"The Judge's Wife" Casilda as an Evolutionary Character

1542 words 7 pages
Behind Two Strong Men is an Even Stronger Woman Sigmund Freud said, “A woman should soften but not weaken a man.” This quote exemplifies the character Casilda from Isabel Allende’s short story “The Judge’s Wife”. Although not seen by all as a main character, Casilda is the strongest and most evolutionary character of the short story. “The Judge’s Wife” is an exceptional tale that follows the progression of characters as they fight against their predetermined destinies and how they are viewed in others’ eyes. Casilda is a catalyst for the evolution of almost every character in the story. Not only does her character grow in “The Judge’s Wife”, but she is also a medium for the growth of the two other main characters in the story, Judge …show more content…

He guards his heart not only from other women, but his mother as well. Even while she is being tortured in the town square, he remains vigilant in not falling into Judge Hidalgo’s trap. Nicolas “knows” that he will outlast the Judge because Nicolas does not have the opinions of others pressing into his decisions. Upon seeing Casilda for the first time, Nicolas dismisses her as almost ugly, remarking on her fingers that were “obviously unskilled in the art of rousing a man to pleasure” (Allende 1226). With the war with Judge Hidalgo and his daily bandit lifestyle, Casilda becomes a mere memory in his brain. When Nicolas goes to avenge his mother’s death, blaming Juana the Forlorn’s suicide on Judge Hidalgo for torturing her in the middle of town, he finds Casilda alone and prepared for the worst. She faced him without showing any glimmer of fear, the only person in his life to have ever done so. This disarms Nicolas, allowing him to lower his guard to another person. He had never felt the true passion of being completely open with another person, and even knowing that the troops were coming with the noose to hang Nicolas, “he gladly accepted this in return for [Casilda’s] prodigious gifts” (Allende 1231). At the end of the story, instead of fleeing for the hills in order to save himself, Nicolas gives in to