The presentation of desire and frustration in Death and the Maiden and Antigone.
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World Literature Assignment By Nikolas B. Hansen International Baccalaureate Higher English The presentation of desire and frustration in Death and the Maiden and Antigone. In the plays, Death and the Maiden by Ariel Dorfman and Antigone by Jean Anouilh, the themes of desire and frustration are brought out by the authors, and are able to lift off the façade, uncovering the real truth and by doing this, allowing the reader to relate to the experiences and feelings of the characters and also explore deeper themes and ideas. Death and the Maiden is a story exploring the Pinochet regime in Chile. It deals with life after the regime and how one woman, Paulina, has to live with the memories of gruesome torture. The play of Antigone deals with frustration on another level, as Antigone refuses to let her brother lie dead in the dirt, despite the King's orders to the contrary and thereby causes a dispute within her family. In Death and the Maiden, Paulina is terrorized by the fact that the man who tortured her is in her house. It is logical and understandable that she would want revenge or to perform similar acts of torture on him. "It may be a teensy-weensy thing, but it's enough for me.
As Antigone's brother, Polynices, dies in battle fighting his own people, the King, Creon left Polynices to rot as only one of the royal brothers could receive a proper burial. Antigone is furious and thereby tries to win justice for her brother to the extent to which her own life is sacrificed. In addition, the King himself mainly causes Antigone's frustrations as neither Creon's compromises are to the standard of Antigone, nor will Antigone compromise. Antigone feels so passionate about her brother's funeral that she is willing to do anything for it to happen. "And what a person can do, a person ought to do." Shows how the she feels since she knows she can pull through with her 'plan' she will do it with, or without aid or support from anybody else, and regardless of the consequences. "For nobody. For myself" is what Antigone replies with when Creon asks her whom she is doing all this for. The short and sharp sentences bring about the image in one's mind that she would stand there and stare into his eyes, biting her teeth together in fury. The King sees Antigone's passion and desires to be over her limitations in the order of the hierarchy, but she does what she feels is right, and will not changer her mind about it.
And "Out there you bastards may still give the orders, but in here, for now, I'm in command. Now is that clear?" convey different sides of the person she is, and also shows how frustrated she is, as it helps convey the violence of her experience when she was detained. Dorfman uses the vulgar language to display Paulina's frustration, creating a very effective tone of 'domination' and a sense of being in command of the whole situation. Paulina's desire is seen to depend on her actions, as she is quick at changing her mind. It shows how unstable her character is. This is a clear contrast from the character of Antigone, which emits so much masculinity and therefore we as the reader, have a hard time accepting her for what she believes in, the same way as Creon does. The two plays are both plays of extreme activity relating arguments and standing up for what you believe in that both surprises and entertains the reader, as the ways they are brought out, are ways in which we can all relate to such as family problems and feelings of hatred and revenge. The problems with family disputes and the desire for revenge are common and relevant in today's world. Ariel Dorfman and Jean Anouilh have created pieces of work that allow us not only to be entertained, but also to think about humanity and the 'rights and wrongs' of life. 2
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