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The Critical Analysis of Ghosts by Henrik Ibsen_Part 2

By Valeriana Mulyani

Picture courtesy of theatre.rice.edu
Picture courtesy of theatre.rice.edu

From the quotation, it shows that Mrs. Alving feels herself as a worthless person, so she calls herself as an unlucky woman. It seems that there is regret or sorrow of having no one to spend time together. Because of this situation, she thinks that she is not a precious woman.
Mrs. Alving is good at words. She can reassure people by saying beautiful words. She likes to convince people that what they do is right. Her tendency is covering up the fact about critical matters. Providing a logical explanation towards a matter is her ability, as it is seen in this quotation.

Manders :  (looking sympathetically at him)  You went out into the world very young, my dear Oswald.
OswaldI did. Sometimes I wonder if I wasn’t too young.
Mrs. Alving:  Not a bit of it. It is the best thing for an active boy, and especially for an only child. It’s a pity when they are kept at home with their parents and get spoiled. (Act 2, Scene 1)

In this situation, Parson Manders states his own opinion that Oswald is too young to go out in the world. Oswald has the same thought as Manders do. On the other hand, Oswald’s mother, Mrs. Alving strongly disagrees with their opinion. She states that Oswald needs to go out since he is an active child. It will be a pity if a child is at home with parents. From the quotation, Mrs. Alving can be considered as egoistic. She sends away Oswald as if she gives freedom to him. In fact, the freedom is not for the sake of her son. Instead, it is for the sake of herself. To cover up this fact, she says that Oswald has to go to out into the world because he is an active boy. She uses this explanation in order to conceal her wound.


Another character of Mrs. Alving is being anxious or worried. She directly states that she cannot endure to see Oswald and Regina at her house. Her life is distracted by the presence of them. This situation is also related to his husband’s affair. Therefore, she cannot stand with that circumstance as it is proved in this quotation.

Mrs. AlvingI am frightened and timid, because I am obsessed by the presence of ghosts that I can never get rid of.
MandersThe presence of what?
Mrs. AlvingGhosts. When I heard Regina and Oswald in there, it was just like seeing ghosts before my eyes… (Act 2, Scene 1)

In this conversation, Mrs. Alving told Parson Manders about her fear of the presence of ghosts at her house. Parson Manders indicated his confusion by asking what kind of presence that made her worried. Mrs. Alving said that she was worried because of the presence of ghosts, that referred to Regina and Oswald. She stated that hearing Regina and Oswald there (in the conservatory) was like seeing ghosts before her eyes. From the quotation, it can be inferred that she is afraid with the fact that Oswald, her son, is being together with Regina, her maid. Their presence really distracts her calmness. She is both restless and nervous since the presence of Oswald and Regina reminds her of the presence of her husband and Regina’s mother; an affair of them, which shows disloyalty of Mr. Alving as the husband of Mrs. Helene Alving, as well as the father of Oswald.

Parson Manders

Pastor Manders character . Photo owned by ; almeida.co.uk
Parson Manders character . Photo owned by : almeida.co.uk

Parson Manders is the pastor of Parish as well as a friend of Mr. Alving. He gives Mrs. Alving advice when there is a conflict between Mrs. Alving and her husband. He knows a lot about the life of Mrs. Alving. He is the one whom Mrs. Alving looks for refuge. He does not hesitate to say everything on his mind. He can be regarded as a frank person, as it is seen in this quotation.

Manders: You deserve the deepest pity, Mrs. Alving. It is my duty to say an earnest word to you. It is no longer your businessman and adviser, no longer your old friend and your dead husband’s old friend, that stands before you now. It is your priest that stands before you, just as he did once at the most critical moment of your life. (Act 1, Scene 1)

Mrs. Alving expressed her loneliness to Manders. However, Manders claimed that Mrs. Alving should have gotten the deepest pity, which is loneliness. He stated that he needed to say an earnest word to her. He realized that his presence at that time was not her businessman and adviser, her old friend, or her husband’s old friend. Instead, it was the priest who did the most critical moment of her life, her marriage.From the quotation, it can be seen that Parson Manders seems strict and frank. He just expresses things that come in mind. As Mrs. Alving expresses her loneliness, he does not give refuge by saying words which can reassure her. On the contrary, he says that it is proper for her to get the deepest city. He just stated his opinion without careful consideration.

> End of Part 2 <

 


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