Death and the Maiden

The Development of Justice in Death and the Maiden College

Composed by Ariel Dorfman, Death of the Maiden is regarded as a compelling play where a woman, Paulina, sought justice for actions that happened to her fifteen years ago. She blames a man named Roberto Miranda, a doctor that had visited her and her husband’s household at night, because she recognizes his voice and the music that was played. The twist of the play is that the audience does not know if a certain individual, Roberto Miranda, was responsible for the actions. Justice is an important topic to discuss for the actions people inflict on others. It could also be a basis for discussing the oppression of women in society. However, this paper will be discussing Paulina’s change of definition of justice in the play while applying the theme of justice. Development of justice applies to the Death and the Maiden when Gerardo talks with Paulina, Paulina ties up Roberto at gunpoint, Roberto’s confession, and when Paulina describes what happened to her. The literary tools being discussed are the motif of lights, repetition of pauses, motif of the gun, symbol of truth with the cassette player, and the theme of injustice. The development of justice will be investigated through these literary lenses and with the scenes previously...

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