Details About the Father of Modern Drama: Henrik Ibsen
To understand Naturalism, it is important to know that it was a reaction against the two literary periods that came before it. These are:
Characters in the play:
Pastor Manders: A local priest and old friend of the family. He often lectures others about morality and religion. Sometimes, his financial dealings regarding the orphanage seem suspect, and he is also quick to bend to public opinion. He believes that Mrs. Alving should not have abandoned her husband and should not have sent her son into the world at such an early age. He represents "moral" society (the conservative church and all that goes with it).
One of the brilliant things about Ibsen is his plotting. While often slow to start, Ibsen generally keeps increasing the stakes for his characters. He often employs the use of a "secret": something important is revealed before the play concludes that changes our understanding of the plot and its characters. There is a lot of wonderful subtext in this play. As we read, pay close attention to what is NOT said or what is meant "between the lines". More on SUBTEXT when we read Chekhov.
HOMEWORK: Complete Acts I & II of Ghosts. We'll finish the play next class. Please bring your books with you to class. NOTE: there may be a quiz on Acts I & II and these notes. Keep writing your play projects!