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MonkeyNotes-The Wild Duck by Henrik Ibsen
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Minor Theme

The secondary theme of the play revolves around the importance
of truth in any human relationship. This theme is mainly developed
by the portrayal of disastrous relationships that are built on lies.
Hakon Werle betrayed Gregers' mother, sending her to an early
grave. Werle has also not been truthful with Gregers or Old Ekdal,
destroying his relationships with his son and his business partner.
Gina withholds the truth from Hialmar, which kills their marriage
and their daughter. Unfortunately, Gregers, the idealist, thinks he
can solve the problems in a relationship by interfering and telling
the truth. Instead, his meddling as an outside agent causes tragedy.
Ibsen seems to be stating that a relationship must be based on
truthfulness that is earnestly given by both people in the
relationship. Ironically, the seemingly mis-matched Werle and Ms.
Sorby find great happiness with each other because they have been
totally truthful with one another.


The mood of the play is overwhelmingly bleak and tragic. Werle
and his son are openly hostile to one another. Gregers blames his
father for sending his mother to an early grave because of his lack
of faithfulness to her. But Gregers is also a bumbling idealist
whose intervention in the Ekdal household results in Hedvig's
tragic suicide. The only humor in the play comes from the fact that
Hialmar, Gregers, and Molvik are all presented as ridiculous and
extreme characters.

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MonkeyNotes-The Wild Duck by Henrik Ibsen

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