Poetic Injustice

I find it ironic that Gerardo, a justice on the Commission, is serving the biggest injustice to his very own wife. The beginnings of Gerardo’s promise first appear on page 35 where Paulina says, “…what did you swear you’d do to them when you found them? ‘Some day, my love, we’re going to put these bastards on trial. Your eyes will be able to rove’ – I remember the exact phrase, because it seemed, poetic – ‘your eyes will be able to rove each one of their faces while they listen to your story.'” Gerardo offered her sweet, consoling words but seemingly only to keep her placated and submissive.

Gerardo’s intentions of placation continue to become more noticeable on page 45 where he and Roberto are alone in the kitchen. Gerardo tells Roberto that he needs to confess to the part, even though Gerardo has doubts that Roberto is guilty because Gerardo thinks his wife is “sick” and wants her to stop her madness. How is Gerardo supposed to fulfill his promise of justice to Paulina if all he does is question and belittle her? It seems as though every opportunity Gerardo has to seek the truth, he turns a blind eye to the evidence laying before him because, if Roberto somehow is proven innocent, Gerardo’s career would be over before it was made. His justice for Paulina is a self-serving one in which the end assists him, not his wife.

On page 63, Roberto confesses to Paulina that Gerardo coached him on his confession; however, on the following page, Paulina in turn admits to Roberto that she expected him to do so which is why she fed Gerardo incorrect details which the abuser then subconsciously corrected. Paulina had apparently abandoned hope of her husband carrying through on his promise of justice and sough it herself. Gerardo never completed his promise of poetic justice, and in the end, whatever justice was doled out was delivered by Paulina herself.

One thought on “Poetic Injustice”

  1. Ooooh, that early language about confronting her torturers that comes back to haunt him HARD! Total agreement about the irony of Gerardo’s position, but I wonder how the play invites us to think about his motivations. If he doesn’t do right by Paulina, is it because he’s not trying to or is *consciously* dismissive of her experience? Are there reasons we are given and asked to think through for why he doesn’t simply believe her and follow her lead?

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