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Similarities in the Villains of A Doll's House and Madame Bovary
Bibliography w/2 sources Krogstad and Lheureux are two literary villains created by Henrik Ibsen and Gustave Flaubert respectively. Between them, they share many similarities. They both are exploiting the main character of the novels they are in. They both want something, which was at least at one point money. They both seem cold and heartless, remorseless, though nice at one point in time. When are also alike in that when they want something, they will resort to vicious means of acquiring it. They know the secrets in which both novel's plots are based.
The list of similarities is significant as any one can see, but can they really be named "similar"? Perhaps they have some in common, but are the characters truly alike? It would seem to me that they are actually very different. It can be argues either way, but the correct answer to this question can only come though examination. Weighing both the likenesses and similarities will rule out either extreme in likeness, but perhaps they fall into a category close to one side. In this essay I intend to cut through the protective fibers set by Flaubert and Ibsen, and to examine the contents of two important characters, to compare them, and to contrast. Both Lheureux and Krogstad want something. At first they both want money, which is a large similarity. Soon Krogstad changes his demand to keeping his job, and Lheureux just lets the debts owed to him by Emma Bovary build up. They both seem nice at one point in each work. Lheureux begins on a good note, being very kind to Emma and her husband. He extends a lot of credit to Emma, which she abuses, and unwittingly plans her own demise. Krogstad on the other hand begins with a money grubbing attitude, though not quite as ruthless as that of Lheureux. Krogstad's ultimately progresses through the play, when at the end he is actually a decent individual. It would seem that as far as character progression goes, the two are inverse of each other. They both use threats to gain what they want. In Lheureux's case, he threatens to tell her husband, and later foreclosure if she doesn't pay. She managed to put Lheureux off for a while. Finally he lost patience...He'd be forced to take back the things he had brought her.
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Flaubert, Gustave. Madame Bovary. Trans. Mildred Marmur. New York: Signet, 1964.
Ibsen, Henrik. "A Doll's House." In Four Great Plays by Ibsen. Trans. R. Farquharson Sharp. New York: Bantam, 1959.