What is the importance of the home in Death and the Maiden?

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literaturenerd eNotes educator| Certified Educator

The concept of the home is very important in Ariel Dorfman's play Death and the Maiden. In the play, Paulina believes her home to be safe. Given the extreme memories of her past, her incarceration for being an activist (and was raped and tortured), she looks upon her home as a place of safety.

When the safety of her home is violated by a man she believed to have taken part in her rape and torture, she feels the need to protect it.

Therefore, the home is important for Paulina given it is the one place where she has been able to forget her past (to the best of her ability). Once the security of her home has been jeopardized, she literally stops at nothing in order to keep it safe. She kidnaps the man, Doctor Miranda, and decides to put him on trial, her own trial.

In the end, Paulina is only looking to return the peace to her home which Miranda took when coming to it.