Ghosts Symbols, Allegory and Motifs

Ghosts Symbols, Allegory and Motifs

Church (Symbol)

Mrs. Alving is really proud of her deceased husband. She boasts about him and always describes him as a devoting father and husband. After his death she decides to build a church to perpetuate the memory of him. This building symbolizes the devotion and love for Mr. Alving. And in fact inhabitants of the city are filled with love and respect for this act, and consider this family to be a striking example of a perfect family. Even though it is far away from actual state of affairs the church stands as a symbol of gratitude.

Illness (Symbol)

Oswald inherits his father’s illness. It is syphilis. It seems to be a symbol of the sin. Because the Bible says that children always inherit sins of their parents. It symbolizes a severe test for Oswald and his mother. Mrs. Alving should take a decision to save him from tortures and to kill him or continue to see how he suffers from the pain.

Reputation (Motif)

The motif of reputation is obvious within the play and has an important role in understanding of merits that the main characters appreciate. Every person desires to be successful and get the repute and glory in life. In this play characters also try to obtain the repute, especially Helen Alving. She shows their exemplary family to society, always praising her husband, hiding the truth. Each member of this family pretends. And these “ghosts” of the public opinion and the achievement of perfections destroy all Helen’s hopes about her excellent life and family.

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