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Essay about Hedda Gabler and the Lower Depths - Use of Surprise Suicide Ending

Project id 1012167
Subject area Other
Document type Essay
Words 2335
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For Maxim Gorki and Henrik Ibsen, the "the surprise finish" is a device to underline the extreme despair and agony man is frequently confronted. In both cases, the plays end with an act of suicide - The Actor in The Lower Depths, and Hedda in Hedda Gabler. The alcoholic Actor dreamt of a far off hospital which aided drunkards by curing them of the disease. He fights through the play out trying to obtain this path to redemption. Hedda tries to control a world which she's trapped. This control would lead to her liberty to exist in true self-expression. Both figures reside in denial. They subconsciously understand that these dreams will forever be dreams because of their society; they both live restlessly in these worlds of illusion. But by the conclusion of each play, the illusion crumbles, and the two are forced to confront the dire fact of the situations. The characters opt to act in the most brutal and finite means to control their own fate, ending their lives. By comparing two powerful and similar surprise endings involving two acutely different characters, Gorki and Ibsen deliver an identical message. If a character's wildest illusions come in the kind of escape, salvation, hope, or controller, the destruction of those illusions lead to a private devastation that may be insurmountable. The Actor is a nameless misfit of culture. As he states, "I am a lost man. Since I think in myself no more... I'm through". He is an outcast, and neither works for cash, nor has some "honour or conscience" regarding his present existence. Luka, after compelling the thought of a fictitious hospital that heals alcoholics, becomes the symbol of kindness and compassion in Gorki's play. In Act II, he also plants the seed...

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