes that he had married her instead of his actual wife.
She has become so enamored with Zero that she goes to the extreme of committing suicide Just so she can be with him again. During their time in the fields together, she expresses her rue love for Zero and they contemplate getting married and spending the rest of their time together before Zero dismisses the idea and leaves her by herself. In the end, she was a character who gave up her life for a man who had no true intention of ever being with her. She clearly regrets her decision as she says she may as well now be alive if she can’t be with Zero.
The Boss – The Boss is a character that represents everything wrong with modern business practices and they way business was conducted during this time period. He did not care about Zero as a human being but ather saw him as a means to conduct work that was necessary for his business to operate and make him more money. He is ultimately murdered by Zero after he decides to fire him on his 25th anniversary of being with the company so that he can install mechanical machines that will be more efficient than Zero. Shrdlu – Shrdlu is a friend that Zero meets in the afterlife.
He, like Zero, was bound by one thing during their life. Where Zero was constrained by his work and devoted his entire life to this, Shrdlu was constrained by his mother and her oppression of religion on him that each only turn out to be pointless endeavors they took hroughout their life. You can tell that Shrdlu is truly sorry for killing his mother. He hates every second of his life now because he does not understand why nothing horrible has happened to him but rather is Just left in this field along with many others.
He questions what has happened to Justice and morality and the fact that nothing further has happened to him Just makes him seem to go mad throughout the course of the play. Charles – Charles is a lieutenant who at the end of the play has to convey to Zero what has been of him in the past and what is going to be of him in the future. His haracter itself is not that important but what is important is the message he delivers. He explains to Zero that the place he is in now is merely a place where souls are temporarily kept and that it is now time for him to go back as a new being who gets to start all over.
He explains that something won’t change and that is he will always be a slave to those above him. He tells Zero that he is a failure and a waste product and uses trickery to get him to leave his machine. He delivers his final line and then downs a flask which may indicate a drinking problem he may come as a result of the occupation he has. Scene 2 In the scene we have chosen, I believe that each character is trying to accomplish different things and has specific reasons and motives for doing so. The scene, set in the department store where both Daisy and Zero work, features a lengthy dialogue between these two characters.
This discussion however is often disrupted by Zero and Daisy talking to themselves aloud through soliloquies. Their talking aloud is they are saying. In the scene itself, after some bickering between Daisy and Zero about the work they are doing at hand, Daisy begins to talk about her love for Zero. She talks about the imes they have had together both in and out of work, how she longs to be kissed by him and she begins to imagine themselves in a relationship and the future that could have been. This clearly allows the audience to see Just how much this woman is in love with her co-worker.
This is needed in the play because it later Justifies why she went so far as to kill herself to be with this man. If the actor were not convincing in this infatuation Daisy has for Zero, the reason for killing herself would make little to no sense. Zero, like Daisy, begins to talk to himself as well. He starts by complaining about his ife and then begins to think about his relationship with Daisy. These thoughts are quickly washed away by the thoughts he begins to have about work. As a character, Zero puts work above all else.
In this scene we see him ask the question how a man is supposed to get anywhere in this world with a woman tied around his neck. His thoughts about work then turn into him wondering about if the boss remembers about it being 25 years at the same Job and wonders if any raise is coming to him. During this scene, he is showing the audience Just how much he values his Job and how committed he is to working. Then when the Boss chooses to fire him, we have an understanding of Just how much his Job meant to him and how it possibly could lead him to murdering a man in cold blood. The Boss in this scene has one Job.
It is his only appearance in the play and he is there to fire Zero and let him know about the installation of adding machines. His character, as was mentioned in the character analysis, is there to portray business and the dehumanization that has occurred throughout the workplace in recent history. He must act in a way that is very impersonal and provides little to no sorrow for Zero. His intention must be to put business and the profitability of the company over the fact that a man has made this his entire living and prides himself on the work that he has done throughout his life.
This coldness will serve as another reason to why Zero ends up murdering him. Blocking Script The Adding Machine – Director Script Scene will begin with Daisy and Zero sitting at their respective desks, one placed stage right and the other stage left, facing away from each other. Zero will be at his desk pretending to write as Daisy holds a piece of paper from which she reads – This asic action should be held through first half of scene before Daisy exits. Daisy: (Spoken Slowly) Three ninety-eight. Forty-two cents. A dollar fifty. A dollar fifty. Zero: (Snaps and says quickly) Go on. Go on.
We’re losin’ time. Daisy: (With a much quicker speed) Then quit bein’ so Bossy. Three dollars. Two sixty- nine, Eighty-one fifty. Who do you think you are, anyhow? Zero: (Turns and faces Daisy and shakes head) Hey! Hey! Can’t you slow up? What do you think I am??”a machine? Daisy: (Looks up from paper and makes contact with Zero) Say, what do you want, anyhow? First it’s too slow an’ then it’s too fast. I guess you don’t know what you want. Zero: Well, never mind about that. Just you slow up. (Returns to original position) Daisy: I’m gettin’ sick o’ this. I’m goin’ to ask to be transferred.
Zero: Go ahead. You can’t make me mad. Daisy: Aw, keep quiet. Two forty-five. A dollar twenty. A dollar fifty. Ninety cents. Sixty- three cents. Zero: (Shaking his head) I cant believe I actually Just thought about marryin you! I guess not! You’d be as bad as the one I got. Daisy: You wouldn’t care if I did ask. I got a good mind to ask. Zero: I was a fool to get married. Daisy: (Somberly) Then I’d never see you at all. Zero: What chance has a guy got with a woman tied around his neck? Daisy: (Reminiscing) That time at the store picnic??”the year your wife couldn’t come??” you were nice to me then.
Zero: (Volume Raised) Twenty-five years holdin’ down the same Job! Daisy: (Spoken Softly, Smiling) We were together all day??”Just sittin’ around under the trees. Zero: I wonder if the Boss remembers about it bein’ twenty-five years. Daisy: And comin’ home that night??”you sat next to me in the big delivery wagon. Daisy: I wonder what it feels like to be really kissed. (Change Tone to Anger) Men??” dirty pigs! They want the bold ones. Zero: If he don’t come across I’m goin’ right up to the front office and tell him where he gets off. Daisy: (Drop head) I wish I was dead.
Zero: “Boss,” I’ll say, “l want to have a talk with you. ” Daisy: You coulda kissed me if you wanted to. Zero: (Confident Tone and Posture) “Boss I ain’t quite satisfied. I been on the Job twenty-five years now and if I’m gonna stay I gotta see a future ahead of me. ” “Zero,” he’ll say, “I’m glad you came in. I’ve had my eye on you, You’re a valuable man. You’re done addin’ fggers. Monday mornin’ you move up here. ” Daisy: (Daydreaming) Them kisses in the movies??”them long ones??”right on the mouth Zero: I’ll keep a-goin’ right on up after that. I’ll show some of them birds where they get off.
Daisy: That one the other night??””The Devil’s put his arms around her??” and her head fell back and her eyes closed (Close Eyes and Pause)??”like she was in a daze. Zero: Just give me about two years and I’ll show them birds where they get off. Daisy: I guess that’s what it’s like??”a kinda daze??”when I see them like that, I Just seem to forget everything. Zero: Then me for a place in Jersey. And maybe a little Buick. No tin Lizzie for mine. Wait till I get started??”I’ll show ’em. Daisy: I can see it now (Look around) when I kinda half-close my eyes.
The way her head fell back. And his mouth pressed right up against hers. (Golly Tone) Oh, Gawd! it must be grand! (With excitement) The whistle! (Daisy and Zero get up from desk putting belongings away. Daisy takes a step towards Zero with intention of saying something. Turn around and exits state right) Zero: (Facing Stage left) Goodnight, Miss Devore. Boss: (Yelling) Oh??”er??”Mister??”er??” (Zero turns around and exhibits surprised expression, Boss stops walking) Zero: (Nervously) Yes, sir. Do you want me, sir? Boss: (Waving him over) Yes. Just come here a moment, will you?
Zero: (Anxiously) Yes, sir. Right away, sir. (Basically runs over to Boss) Boss: Zero: Zero. (With great excitement and smiling) Boss: Yes, Mr. Zero. I wanted to have a little talk with you. Zero: Yes sir, I been kinda expectin’ it. Boss: (Looks at him with confused look) Oh, have you? Zero: Yes, sir. (Shakes head) Boss: How long have you been with us, Mister??”er??”Mister (waving zero on hoping for him to finish the sentence) Zero: Zero. Boss: Yes, Mister Zero. ?? (With Pride) Twenty-five years to-day. Zero. Boss: Twenty-five years! That’s a long time. ?? Never missed a day. Boss: And you’ve been doing the same work all the time? ??? Yes, sir. Right here at this desk. (Pointing at his desk) Boss: Then, in that case, a change probably won’t be un welcome to you. Zero: No, sir, it won’t. And that’s the truth. Zero: I kinda thought you had your eye on me. Boss: You were right. The fact is that my efficiency ex perts have recommended the installation of adding machines. Zero: (Confused look) Addin’ machines? Boss: Yes, you’ve probably seen them. A mechanical de-rice that adds automatically. Zero: Sure. I’ve seen them.
Keys??”and a handle that you pull. (Motion in air) Boss: That’s it. They do the work in half the time and a high-school girl can operate them. (Slows Down) Now, of course, I’m sorry to lose an old and faithful employee??” Zero: (Cuts of Boss)Excuse me, but would you mind sayin’ that again? Boss: (Fake sadness in voice) I say I’m sorry to lose an employee who’s been with me for so many years. (Zero gets wide eyed, appears to lose balance) Boss: But, of course, in an organization like this, efficiency must be the first onsideration You will draw your salary for the full month.
And I’ll direct my secretary to give you a letter of recom mendation Zero: (Zero pulls himself together for a second) Wait a minute, Boss. Let me get this right. You mean I’m canned? (Zero again gets wide eyed, and again loses his balance) (Light turns off when Boss begins to speak, turns on and off again every other word) Boss: I’m sorry??”no other alternative??”greatly regret??”old employee??”efficiency??” economy??”business (Fall to the ground after last word) (Once boss falls, Zero stand over him. When light turns back on Zero exit stage right) Curtain