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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Early in the play, Gerardo has an idealist view of justice: 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. Apart from reviews of the premiere productions and interviews with Dorfman, there exists yet little criticism of Death and the Maiden. Cite this article Pick a style below, and copy the text for your bibliography.

Indeed, such was the aim of the Chilean Truth and Reconciliation Commission, whose constitutive instrument enshrines the following guiding principles [1]:. When dawn rises on the fourth scene, Paulina has returned and sits desth her gun, watching Miranda. Paulina has suppressed the worst details of her incarceration.

Paulina, however, is insulted by the implication that her only option is to forget her pain.

Death and the Maiden’s haunting relevance

This never happened to you. Yet after that time he still retained congressional influence with the title of dprfman for life. I found I did not believe in any of the characters nor care about their dilemmas which meant that it was fhe difficult to dig for the half-buried serious themes.

The woman is full of fear, gripped by a secret terror that she only shares with the man she loves. When Gerardo comes back from a visit to the president, he gets a flat tire.

Death and the Maiden’s haunting relevance | Ariel Dorfman | Opinion | The Guardian

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. It is revealed through dialogue that Paulina was arrested and tortured while attending medical school during this dictatorship. The three stars, all of whom have done admirable work else-where, seem simply to be going through the motions of performance.


The doctor denies having had any role in torturing military abductees and offers a confession that he claims to have fabricated in the hopes that Paulina will release him unharmed. She is now oppressing Miranda and she has drained the manliness in him, effectively becoming a manly figure herself and emasculating Miranda. If this sounds like an interesting—even an important—play, it certainly did not seem so in the theater.

By using our website you agree to our use of cookies. 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 body language, according to stage directions, is submissive and reveals that her primary goal is survival.

Because he frequently alludes to time, Gerardo comes across as a desperate and ineffective peace-keeper. The second scene is at lunch.

Death and the Maiden, he feels, is nothing more than a contrived mystery. As an exception to this tendency, one playwright with whom Dorfman is often related is Harold Pinter.

It is an interview much like the ones he will conduct in a professional capacity, but the process also has strong implications for the couple putting their own personal demons to rest. While Paulina was being tortured, he cheated on her with another woman, and his infidelity increases her anger at her sufferings rather than bringing the forgiveness and healing that she, as a victim, needs.

Indeed, the play suggests precisely the difficulty of resolving the social issue which is at its heart: It aims to help purge ourselves of pity and terror. A system of clandestine concentration camps, numbering over three hundred at their peak, provided the center of an all-out policy of abduction, torture, murder, and disposal.

What is a personal issue for them is reflected in the social quandary faced by countries like Chile or Argentina, in which the process of investigation goes on despite the promise of a clear resolution any time in the near future.

Paulina is disturbed by the unusual occurrence, and Gerardo explains that he had a flat tire on the way home and accepted a ride from a passing motorist. Broken Glass Arthur Miller.


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. Then, copy and paste the text into your bibliography or works cited list. Most articles and other extended works on Dorfman focus on his novels, poetry, or his experience as a critic and artist in exile. With the same cast and director, it transferred to the Mainstage at The Royal Court on 4 November Death and the Maiden plunged its finger into the wound of Chile by showing that the executioners were among us, smiling on the streets but also interrogated the democratic elite, wondering what ideals they had forced themselves to sacrifice.

She was tortured and raped repeatedly before finally being released. The stage directions show a turning point in her behaviour.

Circumstances provide an occasion. Indeed, such was the aim of the Chilean Truth and Reconciliation Commission, whose constitutive instrument enshrines the following guiding principles [1]: Roberto Miranda Gene Hackmanwho has earlier rescued Escobar, stranded on the road by a plot device, drops by maidsn the middle of the night to congratulate Escobar or perhaps to soften him up in case his name should come up in the hearings.

A doctor, around fifty years old. Paulina Salas is a former political prisoner in an unnamed Latin American country who had been raped by her captors, led by a sadistic doctor whose face she never saw.

Death and the Maiden

Death and the Maiden contrasts ideal and practical concepts of justice. We’re featuring millions of their reader ratings on our book pages to help you find your new favourite book. Miranda drives Gerardo home and arie in the night he returns. Visit our Beautiful Books page and find lovely books for kids, photography lovers and more.