Death and the Maiden by Ariel Dorfman // Phenomenal Though Harsh

Saturday, 27 May 2017
Death and the Maiden, by Ariel Dorfman
Publication: December 1, 1994, by Penguin Books
Genre: Fiction, Drama, Play
Pages: 96
Format: Paperback
Source: Borrowed

Ariel Dorfman's explosively provocative, award-winning drama is set in a country that has only recently returned to democracy. Gerardo Escobar has just been chosen to head the commission that will investigate the crimes of the old regime when his car breaks down and he is picked up by the humane doctor Roberto Miranda. But in the voice of this good Samaritan, Gerardo's wife, Paulina Salas, thinks she recognizes another man—the one who raped and tortured her as she lay blindfolded in a military detention center years before.

My Thoughts:

Death and the Maiden is warped - it has a truly messed up plot that makes you ponder about the relationships people have, but, at the same time, its warped-ness just makes it beautiful. Otherwise, it would have been a completely ordinary play that has a dark theme. This is a play that I will remember for the rest of my days. There's so much to analyze in Ariel Dorfman's writing that we can spend AGES going through it, trying to understand it all. I need to look Dorfman up and find more of his writing - it's addictive, to be quite honest.

I read this play a loooooooong time ago, but what I know I loved about it was the fact that it was so deep and carried an important message: we need to speak out. In addition, it was beautifully written and stayed true to its Chilean culture. It seemed that Dorfman had put a lot of thought into writing this story and making it fit for each of us. There were moments when I wanted to vomit because of the detailedness of Dorfman's writing and Paulina's actions, and times where I wanted to cry out because Paulina's character development was unbelievable. She began her story as a surprisingly tough woman who progressed to have feelings and understand her husband better.

You see, I read this in school and we even acted it out. That was the difficult part - but it also helped us understand the story and meaning much more. I cannot write so much without spoiling, but, short story short: YOU NEED TO READ THIS. It is deep and gory, but hey - it has a beautiful ending that will make you want more. 

Read this, fall in love, hate Roberto (you'll find out who he is), and be amused. This is a play with three AMAZINGLY CRAZY characters who are each so different yet alike. It's a literature masterpiece.

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