August Strindberg wrote A Dream Play in 1901, a time in which women had few rights and a long road yet to travel in the fight to acquire equal rights with men. Given that Strindberg himself was a notorious misogynist, it is interesting to analyze the presentation and evolution of A Dream Play’s principle character: Indra’s Daughter. She travels from “the second world [and into] the third” (147, 17) by accident, but enters with optimism and faith in finding happiness in the human world. As she ventures further and further into the realm of human experience, not only does she not find happiness, but she finds that the tenacious desperation of humans is contagious, and that they have brought her to their own level of misery. Her only available course of action is to rid herself of their gloom and return to the heavens, but Strindberg weaves an ambiguous ending. As a woman, he may have been insinuating that she could not solve the problems of humanity and chose to abandon it instead, behavior which he may have considered to be typical of females. On the other hand, the image of the chrysanthemum blooming on the burning castle could be a symbol of hope, an affirmation that the Daughter has once again achieved her divinity and will come to the aid of the race she has seen suffering so profoundly.
Strindberg added the prologue of the play in 1906, prior to the first production of A Dream Play in 1907. It introduces the characters of Indra and his Daughter in a context that help to explain the consequent action of the play – it is made clear that Indra is a God, and we are shown how his Daughter falls into the lower world. She lacks any knowledge of this world, and in being completel...
... middle of paper ...
...piness, because it is the fear of happiness. When the Daughter searches for the only two happy people in the resort, she finds the newlyweds, who are “so happy [they] want to die,” (161, 1248) because “’There lives within the very flame of love a kind of wick or snuff that will abate it.’” (161, 1250-1251) What Strindberg ends up blaming for all the inequality and unhappiness, through the mouth of the Lawyer, is society. “Something’s wrong. Anyone can see that. People aren’t so bad. It’s just that- (…) The system. The organization.” (164, 1494-1497) The Daughter recognizes the Poet as being a force with the potential to work to change society, and their association with each other from that point on marks both the fact that she has given up on the majority of mankind, but also that she has found the one element of humanity in which she finds the most value.
Need Writing Help?
Get feedback on grammar, clarity, concision and logic instantly.Check your paper »
- The Life and Work of August Strindberg “What is life and what is its meaning?” August Strindberg asked this question many times throughout his life. He questions human existence, good and evil, happiness and sorrow, from the beginning of mans life until the end, in every thing he writes. He wrote novels, plays, poetry and over 7,000 letters. The collected works consists of 55 volumes. Strindberg was known best for his expressionist plays that he had made throughout his life. August Strindberg was born in Stockholm in 1849.... [tags: Papers]
690 words (2 pages)
- Scandinavian social expectations can be observed by looking at books or plays written in Scandinavia, and it can even be reduced down to a period of time. If one looks at the play Miss Julia, written by August Strindberg, the social expectations of men and women become apparent. One can see the main characters breaking society 's expectations, however, breaking these expectations does not lead them to a happy ending. August Strindberg wrote the play, Miss Julia in 1888 and is considered a naturalistic play.... [tags: Gender role, Woman, Man, Gender]
2140 words (6.1 pages)
- The Stronger by August Strindberg is a play that is filled with irony. One of the first things noticed in this play is that the characters have no names, nor are they labeled by any type of status. Rather than having names like most plays, the two characters are differentiated by the letters "X" and "Y." Another ironic thing about this play, is how it is written; the dialogue of the play is not evenly spoken. Instead of the two characters conversing between one another, the play is written almost like a monologue where only Mrs.... [tags: Performance Arts The Stronger Play]
877 words (2.5 pages)
- Miss Julie by August Strindberg was published in 1888 yet was soon censored for it’s, what was then, ‘scandalous’ content with its frank portrayal of sexuality. In the preface of the play, Strindberg refers to Miss Julie as a ‘man-hating half women’ who seems to be the result of a power struggle between her mother and father. Miss Julie is already the dominating figure within the play showing a disregard for gender and class conventions, these themes and the idea of a power struggle that forms tension between characters should be drawn upon when taking a directorial approach to staging the play.... [tags: naturalism, sexuality, scandalous content]
522 words (1.5 pages)
- August Strindberg was undoubtedly a contemporary writer, but where gender issues were concerned, he preferred to support the past. His work reflected the cultural and societal environment around him in 1887; this suggests themes throughout Miss Julie, such as gender inequality and women’s’ rights, were inflicted by his own struggle between classes and promiscuous relationships with women. It becomes apparent in the play that Miss Julie, a self-portrait of Strindberg, typifies Strindberg’s creative energy and the close relationship between his writing and lifestyle.... [tags: inequality, sex, frail woman]
1294 words (3.7 pages)
- Strindberg's "The Stronger" In 'The Stronger' Strindberg focuses upon the role and importance of women at the turn of the 20th century. This is portrayed through a conversation of two women who have different lives and social statuses. Mrs. X is married and therefore socially stronger. Miss Y is unmarried and rather poignantly, doesn't speak. At the turn of the 20th century, women were seen as 2nd class citizens to men. However, this entire play is set in a women's café where Strindberg's purpose is to allow the two characters to fully express their feelings rather than be influenced and controlled by men.... [tags: Strindberg Stronger Essays]
1375 words (3.9 pages)
- Family; a family is any group of individuals living together under a common roof. August Wilson’s “Fences” portrays extremely well the significance of family and what key elements go into each and every family. However, occasionally some members do not have similar values as others when it comes to the responsibility expected by others as a member. The use of metaphors and symbols throughout the play such as baseball and fences illustrate exactly why Troy Maxson’s family life was destined for failure.... [tags: Game, Play, James Earl Jones, August Wilson]
836 words (2.4 pages)
- In the play Fences, written by August Wilson we are introduced to an African-American family struggling in an urban city neighborhood in 1957. Troy Maxson is the male protagonist; however his wife Rose is a woman to be reckoned with. August uses Rose (the female protagonist) as an instrument, through her we see how African American women of this era gave up on their dreams as individual in order to provide the best life possible for her family. Rose Lee Maxson has been married to Troy eighteen years of her forty-three-year-old life.... [tags: Marriage, Woman, Want, WANT]
1429 words (4.1 pages)
- Decades ago, African Americans were treated worse than domesticated animals, even after the Emancipation Proclamation of 1873. Blacks struggled to retain even the simplest of rights, such as job equality. This is exhibited in the play Fences, by August Wilson. This play takes place in the 1950’s, just before the civil rights movement. The main character, Troy, discusses how the sanitation service he is employed through does not have a single black truck driver with his best friend Bono. Troy and Bono have been friends for countless years.... [tags: Black people, African American, Race]
1157 words (3.3 pages)
- Fences, by August Wilson, is a drama that focuses on the characteristics of black life in the mid to late twentieth century and the strains of society on African Americans. Set in a small neighborhood of a big city, this play holds much conflict between a father, Troy Maxson, and his two sons, Lyons and Cory. By analyzing the sources of this conflict, one can better appreciate and understand the way the conflict contributes to the meaning of the work. The first conflict in this play develops between Troy and his 34-year old son Lyons.... [tags: August Wilson Fences Essays]
1365 words (3.9 pages)