Patriarchal Power In 'The Judge's Wife'

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In the short story “The Judge’s Wife” written by Isabelle Allende, Casilda, a quiet and meek woman, uses her feminine characteristics to dominate Vidal and the Judge to shape her own destiny and not be restricted by the barriers of patriarchal power. This story portrays many stereotypical instances where the weaker sections of society rise up and receive dominance and power. This is quite unusual as the impoverished classes of society don’t get a say in most matters. Allende uses a common literary strategy used by many Latin American authors called Magical Realism. This abstract idea is characterized by incorporating seemingly special or unusual occurrences in an ordinary time period. Allende uses this literary tool to emphasize equality in society and belittle the high classes. Nicolas Vidal’s rejection…show more content…
Allende uses Casilda to depict the weak and acquiescent stereotype. In the initial part of the story, after Judge Hidalgo locked Juana la Triste, mother of Vidal, in a made-to-measure cage in order to capture Vidal, Casilda defied her husband’s orders and confronted him in front of the entire town. She not only stands up for the town’s requests, but also for her herself which signifies that she wasn’t afraid of her husband although he stood at a well-respected position of being a judge. She was just a regular Latin American housewife, but until that moment she breaks loose from her menial role and shifts away from the stereotype allotted to her. At the end of the story, Casilda used her feminine characteristics to seduce and sway Vidal in order of protecting her children. This is a bit ironical as she defies her husband in hope of breaking the stereotype of gender initially. She adopts the role of a temptress archetype where she uses different means in order to get her way. She takes her children along with her to provide food and water to Juana la Triste, but when the

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