AP English IV
2 October 2008
In a society where reputation and status are vital to social acceptance, adultery, having children out of wedlock, and female equality are not subjects for the public eye. But, what happens when one person goes against these common beliefs? Publicizing these ideas could infuriate audiences around the world when there is no line drawn between public and private matters. A great example of this is displayed in Henrik Ibsen's Ghost. Ibsen challenges the beliefs of his time by publicizing incest, women's equality, adultery, sexually transmitted diseases, children born of wedlock and the covering up of scandals. Through Ibsen's play, he raises these ideas to spark public inquiry into what was really taking place in their society. Although women were of a lower social class to men, they are portrayed in Ghost as equal, if not superior, to them. Given the following scene, women are not supposed to be educated, let alone make a male look foolish: ENGSTRAND. What do you say, girl?
REGINA. Pied me mouton.
ENGSTRAND. Is that English, eh?
ENGSTRAND. Oh, ah; you've picked up some learning out here; and that may come in useful now, Regina. (246)
Regina, in many cases can not help but outwit Engstrand, her “father”, who should be the one person who she regards highly. Throughout Ghost, Regina shows evidence of her intelligence and will power through statements like the one cited above. Ibsen also illustrates various situations where women are taken advantage of; one such example is Mrs. Alving who appears to be intelligent but lacks common sense: MRS. ALVING. Certainly, my dear Pastor Manders. You are the best judge in these things. MANDERS. I will keep my eyes open at any rate. But now there’s one think more which I have several times been intending to ask you. MRS. ALVING....