Ghosts by Henrik Ibsen
No individual has the perfect life and while some people have long given up trying to lead the perfect life, others such as Regina Engstrom and Helen Alving in Ghosts by Henrik Ibsen, stay in pursuit of the perfect life and have their own individual visions of what they believe to be the ideal life based on their personal experiences and desires. Helen Alving uses the return of her son as well as worldly, unconventional forms of literature in order to form beliefs of what she views to be the perfect life full of happiness after her husband’s death. She uses the literature and the hope of a better life for her son in order to cope with the trials that she went through while she was with her husband. Meanwhile, Regina relies on her hope for
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This discovery ultimately changes the entire direction of where Regina had hoped her life would go, however, Regina’s determination to change the direction of her life when all had seemed lost is very strong and motivating. She declares that she cannot stay in the countryside and wear herself out “looking after invalids” and takes the next step in declaring her independence and securing her future by hoping to seek Mr. Manders’s guidance once she leaves the Alving household (Ibsen 54). All in all, the sudden information given to Regina in a brief time changes the entire course of her life and where she wants it to lead to. Regina’s vision of a perfect life which she had held up to such high standards comes to a disappointing halt when she discovers that she could not marry her half brother and therefore, live a perfect, carefree life. Regina remains headstrong and fluidly takes measures to rebuild her life in hopes of attaining the “joy of life” (Ibsen 54).
On the other hand, Helene Alving is one example of the upper class gentry in Norway in the late 1800’s. According to one newspaper source interviewing Henrik Ibsen, her personality and inquisitive nature is similar to that of Ibsen’s in that he “consistently