The Judge's Wife by Isabel Allende: A Story of Love and Revenge
The Judge's Wife is a short story by the Chilean-American writer Isabel Allende, first published in 1988. It tells the story of Nicolas Vidal, a notorious bandit who falls in love with Casilda, the wife of Judge Hidalgo, his sworn enemy. The story is set in a remote town in Latin America, where Judge Hidalgo tries to capture and execute Vidal for his crimes. Vidal, however, manages to escape every time, thanks to his cunning and his loyal followers.
One day, Vidal sees Casilda for the first time at her wedding. He is not impressed by her pale and delicate appearance, but he decides to spare her life when he raids the town. He does not know that Casilda is a strong and courageous woman, who will defend her husband and her children from Vidal's attacks. She also hides a secret passion for Vidal, who reminds her of the stories she read as a child.
As the years go by, Vidal and Casilda develop a mutual attraction that grows into love. They meet secretly in a cave, where they share their dreams and fears. They also realize that their love is doomed, as they belong to different worlds and have different enemies. Vidal knows that he will lose his head over a woman, as it was foretold on the day of his birth. Casilda knows that she will lose her honor and her family if she betrays her husband.
The story reaches its climax when Judge Hidalgo finally captures Vidal and sentences him to death by hanging. Casilda begs her husband to spare Vidal's life, but he refuses. She then decides to take matters into her own hands and frees Vidal from prison. She also sets fire to the town, hoping to create a diversion for their escape. However, they are surrounded by Hidalgo's men, who shoot at them. Vidal dies in Casilda's arms, fulfilling his destiny. Casilda survives, but she loses everything: her husband, her children, her home, and her lover.
The Judge's Wife by Isabel Allende is a story of love and revenge that explores the themes of fate, loyalty, courage, and sacrifice. It also shows the contrast between the harsh reality of violence and oppression and the idealized world of romance and adventure. The story can be read online or downloaded as a pdf file from various sources.
The Judge's Wife by Isabel Allende is also a story that reflects the historical and political context of Chile in the 1970s, when the author's cousin, Salvador Allende, was the president of a socialist government that faced a violent coup d'etat by the military. The story can be seen as an allegory of the conflict between the authoritarian regime and the resistance movement, represented by Judge Hidalgo and Nicolas Vidal respectively. The story also shows the role of women in this struggle, as they are often caught between loyalty and betrayal, oppression and liberation, love and hate.
The Judge's Wife by Isabel Allende is a story that uses the technique of magic realism, which combines realistic elements with fantastical ones. The story is full of symbols and metaphors that enhance its meaning and effect. For example, the cave where Vidal and Casilda meet is a symbol of their secret and forbidden love, as well as their escape from reality. The fire that Casilda sets to the town is a symbol of her passion and rebellion, as well as her destruction. The prophecy that Vidal will lose his head over a woman is a metaphor for his fate and his love.
The Judge's Wife by Isabel Allende is a story that challenges the reader to question the notions of good and evil, justice and injustice, heroism and villainy. The story presents complex and ambiguous characters that do not fit into simple categories. Vidal is a criminal who kills and robs, but he is also a charismatic leader who cares for his men and his people. Hidalgo is a judge who upholds the law, but he is also a cruel and rigid man who ignores the needs and rights of others. Casilda is a wife who loves her husband, but she is also a woman who betrays him for another man. The story invites the reader to empathize with these characters and understand their motivations and choices. aa16f39245