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Written by Anastasia Melnyk
Werle refuses to admit that he might have something to do with Ekdal’s imprisonment and following failures in his life. Trying to persuade his son that it is not his fault, he says that he “was quite in the dark” as to what Lieutenant Ekdal was doing. According to Werle, he didn’t know that Ekdal felled “all that timber illegally on Government ground”.
A clever dog (Simile)
Gregers says that he would prefer to be like “a clever dog”. Hialmar and his wife don’t understand what these words mean and just think that he behaves strangely. Only Hedgiv senses that Gregers’s words have indirect meaning. The thing he wants to say is that he is going to be as attentive and clever as dogs which are used for investigations, for he is going to find out truth about his father’s role in a life of this family.
An outsider (Metaphor)
Although Hialmar is invited to Werle’s house, he believes that the master of the house is pleased to see him. He says Gregers that he, Hialmar, is “quite outside his circle”. He means that he is neither successful to be useful nor talented enough. He feels that other guests are superior to him and he doesn’t belong to this group of people.
Lack of parental instinct (Simile)
Although Hialmar says that his daughter is the biggest joy of his life, it doesn’t take a lot of time to plant seeds of mistrust in his soul and the girl he used to love so dearly stops gladdening him. Only after her death, he realizes that he hunted her from him “like an animal”. This simile indicates that a thought that she might not be his biological daughter makes him forget that she is still the same person, who loves him and takes care about him. He starts treating her cruelly.
Gregers can’t understand, how such a wonderful family as Hialmar’s has been allowed “to go so miserably to the wall”. They used to be as successful as Greger’s family, for his and Hialmar’s father used to work together. Unlike Werle, Ekdal lost everything he had. He is absolutely broken. If Werle wouldn’t have helped them, their position would be even worse.
Like a slave (Simile)
Werle can’t understand why his own son doesn’t want to his help. Werle has enough money and connections to help his son to promote his career, but Gregers doesn’t need it at all. He is willing to drudge away “like a common clerk”. This simile indicates that Werle is sure that his son can achieve more, for clerks are usually hardly even noticed. Being like a common clerk, Gregers works a lot, but gets a small wage.
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