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almost final ghosts

almost final ghosts - 1 Jacob Zipperstein Rough Draft The...

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Jacob Zipperstein Rough Draft 5/2/10 The Haunting Memories of Generations In the play Ghosts , Henrik Ibsen brilliantly analyzes the theme of conflicts between generations . Throughout the play , the audience is introduced to characters from the late 19 th century and how they dealt with controversial love and family situations . The motif of hostility between generations becomes increasingly evident through his protagonist Mrs . Alving , the widow of Captain Alving . Critics have fervently attacked this play suggesting that Ibsen destroyed his reputation by writing a play with no ending and thieving ideas from Greek tragedies . However , if one were to look deeper into the play , it becomes evident that the ending act is truly magnificent . In Ibsen’s Ghosts , there are many masks behind each protagonist , complicated by the lingering presence of events that occurred to the characters before what is witnessed on the stage . Ibsen ingeniously focuses on the ways in which events and people that are long gone continue to stay alive and reverberate throughout the generation of their descendants . The most obvious ghosts , or haunting memories , are those of Johanna the maid and Chamberlain Alving . These characters have been dead for years , but when seeing Oswald, hr son, touching Regina , Johanna’s daughter , in the same dining room where her husband had once made a flirtation gesture on Johanna a generation earlier , Mrs . Alving quickly 1
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realizes that “ghosts” are among them . Many of the events from the past coil around another , entangled like a careless rope , but one event in particular seems to be at the center of the Alving family’s struggles: it is a instant that happens quickly , nearly thirty years earlier , when Mrs . Alving shows up at Pastor Manders door with the words , “Here I am . Take me . At that brief moment in the past , all of the play’s major themes — love , lust , repression , honor , independence and opportunity — intersected , and the results of that lost moment are as critical as anything in these present , unfulfilled lives . Mrs . Alving had been young and fatherless , talked into marriage by her mother and aunts who strongly felt that marriage to this elegant young sailor, the future Captain Alving, would be the most glamorous decision she could make . Their encouragement was , however , based on the postulation that once married , the captain would stop being a sailor and switch to a full time husband . Unfortunately , Mrs . Alving later uses the word “dissolute” to describe her husband , a word that identifies him as being morally unstable . Because Mrs . Alving had already married another man , Pastor Manders had no choice but to turn her away from his doorstep . To the Pastor , the bride he had wedded to the Captain a year ago must have looked less like someone for passionate love than like someone with a troubled persona .
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