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by Henrik Ibsen

Oswald Alving Timeline and Summary

  • Oswald comes home to Norway from Paris. In his first scene, he has an argument with Pastor Manders about the "beautiful, free life" among artists that consists of no obligations, no duty.
  • It's clear there's something wrong with him, but Mrs. Alving just thinks he's tired out.
  • Oswald sexually pursues Regina.
  • In Act 2, Oswald sits at the table, drinking. When Mrs. Alving gets him to come talk to her, he tells her about his illness. He thinks he brought it on himself by living an artist's life.
  • Oswald also confesses his interest in Regina. Mrs. Alving tries to discourage him.
  • Regina comes in, and Oswald invites her to drink champagne. He tells his mother about life in Paris, the joy and freedom he feels there, and how he fears being at home will ruin him.
  • He plans to take Regina back to Paris. He's interrupted by the Pastor, and then by the fire at the orphanage.
  • Oswald stays at the fire a long time. When he comes in, he's exhausted and wet.
  • Mrs. Alving tells the truth about Captain Alving's father. He was miserable at home, and he was "broken down." In other words, he suffered the same illness as Oswald. It's not his fault at all.
  • Mrs. Alving also reveals that Regina is his half-sister. He still wants her to stay, but she leaves lickety split.
  • Oswald confesses to his mother that an attack will come that will leave him like a vegetable. When that happens, he wants her to kill him with morphine.
  • As the sun is rising behind him, Oswald suffers that attack. He says over and over, "The sun. The sun."