Existentialism In Peer Gynt

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“What can I do for you?” Dr. Moi poses after asking everyone at the table for their name, major, and why they are interested in a Scandinavian course. She has an infectious energy and enthusiasm for the topics, and suggests we begin with Fear and Trembling, venture to Ibsen (who she wrote a book about, Henrik Ibsen and the Birth of Modernism), and end with a discussion of emigration of Norwegians to the United States, and how it is unlikely to happen again for the foreseeable future. Dr. Hedman asks, “do you know of a particular part of Fear and Trembling that gets students interested in the work?” Dr. Moi believes that students who have the question of God in their minds, or in the existence of a higher power and what that would mean for their life (why do I feel alienated and lost in the world, existentialism, etc.) should all find value in Kierkegaard. However, students must first struggle and find it “unreadable” to discover the genuine worth. As Kierkegaard struggles with reading and comprehending The Bible and the story of Abraham, you must fight with the text for a mirrored…show more content…
Peer exists in eternal skepticism, which develops into complete selfishness. “You simply don’t get to choose not to become anything,” Dr. Moi states, “because while you’re doing nothing, you eventually become something.” Unlike the character in Act 5 who cut off his finger to avoid serving in the military (and to stay with his family), Peer’s avoidance strategy had no underlying moral value. On the other hand, Raegan points out that Peer does come back to spend time with his mother in her final moments. This brings up a whole new topic -- women in Ibsen. Dr. Moi is appalled by the idea of Solveig sitting alone, on a mountain, for 50 years, knitting or something, waiting for Peer. Solveig is a particularly interesting character in Ibsen’s history, as he eventually becomes one of the greatest playwrights to write about women’s struggles and freedom. Dr. Moi
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