You know how politicians and celebrities need to be careful about what they do? If they make a misstep, people find out about it. Things are like that for everybody in the world of Ghosts. There's a vicious paparazzi made up of their close friends and neighbors, watching out for secret rendezvous and radical politics. When these characters mess up, we're not just talking a little gossip and a blow to the old ego. We're taking full-scale ostracization, losing your identity, your community, maybe your job. Ibsen suggests, however, that such an overhaul might not be a bad thing.
Questions About Respect and Reputation
- Is it possible to uphold your reputation in this society without telling some falsehoods?
- Who has the healthiest relationship to his or her reputation, and why?
- Which is more important to these characters: protecting your sexual proclivities or conforming your religious beliefs?
Chew on This
For Pastor Manders, a spotless reputation is more important than a saved soul.
In Ghosts, respectability is mutually exclusive from authenticity.