Societal Norms In Ghosts And Karen's Christmas

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In the play of Henrik Ibsen’s drama Ghosts, as well as in Amalie Skram’s short story Karen’s Christmas there is strong ridicule of the societal norms in late nineteenth century Scandinavia. In-depth reading of these texts display scorn for the way Scandinavia as a culture, during this time period, behaved and their ideals. These ideals have been developed through a history of social, political and economic change in Scandinavia, and the message from both authors is one highlighting the problems of societal norms and providing progressive ideas. Ghosts is a story of the past generations and their problems being past down. The characters in the play are selfish and the tragedy at the end of the story is one sealed by societies failures. Mrs. Alving is the protagonist of the story, and she does what she believes is best for others while in reality she is doing these things for herself. The benefits of hiding Captain Alvings shameful acts by sending her son away at such a young age as well as other actions she took such as paying Johanna off and not telling Regina (or anyone) the truth of…show more content…
The story, set in Norway, was published by the Copenhagen newspaper Politiker in 1885. In the story, another tragedy like Ghosts, a woman is living in an abandoned shack with her baby and is asked by a policeman to leave. After convincing the policeman to let her stay in the shack for a few days, she is so grateful. In the following days, the policeman returns to the shack and finds both the child and mother dead, frozen to death. There are plenty of reasons why society has failed in this story. These instances include, why the cop would not do anything to help, why there is no way for her to find the father, and most importantly why Karen and her child are in this situation in the first place. Society failed them, that is the message being sent by the

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