In Death and the Maiden, in what way is Paulina's voice or character silenced and loses her freedom?

Quick Answer

Paulina Escobar has tried on several occasions to tell her husband Gerardo about her kidnapping, but he grows uncomfortable whenever she talks about it. When her kidnapper, Doctor Roberto Miranda, visits their house, Paulina takes the opportunity to tell her husband about the torture and seek justice for her suffering.

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mlsldy3 eNotes educator| Certified Educator

Paulina Salas lives with her husband, Gerardo, in the country. She was once a political prisoner who was raped continuously by a sadistic doctor. She never saw his face during her captivity. She only heard his voice. Every time he would come to rape her, he would play Death and the Maiden. Paulina has come out of that horrendous situation and now lives a quiet life with her husband. When her husband is on the way home from a business meeting in town, he gets a flat tire and a man named, Roberto, offers to help him. Gerardo brings him home with him. As soon as Paulina hears his voice, she is convinced that he is the sadistic doctor of her past. She wants to put him on trial for the crimes he committed against her.

Paulina is at first silenced and loses her freedom, because she becomes a political prisoner. She is being held against her will. She has completely lost her freedom. She is raped by a mean doctor and this silences her, as well. She is ashamed by what was done to her. When her husband brings home Roberto, Paulina has to relive her torment. She loses her freedom here, because she is bent on having vindication for what happened to her. The problem here is that we never really know if Roberto is the doctor from her past. He just might be, and she does deserve some form of justice, but she is risking her voice and possibly her freedom once again. We are just never sure that who this man is. This play leaves us with more questions than answers. Is Gerardo the innocent victim in all of this, or is Paulia finally going to get revenge on her attacker? Does Paulina have the right to do this? Why aren't the authorities called? This is a great story of how events from our past can live inside of us and make us do things we never thought possible.