The Visit

The Effect of Dehumanization in The Visit 11th Grade

Dürrenmatt draws attention to loss of human qualities and the innate flaws of humans in his play The Visit. He does so by making the aim of the protagonist, Claire Zachanassian, to avenge the false testament given in court by Alfred Ill when he denied being the father of her child. Subsequently, Dürrenmatt shows a negative transformation in the morals upheld by the townsmen of Guellen, as a result of their desire for wealth. The negative transformation results in the desensitization of the townsmen. These events lead to the creation of many questions for the audience to think about, such as “Can justice be bought?” and “When does the need for justice become something more malicious, like revenge?” Once it becomes clear to the audience the tragic event which occurred in Claire’s life because of Alfred Ill, the audience immediately feels sympathy for her. This sympathy felt by the audience is generated by the way in which her ex- lover’s denial caused her to leave town and become a worker at a brothel. After this realization, her quest to attain justice seems justified to the audience, except, after more analysis, Claire’s dehumanization and desensitization as a result of the same event make it difficult to continue to have...

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