Tommy 3: Factory Girl
3. Ball Bearing factory
After a very violent plane crash juxtaposed with Captain Walker broken portrait we now see shiny, silver balls.
Diorama Five- Nora is now in a brightly lit ammunitions factory. Just as a diorama artist would not be able to use real ammunition, Ken has taken stout plastic, silver tipped crayons and has the women for the war effort filling them with... pinballs? Ball bearings? We use must our imaginations here. With brilliancy Ken utilizes the classic "Rose the Riveter " dutifully "mucking in for the common good" vibe.
The news is delivered and an undone Nora faints with grief and shock. The silver balls fall all around her symbolising her anger as well as foreshadowing the story to follow. She is in the factory working for the war effort after all and the war just wounded her sanity and as we will come to see her good judgement (or at least the little she has built up as such a young person). In pulling down a thousand silver balls, Nora is saying "might as well take at least some of it with me". Ineffectual as causing chaos on a work site may seem here. yet, in this era we all know that it is now a common place occurrence to see people shoot up and/or destroy where they work once tragedy and/ or hardship over takes their senses and personal lives.