• Join over 1.2 million students every month
  • Accelerate your learning by 29%
  • Unlimited access from just £6.99 per month

World Lit. - Comparative analysis: Death and The Maiden and Ghosts

Extracts from this document...

Introduction

English A1 High Level World Literature Assignment I: Comparative Study The role played by the memories of the main characters in their attempts to connect past and present in Ariel Dorfman's "Death and the Maiden" and Henrik Ibsen's "Ghosts". Written by: Malaz Mohamadani Hasseris Gymnasium, Aalborg Word Count: 1.482 PAST AND PRESENT Things are not always what they seem, and this surely is the case in the two playwrights that I will be investigating and comparing in this assignment. Beneath a surface, which externally seems to be idyllic, Henrik Ibsen, in Ghosts from 1881, and Ariel Dorfman, in Death and the Maiden from 1991, reveal to the reader the truth about the characters' obscured pasts. I am going to comment on the connection between the past and present in the two plays and, furthermore, I will look at the role played by the memories of the main characters in their attempts to connect past and present. Ariel Dorfman's Death and the Maiden from 1991 is a playwright about a woman, Paulina Escobar, who believes that a stranger, Roberto Miranda, who comes to her home is the doctor who, under a military dictatorship, tortured and raped her many years before. ...read more.

Middle

(Death and the Maiden, p. 54) Even though they are trying to, both Gerardo and Paulina seem to be inadequate to move forward. They are both struggling with the issue of how exactly to deal with their past, and as a result their marriage is falling apart. They need to stop reliving the past and, like the society of which they are a part, and find a productive way to move forward. Similarly in Henrik Ibsen's play Ghosts there are layers of characterization, complicated by the presence of events that occurred to the characters years before the time where the play's plot is unfolded. The play focuses on the ways in which people and events that are long gone continue to resonate, and how they stay alive from one generation to the next. Ghosts is the story of a woman, Mrs. Alving, who is preparing for the opening of an orphanage in memory of her husband, Captain Alving, on the tenth anniversary of his death. The captain was an important and respected man in his community, and Mrs. Alving plans to raise this great memorial to him so that she will never have to ever speak of him again. ...read more.

Conclusion

In her attempt to follow the "path of duty" (Ghosts, p. 21) Mrs Alving covers up the truth with mistaken ideals. She tries to make the past disappear, as she builds an Orphanage in Captain Alving's memory, to dispel any rumours of his dissolute life. Her goal is to "feel as if [her] late husband had never lived in [the] house" (Ghosts, p. 25). However, her cowardish attitude towards the truth of the past ultimately ruins not only her own life, but also the lives of the people around her7. By unfolding to the reader the memories of their main characters' pasts, Dorfman and Ibsen stress the importance of the connection between past and present. The protagonists of their stories try to escape their past either by denying or suppressing it - but in the end this proofs to have fatal consequences. Neither seems to be able to put aside their memories and forget their past, but instead it keeps haunting them like "ghosts". In these two cases the saying "nothing improves the memory more than trying to forget"8 seems to be correct, indeed. In trying to forget their past they instead end up reliving it all over again. Dorfman and Ibsen in their respective plays both nurture the idea, that sometimes accepting the fact that it is impossible to change what happened in one's past is enough to move on. ...read more.

The above preview is unformatted text

This student written piece of work is one of many that can be found in our International Baccalaureate Languages section.

Found what you're looking for?

  • Start learning 29% faster today
  • 150,000+ documents available
  • Just £6.99 a month

Not the one? Search for your essay title...
  • Join over 1.2 million students every month
  • Accelerate your learning by 29%
  • Unlimited access from just £6.99 per month

See related essaysSee related essays

Related International Baccalaureate Languages essays

  1. Commentary in an extract from the book "Brave New World" by Aldeous huxley

    Hence, books in this passage allow the reader to know more of Mustapha's character, a very relevant purpose. Conclusion I must say that Huxley has indeed many techniques applied to his text "Brave New World". As a result his scripts are very understandable, creative, original, and realistic to the reader.

  2. Things Fall Apart Novel Analysis

    Soon after, white men are in their town building a church for the people of the village. The men of this strange religion begin to convert people in town with their folktale stories about their religion. Okonkwo finds this religion strange because they only worship one god who has very strange qualities.

  1. Fasting Feasting by Anita Desai Detailed Study Notes

    Furthermore, the fact that Papa still strives to outdo the memories of poverty, eradicate the "painful beginnings" shows how despite that his current circumstances allows him to 'feast' in prosperity, Papa remains trapped, 'fasting' in the past. Overall, this passage explores the devastating effects of force-feeding Arun to 'feasting'.

  2. An analysis of Ray Bradbury's Fahrenheit 451

    Clarisse shares the same point of not trying to manipulate Montag, but is extremely interested in Montag's feelings and thoughts. Clarisse is the totally opposite from everybody else, not caring about anything, only focusing in enjoying every natural detail happening around her.

  1. History research - Early Australian bushrangers. English writing -my region and favourite authors.

    Nature protection / ?????? ??????? Computers project that between now and the year of 2030 we are going to have increase of the average temperature between 1,5-4,5 Degrees C. Sea levels would rise by several metres, flooding coastal areas and ruining vast tracts of farmland.

  2. More and more writers are being born into the world today, and all of ...

    and M (for ages 16 and above). The writers are asked to strictly adhere to these guidelines, so that readers get an idea of what to expect from the contents of the fiction. There is no editorial board for the site, meaning that all the works that are published have to be edited by the writers themselves.

  1. Ariel Dorfman. discusses the topic of bilingualism in America. The writer agrees with the ...

    The writer does this through a number of ways. As she herself is from a foreign country, an immigrant to America she knows how it feels to learn a second language, she has learnt how to balance two cultures, making sure that she does not forget who she really is

  2. Media Comparative Essay - comparing two news articles

    The ?dust of light moments? makes it sound like the Paddy Bitama being a candidate was very random and unwanted by the society. The subtlety in this expression, since it is not very explicit in language, helps the author to include offensive content without looking ?offensive? towards Paddy.

  • Over 160,000 pieces
    of student written work
  • Annotated by
    experienced teachers
  • Ideas and feedback to
    improve your own work