Judge`s Wife By Allende Essay

Published: 2021-07-22 18:05:07
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In “The Judge’s Wife” the author, Isabel Allende, uses a variety oftechniques to make full use of the limited space within her short story. Byusing strong imagery, providing a background, providing believable humanactions, and examining justice, M. Allende creates a piece readers canunderstand to the point of empathy. Because her short story examines humanbehavior in respect to passions, justice, and emotion (love) in a plausiblemanner one can find close similarities between her work and that of MaryShelly’s Frankenstein.
The author makes use of imagery to embellish not onlyupon her environment, but also her characters. M. Allende presents the ideas ofcorruption, innocence, and strictness simply through well-selected adjectivesthat lend eloquently to the descriptions of her characters. The strait lacedjudge being “.
. . dressed formally in black . . . and his boots always shone withbees wax ” (Allende, 422).
One can infer by details such as those that thatparticular individual appreciates formality, and considering his desertlocation, a strict adherence to it. The author also uses images of deformitydemonstrate the corruption of her main character, Nicholas Vidal; by providinghim with four (4) nipples and a scared face the reader can have a visualrepresentation of the character’s tragic formation. In much the same manner,one can see such development within Frankenstein’s creation. The monster’sgrotesque outward appearance reflects his corrupted creation. Using such imagerythe author allows the readers to form a solid conception of the plight of theircharacters.
Mary Shelly uses lovely poetic imagery in much the same way todefine, and give three-dimensional presence to her characters. Such use ofimagery for the purpose of character definition can most clearly be seen in herdescription of her monster: “His limbs were in proportion, and I had selectedhis features as beautiful. Beautiful, Great GOD! His yellow skin scarcelycovered the work of muscles and arteries beneath; his hair was of a lustrousblack and flowering; his teeth pearly whiteness; but these luxuriances onlyformed a more horrid contrast with his watery eyes, that seemed almost of thesame colour as the dunwhite sockets in which they were set, his shriveledcomplexion and strait black lips. ” (Shelly, 56) In viewing the above passage,much of the same type of character definition can be seen; very similar to themanner in which Allende casts her deformed mold of her creature, Nicholas.
Beyond merely presenting imagery to enhance the characters, the Allende alsosupplies background information in order to enhance the readers understanding ofhow the main character arrived at his current state. The author focuses on themain character’s fatherless and loveless conception in order to accentuate howhis development occurred. In a similar fashion Allende’s character NicholasVidal was conceived in a similar fashion as Frankenstein’s monster. Both arecreated and ultimately rejected by their creators who attempt to destroy them.
These horrid monsters are invariably unwanted by their creators, thus theircreators go to great lengths to attempt to snuff out the lives of the creationsin order that they not wreak havoc upon the world. Both authors using thisparticular method of rejection to temper the souls of their monsters to thehardness of iron (Allende, 423). In each case this extreme form of temperamentcreates an almost supernatural being, filled with great destructive forces. Further extending upon the parallel roles of Nicholas and the Monster, a clearoutcasting from society also aids in their murderous temperament.
Each characterfinds himself rejected by society. The monster, from Frankenstein, is rejectedby the family he assists solely due to his grotesque appearance. In much thesame way Nicholas is assumed early on in his life by “decent folk” to becomea criminal due to the telling marks on his face. It may well be said that thoughthe Judge, in his strait laced figure, may not have directly created Nicholas,yet in reality he probably did in deed, like the rest of society, stereotypedand eventually outcast Nicholas based solely upon the scars on his face.
In eachcase the author makes use of societies tendency to categorize and reject anindividual based solely on their exterior shells, rather than probing the uniqueindividual. To solely focus upon the main character within this story would befolly when making a true comparison to Frankenstein. Indeed the role of thejudge has many overlapping qualities with Victor Frankenstein. Each man peruses,as both texts put it, their own “creature”, to the points of virtualinsanity.
In doing so, these men put the welfare of their families in danger,and eventually cause their own inevitable demises. In both cases the authorsmake use of the character’s deep passion for justice: literally in the form oflaw and figuratively in the form of revenge. Allende takes the judge’s passiona step further into the realm of juxtapose, by having that character create agreat injustice in order to attempt to find the justice he seeks. This ironicdual standard for justice presides within Victor Frankenstein as well, and canbe seen in the initial and final sequences in the text.
His lust for revengebrings him to the poles of the world in search of his horrid creation. Shellyand Allende rely upon the readers understanding of passion to enhance therealistic level of their characters. It is interesting to make note however thatboth authors severely censure those who go against the grains of naturalmorality. At this point the characters of the two stories again overlap, beingthat they both eventually die for the injustices they inflict. The judgeultimately gets killed fleeing from the repercussions of his injustices, while,in slight contrast, Frankenstein dies in the pursuit of avenging his injustice. It should be noted that the antagonists to these characters are not the ones tocause them physical harm, despite their intentions.
Rather what kills thesecharacters stems from their internal mechanisms. Another point worth examiningin these stories stems from the authors’ use of women, given the considerationthat both authors are women. Women in both stories are characterized invictimized roles, in which they are powerless creatures. Yet one must wonderwhere the motivation, given the gender of the author, for such an exclusiontakes place. In societies such as that of 1817 England and 1944 Peru ideas ofcivil liberties and sexual equality were not as prevalent as in today’ssociety. As such, it can be inferred that in order to be a published writer inthose environments, one would have to appeal to the dominant male market.
Yet acontrast between 1817 and 1944 does arise that separates the roles of womenwithin these two periods. In Allende’s 1944 piece she allows the femininecharacter, although weak and victimized, knowledge and use of her sexual power. In fact the author uses this sexual power to finally bring the main characterNicholas to justice. In looking at women’s roles within both of the stories itbecomes relevant to note that each author makes the clear the need for emotionaland physical contact from the opposite sex. The authors portraying the idea that”Perhaps a woman’s love would have made” these tortured characters “.
. . less wretched” (Allende, 423). Indeed in The Judge’s Wife much of the maincharacter’s corruption is said to be to this. Similarly within the texts ofFrankenstein one can a similar pattern in the request of the creature forfeminine companionship. Allende and Shelly both make indications in their textsthat this type of love contains both a necessary and satisfying function.
IsabelAllende uses a combination of literary tools and techniques to assemble a piecethat in some ways reflects a great masterpiece. By refining strong imageryAllende gives the reader the ability to define the character not only throughtheir dialog, but also through the visualization of the character. The authoradds another dimension to the side of her main character by including backgroundhistory. In combining all of these tools the characters are given a realisticovertone that makes this short story easy for the reader to consume andenjoy.BibliographyAllende, Isabel; “The Judge’s Wife;” The Compact Bedford Introductionto Literature (Fourth Edition); pg 422- 427; Bedford Books; Boston, MA; 1997Shelly, Mary; Frankenstein; Penguin Group; New York, New York; 1983

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