Analysis Of Ghost By Henrik Ibsen

Superior Essays
Social Conventions: The Condemnation of Norwegians
Within his play, Ghosts, Henrik Ibsen places great emphasis on the issue of social conventions that prioritize duties and obligations in the Norwegian society of 1880. During his era, 90 percent of all Norwegians belonged to the Evangelical Lutheran National Church, the Church of Norway, which yielded great influence and authority within the society (Lovoll). Throughout Ghosts, the issues faced by the Alvings are rooted in the predefined beliefs and traditions within society that have been upheld by the Church. The hypocrisy of the Church is manifested within Pastor Manders, who wrongfully oppresses the Alvings with what is deemed acceptable in accordance with the Church. His character is driven
…show more content…
This is exemplified through Manders’ misconstrued perception of the ideal family structure. This is displayed through Oswald’s and Manders’ conflicting views upon the acceptance of unmarried couples who live under the same roof, as demonstrated through the subtext of this scene displaying their disagreement. In contrast to Manders, Oswald despises the conventional ideals of the Church and supports these “irregular unions” (Ibsen 87) as he acknowledges that thosemany people of the lower class are unable to afford marriages due to the high fees associated with it. He supports his point further by questioning whether the Church would rather have these unmarried men “repudiate”(87) his children and their mother. However, Pastor Manders rebukes this point and emphasizes self-restraint. His obstinate view towards such issues expresses his ignorance of human life as he overlooks the necessity for sexual relationships and romantic love. Manders’ genuine shock to Oswald’s opposition towards the perspective of the church can be seen through his reaction to Oswald’s acceptance of unmarried couples. Ibsen specifically demonstrates this through his stage …show more content…
Ironically, this building originally went from an orphanage, used to commemorate Captain Alving as an honourable husband, to a brothel revealing Captain Alving’s true nature and infidelity. Engstrand had described himself as “an angel of salvation” (119) and addressed Pastor Manders with “your reverence” (119), depicting himself as an ideal Christian. Ibsen used dramatic irony in this instance as the audience is aware that Engstrand is a corrupted man whose true motive is simply gaining financial support for his brothel.
Contrary to Manders, Mrs. Alving is a dynamic character as she develops throughout the play: she had conformed to dead beliefs within their society in Act I, but by Act II, Mrs. Alving comes to the realization that the Norwegian social norms are the cause of distress within their society. Mrs. Alving’s realization of the burden of duty and obligations allows her to free herself from conforming to the immoral notions of

Related Documents

  • Improved Essays

    Some historical backgrounds are considered a taboo that should not be discussed. For example, both plays attack institutionalized religion and undermine familial relationships despite the fact that those are beliefs taken for granted in the society. Institutionalized religion is portrayed in Ghosts and Look Back in Anger as a hypocritical institution that only contributes in making the lives of the characters worse and, in return, in increasing their anger. Mrs. Alving, in Ghosts, believes that Pastor Manders is the family pious friend who will help them. However, with the passage of time she realizes that he is a hypocritical man who only cares about his reputation and does not really care about his religion.…

    • 1004 Words
    • 5 Pages
    Improved Essays
  • Improved Essays

    The selfishness of the Misfit allow a perspective for the reader to assume he does not believe in God and does not hold the same values of forgiveness. Whereas the Grandmother is begging for her life, because she does have faith and is willing to forgive the Misfit only because for a moment she deeply understands his pain. The Misfit’s lack redemptive qualities insure his decision to kill the Grandmother while acknowledging her salvation. Their perspective on religion flawed both of their moral references in order to appropriate their views…

    • 1198 Words
    • 5 Pages
    Improved Essays
  • Improved Essays

    John Proctor and Reverend Parris’s rivalry also affects the trials. Each one constantly tries to entrap the other and have them condemned. Proctor despises Parris as he believes he is corrupt. His belief of Parris’s corruption and refusal to attend his sermons gets him put into question. People doubt him to be a true believer in Christ all because he is not happy with Parris and what he teaches.…

    • 1123 Words
    • 5 Pages
    Improved Essays
  • Improved Essays

    To add on, Meursault shows his view of the prayers (religion), “not to waste his rotten prayers on me;” The word choice “rotten prayers” shows his disbelief to what society and chaplain are trying to inflict onto Meursault. Meursault does not cave into what society wants him to be, but he “fights” back by imposing his aggressive feelings towards them. Moreover, Meursault devalues the beliefs followed by the chaplain and society, “yet none of his certainties was worth one strand of a woman’s hair.” This metaphor establishes the idea that the values or leap of faith that the chaplain has are not worth anything. They are not worth anything because society has developed the value. Meursault is devaluing the chaplain’s “certainties” because the existential idea becomes present.…

    • 1036 Words
    • 5 Pages
    Improved Essays
  • Improved Essays

    Particularly, Beatrix Potter’s parents disapproved her offer of marrying Mr. Warne due to the fact that he was beneath and the marriage would humiliate Potter’s family traditional values. The class distinction, somehow, is portrayed in such a trivial aspect as marriage life and social prejudice at lowest…

    • 723 Words
    • 3 Pages
    Improved Essays
  • Superior Essays

    While he blames Nora for her ignorance, he also blames her father for neglecting to educate his daughter in religion, an area that middle class women were expected to immerse themselves in. Without religion, Torvald believes Nora has gone astray. When Krogstad arrives, Torvald orders Nora to take off her shawl to make herself look more appeasing to a male’s eye. He does not hesitate to objectify his wife in order to protect his position in society. Within the family unit,…

    • 1283 Words
    • 6 Pages
    Superior Essays
  • Improved Essays

    125-126) People lose faith because they let their emotions control them. As we see in The Confessions, Augustine lets his emotions control what he does. He’s arrogant and is against Christianity, which leads him to reject his mother and leave her. While the emotional struggles create additional doubt for Augustine, his prominent doubt has to do with his sinful relationship with his…

    • 1436 Words
    • 6 Pages
    Improved Essays
  • Superior Essays

    These people who claim to be true followers of Christ might actually be wrong, but instead of accepting this, they build a wall of intolerance. “Instead of accepting another follower in the path to discovering the truth and service to God, these people push the individual way because he/she might be affecting their own ways of believing. This individual is altered to an outsider,” (Spong). This wall of intolerance rejects the very people, Christians are supposed to help. For instance the following: gays, transgenders, sinners, divorced couples, the rich and poor, non-believers, murders, etc.…

    • 1490 Words
    • 6 Pages
    Superior Essays
  • Great Essays

    O, most wicked speed, to post with such dexterity to incestuous sheets! It is not nor it cannot come to good But break, my heart; for I must hold my tongue” he is showing how upset he is about his mothers marriage but he also shows that he is aware that he cannot voice his opinion about the matter because people would not understand why he is so concerned (1.2.6). Hamlet does not realize how important his mother truly is in his life and may not intentionally realize that he holds his mother at extremely high importance because he psychologically longs for his…

    • 1669 Words
    • 7 Pages
    Great Essays
  • Improved Essays

    While the minister showed his guilt it made him isolated from society. The reason he was isolated was because of his openness with his guilt which gave him a sense of evil. Because the minister can not forgive himself and he rejects the forgiveness from others and isolates himself even more. This guilt that he has prevents him, from feeling forgiven and isolates him as punishment for his sin (“Isolation and Community”). His isolation then increases because no one wants to be around his ominus sense of guilt that goes with his veil leading to many people leaving him (Leary 75).…

    • 1261 Words
    • 6 Pages
    Improved Essays