Study Guide

Ghosts Respect and Reputation

By Henrik Ibsen

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Respect and Reputation

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

  1. Is it possible to uphold your reputation in this society without telling some falsehoods?
  2. Who has the healthiest relationship to his or her reputation, and why?
  3. 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.

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