Film and Reading Response: Death and the Maiden1994

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An examination of the growing popularity of sociology, psychiatry, and psychoanalysis is provided in the essay Trauma and Experience, edited by Cathy Caruth, Baltimore, and London. The article and book primarily highlight several significant elements, such as abuse and other violent incidents. The movie highlights the difficulties a country has as it tries to recover from an oppressive dictatorship, whereas the article's main theme is trauma. Importantly, the film also capture some aspect of injury for instance “she is mad, she needs therapy”. This word speaks a lot about the article and the movies as both explore the challenges people have when under such conditions. These words are spoken by Dr Roberto Miranda who Paulina accuse of torturing her all those years. Both the movie and the article shows a historical perspective that forms the history of trauma.

The article by Caruth revolves on the idea that “history occurs as a symptom” (Caruth 5). Primarily, the words from the article correlate the abduction of Paulina in the movie. When Paulina hears the voice of Dr Roberto Miranda, she quickly recognises the voice as the parson who had tortured her when she political prisoner. Even after all the time, she can remember all the ordeals she went through as a detainee. Similarly, the confession by Dr Miranda confirms that Paulina was right although it the revelation happens under duress. Additionally, there is also another scene in the movie where Paulina and Gerardo and Paulina are in confrontation with Paulina claiming the Gerardo cheated on her with another woman while she was in captivity. Gerardo asks her for forgiveness and tells her that is she cannot move on from the past he will be forced to leave her. This scene shows that proves the following words from the article, “indeed this truth of traumatic experience forms a centre of it pathology symptoms” (Caruth 5).

“Indeed the link between this inexplicable traumatic void and nature and historical experience” (Caruth 7). From the movie, Paulina experiences the history that causes her to have trauma. For instance, Dr Roberto tells Gerardo that she is mad and she needs therapy. Consequently, the trauma experience from her torture causes her to be persistent with her revenge forcing Dr Roberto to accept for having tortured her when she was a political prisoner. This is quite comparable to the presentation of the situation by both the book and the article. “It is indeed this truth of traumatic experience centre of symptom” (Caruth 5). This shows that the symptoms that Paulina shows in the movie are related to the experience she had during her during the torture.

The argument by the author presents the historical connection with trauma. This is evident with action that Paulina shows during the movie. The characters in the movies indicate that history plays a significant role in determining the traumatic effects of trauma in people according to their historical past. Further, the author clearly shows the effects of trauma on individuals as a result of torture. The key concept of the article is trauma while the movie explores the challenges that a nation goes through when trying to recover from an oppressive dictatorship.

Works cited

Caruth, Cathy. "Trauma and experience." Trauma: Explorations in memory (1995): 3-12.

April 06, 2023

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