A Doll's House

Truth or Illusion?

Truth or illusion? When the fantasy world people create in order to cope with the absurdity of life is brought too far into reality, it becomes hard to distinguish between authenticity and fiction. This ambiguity is apparent in both Edward Albee's Who's Afraid of Virginia Woolf? and Henrik Ibsen's A Doll's House, in which marital relationships are solely based on illusion. Both couples in the dramas use illusions to avoid feeling the truth and the pain of failures. Yet, in the end, they are forced to wake up from the fake world in which they have lived and by openly expressing their feelings create hope for progress. It is essential to strip away illusion in order to experience life truthfully and fully.

The relationship between Martha and George in Who's Afraid of Virginia Woolf?, is troubling from the very beginning, for it was founded upon illusion. Martha married George not because of who he really was, but, because of who she imagined he could become. As she tells Nick in the first act, "I got the idea about then of marrying into the college...which didn't seem to be as stupid as it turned out" (Albee 79). Her father was the president of the College in New Carthage, and Martha, being his...

Join Now to View Premium Content

GradeSaver provides access to 741 study guide PDFs and quizzes, 4429 literature essays, 1449 sample college application essays, 183 lesson plans, and ad-free surfing in this premium content, “Members Only” section of the site! Membership includes a 10% discount on all editing orders.

Join Now

Already a member? Log in