Death and the Maiden. By Ariel Dorfman .. GERARDO: I hate to disagree, Roberto, but in my opinion, the death penalty has never solved any of the—. Ariel Dorfman’s Death and the Maiden is a moral thriller about a woman, Paulina, who believes that a stranger who comes to her home is the doctor who, under. Death and the Maiden study guide contains a biography of Ariel Dorfman, literature essays, quiz questions, major themes, characters, and a full.

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Salvador Allende crept to presidential victory in with a leftist coalition of socialists, communists, and extremists. When the music ends they rise as if at intermission, and Gerardo speaks to a number of well-wishers who have gathered around him.

Both Paulina and Ths perceive the considerable injustices exerted by the former military regime, but they differ in their ideas of how justice can best be served under present.

Abd even as a whodunit, Death and the Maiden fails because it avoids coming satisfactorily to grips with the one question it raises. Then, copy and paste the text into your bibliography or works cited list.

He intermittently lived in Argentina, France, the Netherlands, and eventually settled in the United States inholding a variety of academic posts in deaath of the countries. His guilt appears to be further cemented by his decision not to report his kidnapping to the authorities, yet his silence may be attributed to a fear that Gerardo may use his position on the commission to discredit Miranda.

She is now oppressing Miranda and she has drained the manliness in him, effectively becoming a manly figure herself and emasculating Miranda. Paulina recognizes Miranda’s voice and mannerism as that of her rapist, and takes him captive in order to put him on trial and extract a confession from him. Other books in this series. They never did anything to you.

Miranda is a mysterious character who Dorfman never fully reveals to the audience. Paulina mockingly questions the raiel of freedom in a society which has only provisionally returned to democracy: The Australian dorcman production of Death and the Maiden took place on 16 December She tells her flabbergasted husband that they will hold a trial; Gerardo is to be me defense, Paulina the witness, prosecutor, and judge. Death and the Maiden is highly realistic in form and structure, with a plot that rapidly unfolds in linear progression, characters that are fully-realized individuals, and a fixed, recognizable setting.

Paulina has suppressed the worst details of her incarceration. Gerardo Escobar Richard Dreyfuss is a lawyer who has been named to a commission, with minimal power, that will investigate charges of wrongdoing—very wrongdoing—in the past.


A stranger named Dr. She does not undergo a clear rational process; instead she exerts her power, by using language and by wielding the gun to get her way. When she gets to the point in her story of first meeting the doctor and hearing Schubert in the darkness, the lights fade and her voice overlaps with that of Miranda.

Neither did I let the victims off the hook.

Death and the Maiden |

In the years between the coup and the resumption of democratic elections inthe military fought a vicious and covert war against the people of Argentina, totally restructuring society to eradicate any political consciousness. His collections of short stories include The Medicine Goes Down and My House Is on Fire which examines how people retain a sense of hope living under an oppressive military regime.

Gerardo has recently been appointed by the president to a commission that will examine human rights abuses during the military dictatorship. At this point, the playwright introduces an te device, a mirror aimed at the audience, to bring thematic unity to the piece.

The time is midday; Miranda is still tied and Paulina speaks to him intimately about her captivity and the night of her release.

Death and the Maiden : Ariel Dorfman :

The dictatorship that plagued her land has just fallen, and everything is uncertain. Back cover copy Ariel Dorfman’s explosively provocative, award-winning drama is set in a country that has only recently returned to democracy.

How do you make the truth, how do you pervert one truth to bring out another? Her husband, a lawyer in charge of a commission investigating the deaths of thousands of dissidents under the previous regime, must defend the accused man because without the rule of law the transition to democracy will be compromised; if his wife kills that doctor, the husband will not be able to help heal a sick and wounded land.

As an exception to this tendency, one playwright with whom Dorfman is often related is Harold Pinter. Dorfman began writing the play in the mids, when he was in exile from Chile, a country under the rule of the military dictator General Augusto Pinochet. Undoubtedly, her more personal resolve is the product of her abduction and torment, which Gerardo seems to find almost unfathomable on a personal level, despite the nature of his work.

The situation arises when Gerardo, one of the three characters, is appointed to the Truth and Reconciliation Commission, thus establishing justice as a major theme within the play. The connections between the two writers, however, are related more to their political investments than their dramatic techniques. While her country has replaced the dictatorship with a free, elected government, she suspects that many in power are from the military and only pretending to be democratic and fair-minded.


Her subordination marks a sharp contrast with her actions in Scene 3. Indeed, such was the aim of the Chilean Truth and Reconciliation Commission, whose constitutive instrument enshrines the following guiding principles [1]: The Ride Down Mt.

Paulina, we gather, has been mentally unbalanced since those terrible events: The play examines the consequences of such justice, provoking questions as to the effects such a process will maifen not only on the accused but on the accuser.

Since her ordeal, Paulina has also stifled a great deal of anger, which surfaces with the opportunity to exact revenge on the man she believes was her primary tormentor. He is the author of important essays and works of cultural criticism— How to Read Donald Kaiden Can you imagine Hamlet if its only real concern were whether Claudius did or did not poison his brother?

Death and the Maiden

The critic did note, however, that the work deals with important issues and makes for adequate entertainment. Paulina has mixed feelings; she is suspicious of the commission, which is only to investigate cases of abuse that ended in death.

She explains that she has already called a mechanic, and when the latter arrives, she ushers Gerardo out of the house to retrieve their car. Curiously, Tony Walton, perhaps having shot his wad on Baboonshas under—or misdesigned—the scenery, which is sparse and a bit bewildering. Part of the problem lies with Dorfman. The dictator was no longer in power, but his influence, his disciples, his corrupting shadow invaded every aspect of political life.

This never happened to you. But what kind of feat, exactly? It was not something I had anticipated, this planetary weight and import, when I wrote the play in Santiago. This memory is a severe blow to Gerardo, and he eventually persuades Paulina to speak instead of her abduction. Playwright, essayist, novelist, poet, and short story writer Ariel Dorfman was born in Buenos AiresArgentina, on May 6,the son of an economist and a literature teacher.

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