Death and the Maiden

The use of allegorical mentions and symbolism is indispensable when presenting the dramatists intended messages to the audience. The writer of Death and the Maiden, Ariel Dorfman, and the writer of The Visit, Friedrich D?rrenmatt, both convey messages which regard human society through the usage of symbols. By making characters that represent societal issues such as anti-religion, patriarchal values, and loss of moralss, both authors utilize the results of characters to present their sentiments. Furthermore, both dramas emphasize societal issues, elicit causes, and connote solutions to the issues addressed by using allegorical mentions. In Death and the Maiden, Dorfman addresses the state of affairs of his place state, Chile, while in The Visit, D?rrenmatt uses scriptural allusions.

Both dramas, The Visit and Death and the Maiden make usage of fables to convey a message. D?rrenmatt uses symbols to build a scriptural allusion in The Visit and present his message ; that greed holds the ability to disintegrate moral values and that money has the power to presume personalities. The allusion is made up of Ill, the Christ figure, who must give himself for the improvement of Guellen, which is “rotting to death” ( D?rrenmatt 12 ) . The despairing nature of the town is obvious through the exhilaration caused by the reaching of Claire Zachanassian. Since her wealth is well-known, it instantly sheds hope upon Guellen that she will come to salvage the town from its poorness. Ironically, she does the exact antonym. Claire, the demonic figure, introduces enticement, which easy diminishes the moral values the town is so much known to continue. By offering the million dollars in return for Ill ‘s decease, the power of greed is executed through the transmutation of Guellens citizens. At first, the city manager states that he “reject [ s ] [ Claire ‘s ] offer” in “the name of humanity” and that he would instead populate through poorness than have “blood on [ his ] hands” ( 39 ) . The city manager ‘s tone is highly certain, stressing to what extent his transmutation truly is. By the terminal of the drama, the city manager has already fooled himself into believing that by killing Ill it would be better for humanity. For the forfeit of one, it would “save” the town. Temptation has led Guellen to believe that their determination to kill Ill was non derived through the money, but through the “matter of justice” ( 91 ) . This moral diminution portrays through the usage of the scriptural allusion, which D?rrenmatt creates for one specific intent ; to present a caution towards greed. The paradox of greed, in this instance, derives from Claire. In one facet, she saves Guellen from poorness, hungriness, and at hand devastation. Yet, she introduces greed and slaying, which later leads to the loss of moralss and addition of antireligious values. Indeed, she saves the town in one manner, but destroys the town in another.

In the drama Death and the Maiden, Ariel Dorfman creates an fable portraying the barbarous authorities of Chile and the battles to transition off from it into a new leading. The characters of the drama are symbols to portray these battles to mend. Additionally, the personalities of these characters portray the necessities of people after such an event ; such as justness, retaliation, and credence. Although the old government is out of order, the effects of the offenses against human rights are non so easy forgotten. After being viciously tortured and raped, Paulina Salas struggles in her life. She finds it easy to stamp down her memories, but ne’er finds a manner to accept the past. Hence, Paulina is a symbol of retaliation, which Dorfman creates to stress the battle to mend. When Doctor Miranda, her alleged raper, arrives to her house, she recognizes his voice, which “during all these old ages non an hr has passed that [ she has n’t ] heard it” ( Dorfman 22 ) , turn outing her inability to accept the past, and depicting her personality as vengeful. Her ability to remember the Doctor ‘s voice from old ages in the past portrays the extent to which the memories of her yesteryear still impact her present. When the Doctor wakes up after passing the dark, he sees Paulina, who is keeping a gun and “ [ indicating ] it playfully in his direction” ( 20 ) . Knowing her ideas, her purposes are made clear. She wants him to experience regretful and repent, yet claims it is non “vengeance” ( 34 ) which drives her. Through Paulina, Dorfman uses her inability to bury as an illustration of societal issues which pertain to Chile. By portraying her as a adult female who has been affected by events straight linked to a barbarous authorities, he represents all adult females in Chile ‘s world, who have suffered through the old government. Furthermore, by doing her personality vengeful, he straight implies that many adult females in Chile are besides seeking closing through retaliation. When Dorfman ends his drama with mirrors dropping down, he implies that the secret plan directs towards the audience, and is suppose to catalyse self geographic expedition amongst them.

Dorfman besides creates Gerardo Escobar as a attorney who has been appointed to a committee that will analyze human rights maltreatments during the past absolutism. This calling is dry because of his married woman ; who has had her rights abused, but seeks justness non through her hubby, but through retaliation. Both of Escobar ‘s businesss, as a attorney and a member of the committee, serve as support for the thought that he is a symbol of justness. Dorfman creates this duality of functions to demo the different manner people deal with the battle. The manner Paulina does ; through retaliation, which is seeking justness with an evil purpose, or the manner Escobar does ; through justness and credence. Escobar invariably states that these offenses were held “fifteen old ages ago” ( 36 ) , and to “put him on trial” ( 34 ) alternatively of seek retaliation the manner Paulina does, turn outing that Escobar has accepted what has happened and holds no score. Although Paulina retorts that offenses had non been straight done towards him, so, they had. Escobar is straight affected because though he had non been abused, his married woman had, giving him a nexus. Dorfman uses Escobar as a symbol to portray the manner people should manage misdemeanors of human rights, with credence. To turn out this method correct, Dorfman so uses Paulina as a symbol for retaliation to demo that if people can non come to footings with the yesteryear, they will invariably seek retaliation, ne’er happen peace, and accordingly struggle to mend.

Both writers, D?rrenmatt and Dorfman, utilize symbolism and fables to present their ain messages about their positions on society. D?rrenmatt believes that if humanity succumbs to enticement, moral diminution is ineluctable. He demonstrates the serious nature of this warning by implementing the thought into a scriptural allusion. This allusion portrays that decease and anti-religion follows greed. Dorfman likewise conveys a message through an allusion of his place state Chile. By portraying a adult females ‘s battle to get the better of her cruel yesteryear and doing her symbolize retaliation, Dorfman demonstrates the defects of such an attack. He shows that if retaliation is what you seek, a individual can ne’er happen closing, and that the lone manner one can obtain peace is through credence and clemency.

Work Cited

Dorfman, Ariel. Death and the Maiden. New York: Penguin Books, 1991.
Durrenmatt, Friedrich. The Visit. Tans. Patrick Bowles. New York: Grove Press, 1956.


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