The Visit Literary Feature

Topics: Hell, Jesus, Devil Pages: 2 (585 words) Published: April 10, 2008
In Friedrich Durrenmatt’s play, The Visit, a great deal of literary feature is employed in order to elicit critical thinking from the audience. Durrenmatt implements the demonic motif to make the audience contemplate the play’s allegorical relevance to The Bible, as he uses Claire Zachanassian’s representation of the devil and juxtaposes it with Alfred Ill’s representation of Jesus Christ, the Savior. The character of Claire Zachanassian is utilized by Durrenmatt to represent the devil. Her red hair and artificial leg and hand serve as a point of connection to elicit the audience. Through Ill, the audience learns that Claire used to be fresh, alluring, and innocent, and was most likely a good-hearted girl, but it is implied that over time something has caused her to develop into an ogre. At the very least, she is virtually unrecognizable. She is a woman seeking retribution. When questioning about Claire Zachanassian the policeman state that “only the devil knows” (Durrenmatt 27). Here Durrenmatt brings direct attention to the representation of the devil that Claire Zachanassian exhibits. Overall, the corruption of the town, Claire's literal artificiality, and the grotesque tone of the play combine to suggest that Claire is not the benevolent "goddess" that the townspeople are hoping to meet but rather a demonic figure (15). Like the devil, she brings corruption with her into the city. Over time, her fury has been magnified, and she has come to view the town itself as complicit in Ill's unjust act. To that end, the townspeople must repay her debt by sacrificing their values. In addition, Durrenmatt makes clear that the city of Guellen is the representation of hell through its demise. The first indication that Guellen is not a pleasant place is the name that Durrenmatt chooses to give it, which literally means excrement. The town is in a state of disrepair, and the residents are suffering considerable hardship and poverty. Its cultured history sharply contrasts...
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