Presentation on theme: "The Visit Section 2. The play has a dark tone throughout the novel, which suddenly gives way to a prosperous cheerful ending on behalf of the townspeople,"— Presentation transcript:
The play has a dark tone throughout the novel, which suddenly gives way to a prosperous cheerful ending on behalf of the townspeople, which underscores the main themes of the play. Note any passages that reflect these tones.
At the end of the play, with Ill dead at the towns feet and Claires check in the Mayors hand, order and community are restored, but now the audience knows these ideas are grotesquely false. In the closing scene, the townspeople appear as much slaves as they did at the beginning; if at first they were victims of poverty, they are now captives of prosperity. Only Ill has found freedom, and he has attained this only by withdrawal from the community into death. Comment on this scene.
With nowhere to turn, Ill takes responsibility for his crime. He achieves the serenity and acceptance Durrenmatt saw as the pinnacle of human heroism. He gains stature in our eyes through his transformation. He can reject the citys offer to commit suicide. In The Visit, Ill is the only dynamic character who changes and grows. Only Ill had the epiphany of self-knowledge that Durrenmatt prized so highly. Note these passages.
Durrenmatt was from Switzerland, a country which remained neutral during World War II. Their refusal to acknowledge aggressor or victim, that they took money from aggressor, and pretended neutrality and morality all affected him. The German WWII mentality of scapegoat and group thinking also influenced him. Note any passages that reflect these influences.
In The Visit, D., writes a classical tragedy for the 20 th century, a modern answer to the ancient question of honor, loyalty, and community. When The Visit was written, every town was a Guellen. He wrote that in the 20 th century because we no longer find tragic heroes, but tragedies staged by world butchers and carried away meat-grinding machines…power today is only minimally visible, since like an iceberg the largest part is sunk in faceless abstraction…Todays state has been impossible to survey, anonymous and bureaucratic…genuinely representative people are lacking and the heroes have no name. Note any passages that reflect this aspect.