Ariel Dorfman Writing Styles in Death and the Maiden

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Death and the Maiden is highly realistic in form and structure, with a plot that rapidly unfolds in linear progression, characters that are fully-realized individuals, and a fixed, recognizable setting. Dorfman breaks with this basic structure only at the end of the play, when the setting jumps to a concert hall several months later. At this point, the playwright introduces an expressionistic device, a mirror aimed at the audience, to bring thematic unity to the piece. A fully realistic play would present some kind of resolution to the dramatic conflict but this is hardly possible in Death and the Maiden. Indeed, the play suggests precisely the difficulty of resolving the social issue which is at its heart: how can a society reconcile itself with its violent past and, somehow, move forward?

While it is the tendency of most theater critics to compare the work of different playwrights in order...

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This section contains 888 words
(approx. 3 pages at 400 words per page)
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Death and the Maiden from Drama for Students. ©2005-2006 Thomson Gale, a part of the Thomson Corporation. All rights reserved.