Original Research

Truth and reconciliation: Confronting the past in Death and the Maiden (Ariel Dorfman) and Playland (Athol Fugard)

C. Maree
Literator | Vol 16, No 2 | a608 | DOI: https://doi.org/10.4102/lit.v16i2.608 | © 1995 C. Maree | This work is licensed under CC Attribution 4.0
Submitted: 30 April 1995 | Published: 02 May 1995

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C. Maree, Department of Romance Languages, University of South Africa, Pretoria, South Africa

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Both plays deal with the devastating effects of the sociopolitical on the individual and point to the ways that factuality enters fiction, either to defictionalize it or refictionalize it. The characters in each play confront the past by seeking the truth, either to tell it or have it told to them. In Fugard's play, written in the middle o f a transition period, the confession is complete and this resolution places the play in the generally utopian world of protest theatre. Dorfman's play, written after the redemocratization of Chile, is grounded in uncertainties, half-truths and deceit. The confession is incomplete and thus there is no resolution or final harmony, placing this play within the operative dilemmas of the theatre of crisis.


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