Ibsen's views on the concept of "Ghosts" and inheritance. Ghosts by Henrik Ibsen

Essay by ceyhanHigh School, 11th grade September 2004

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Utilizing one of the main characters of the play, Mrs. Alving, Ibsen communicates his own ideas of inheritance and the impact of the past. Ibsen successfully generates a protagonistic view of Mrs. Alving for the audience; therefore the views of this character reflect the actual views of Ibsen. This concept of "Ghosts" is the theme that is at the core of the play, and is possibly one of the reasons why Ibsen generated this piece of work. Mrs. Alving's character demonstrates a firm view of inheritance. She believes that every individual in this world is 'haunted' by not only the inheritance of ancestors, but that there are also ideas that haunt every generation. This is also the view of Ibsen himself.

During Act 2, Mrs. Alving has a speech that sounds rather awkward; however it is the most important speech of the play.

MRS ALVING: I'm haunted by ghosts.

When I heard Regina and Osvald out there, it was just as if there were ghosts before my very eyes. But I'm inclined to think that we're all ghosts, Pastor Manders; its not only the things that we've inherited from our fathers and mothers that live on in us, but all sorts of old dead ideas and old dead beliefs, and things of that sort. They're not actually alive in us, but they're rooted there all the same, and we can't rid ourselves of them. I've only to pick up a newspaper, and when I read it I seem to see ghosts gliding between the lines. I should think there must be ghosts all over the country - as countless as grains of sand. And we are, all of us so pitifully afraid of the light.

Mrs. Alving first suggests that Osvalds advance on Regina made her think about...