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The Visit

Overarching themes and parallels to the World War II in correlation with the play The Visit by Freidrich Durrenmatt
by

darleen masakhwe

on 13 December 2012

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Transcript of The Visit

World War II - Context DESPERATION + SUFFERING
Much like Guellen (meaning excrement/ feces)
Used to be an industrious people Friedrich Durrenmatt Comments on Society Symbolism in the Visit Influence of Greek Tragedy Society -> trouble accepting defeat -> advancement at any cost
Who has the right to control justice?

Mankind -> cannot determine morality -> powerful people dominate
Society breeds corruption
One suffering -> little effect
Many suffering ->large effect
there is reason to be a bad person because society changes from “I’d never do that!” to a “whatever it takes” ideology

People need to understand pain and suffering to empathize; the world turned me into a whore --> need for understanding of one's consequences and decisions Themes Literary Techniques Women's Equality Rights in Switzerland Poverty - Wealth THE WORLD TURNED ME INTO A WHORE. I SHALL TURN THE WORLD INTO A BROTHEL German Expressionism Othello In Post War German Society -Born in Konolfingen, Switzerland on January 5, 1921
-Wrote plays involving epics that reflected WWII experiences.
-Linked heavily with German expressionism
-Used dark comedy in a “dreamlike” world in which the characters are real, but are caricatured-->used this style to criticize the "grotesque" nature of individuals
-Best-known piece of work is The Visit 1956 A play
The Visit
By:
Friedrich Durrenmatt Clotho Medea Capri Sirens The Black Panther Home Sweet Home

You know I'm a dreamer
But my heart's of gold
I had to run away high
So I wouldn't come home low
Just when things went right
It doesn't mean they were always wrong
Just take this song and you'll never feel
Left all alone

Take me to your heart
Feel me in your bones
Just one more night
And I'm comin' off this
Long & winding road

I'm on my way
Well I'm on my way
Home sweet home
Tonight tonight
I'm on my way
I'm on my way
Home sweet home
You know that I've seen
To many romantic dreams
Up in lights, fallin' off
The silver screen

My heart's like an open book
For the whole world to read
Sometimes nothing-keeps me together
At the seams

II'm on my way
Well I'm on my way
Home sweet home
Tonight tonight
I'm on my way
Just set me free
Home sweet home Influence of Music Mixed Choir Classical Armenian folk song Guitar Women were considered subservient to men and had no voice in society.
Claire did not have a voice, and therefore she had to run away -->this turned her into a whore
The Social Democratic Party, trade unions, and the Communist Party supported women's suffrage
The conservative and liberal blocked all demands for women's voting rights.
After continuous protest, women finally were given the right to vote on February 7, 1971. It is a cultural movement which reflected the German culture before WWII, during Wilhelm II’s rule.
Common goal was to overturn traditional society.
highlights flaws in humanity
Deals with all areas of life through its distinct exaggeration and dark aspects
Depicted the gruesome results of the war through works and art What would have happened if they had killed Alfred Ill but no money had been paid?

What if Claire chose not to wait? Would the people of Gullen have still acted similarly? What effect does time have upon the person; how does time make us do evil? Isn’t patience a good thing? In what ways to time a place matter in this work? Personal Connection Understanding and Challenges German Kultur Spiritual feeling of being accomplished
Industrial, hardworking, educated
Efficiency, order, perfection
Christianity is their dominant religion
Modern and advanced society until WWI
Very nationalistic country especially because it had just became a country on 1876 CHARACTERIZATION Island where Claire took Ill's body to "I shall take your coffin to Capri... Overlooking the Mediterranean. Deep blue. A grandiose panorama... A dead man beside a stone idol." Ill -> the hero with a fatal flaw
Claire -> a godlike figure The three fates controlled fate and were above the law She could save or put to
death anyone she chose. Sacrificed everything for Jason
Jason betrayed her for a wealthier girl
Sought revenge agaisnt Jason "My little sorceress." symbol for
mystery and death Links Claire to royalty, gods Back-Story uses backstory to describe complications and reasons for Claire’s decision to return and have Ill killed
Flashback you can’t run away from past
Ticking clock scenario Ill’s death is inevitable, use of time to increase tension within play
Satire: 9 husbands, -oby liars, millionaires, men -Claire Zachnassian, Claire Wascher; artificial body; gave birth but child died, became a prostitute in Hamburg

illiardäre Zaharoff, Onassis und Gulbenkian

All refugees from their native country

Oil, shipping, weapons

-Claire, Clara  names of her growing up, can’t escape past

-Returns to wash away her own past. Of an ill. An Ill that had grown on her for the past 30 years

-Moby (Pedro, tobacco plantations) , Hoby (film star) Zoby (nobel prize winner)

-Butler = Boby; Lord Chief Justice of Guellen  offered a salary he couldn’t refuse

-Roby and Toby  Manhattan gangsters freed from death

-Koby and Loby  Jacob Chicken & Louis Perich  false testify

-NO escape, found in Australia & Canada

-Ill: popular man in town, lets people buy credit, marries for money

-Son:

EVERY SINGLE PERSON IN THE PLAY PURSUES WEALTH.

CLAIRE  BECAME A PROSTITUTE, GOOD MONEY, WEALTH, MARRIED RICH. ILL LEFT CLAIRE FOR MONEY

POLICE OFFICER, SCHOOLTEACHER, MAYOR, DOCTOR, PAINTER  MONEY -We know that:
-Claire was banished from Guellen and made into a whore
-Ill had cheated on her and abandoned her
-Claire married rich and returns to Guellen with a 1 million dollar offer
-Claire seeks revenge for her false accusation, Kill Ill
- CANT RUN AWAY FROM PAST.
-We question:
-Who is justified within the play?
•Seems like everyone is at fault
•Justice system was flawed in protecting Claire from false accusation
-Has Claire come to seek revenge on simply Alfred, or the entire town (I shall make the world my brothel)
-Presence of religion in a moral-less town- The use of capital punishment as a lesson
-It's actually quite ironic.... Religion is so graciously presented in the play, when it centers around prostituion and money (sins) Justice Claire returns to Guellen to kill Alfred Religion Golden Apostle, scapegoating, Old Testament, sacrifice Price Price on pleasure,
1 million dollars School board: holds all wealth, power, decision making
Mac students: no power, desperate for good marks, willing to do anything for grades Yellow and Gold favorite of the old Zachanaissian
shows the price of wealth Johannes Brahms Associated with the higher class
Guellen's fall from wealth associated with the lower class
was meant to impress, instead it highlights their poverty QUESTIONS FOR DISCUSSION Close ties Alfred Ill Guellen Clara/Claire Poverty-->resulted from WWI so Friedrich depicts in the play that poverty and the temptation of money can demoralize individuals. Bibliography $$$$$$ Chong-Gossard, K. (n.d.). ON TEACHING EURIPIDES’ MEDEA. Retrieved December 9, 2012, from Classics- Archeology: http://classics-archaeology.unimelb.edu.au/CAV/iris/volume20/Chong-Gossard.pdf
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