Towards the Family's Salvation : examining the displacement of the (F)ather in selected religious family dramas of Ibsen and Strindberg resulting in the creation of a new text

Gerber, Andre Kruger (2014-04)

Thesis (MA)--Stellenbosch University, 2014.

Thesis

ENGLISH ABSTRACT: During the nineteenth century, Charles Darwin published The Origin of Species, inciting debate surrounding the validity of the Christian creation narrative. Prior to this, the Adam and Eve creation narrative was the central narrative around which Christian families modelled their own family structures – with the father as the head of the household. In this thesis I discuss the effect that Darwin’s publication had on the restructuring of families in the nineteenth century. I do this through analysis of Henrik Ibsen’s Ghosts and August Strindberg’s Easter, two domestic dramas that chronicle the effect of a society redesigning their religious philosophies owning to the toppling of the patriarchal structures of authority. I argue that Ibsen and Strindberg stand in polar relation to one another in terms of the debate surrounding the religiosity of the family and the position of the (F)ather within this framework (borrowing from Ross Shideler’s term conflating the notion of the divine Father and the earthly father). Relating the debate to the contemporary Afrikaner culture, the research aims to create a family drama (...van ons vaders) that addresses the decline of Afrikaner Calvinistic religious constructs in a similar manner to that of Ibsen and Strindberg, but in through a contemporary aesthetic approach.

AFRIKAANSE OPSOMMING: Gedurende die negentiende eeu is debat ontlok rondom die geldigheid van die Christelike skeppingsverhaal wanweë die publikasie van Charles Darwin se The Origin of Species. Voor dit, is die Adam-en-Eva verhaal die sentrale narratief waarvolgens Christelike families hulself gestruktureer het – met die vader as die hoof van die huishouding. In hierdie tesis bespreek ek die effek wat Darwin se publikasie gehad het op die herstrukturering van families gedurende die negentiende eeu. Ek doen dit aan die hand van Henrik Ibsen se Ghosts en August Strindberg se Easter – twee familiedramas wat sentraal in die debat staan rondom die herontwerp van geloofsfilosifieë en omvorming van patriargale gesagstrukture. Ek argumenteer dat Ibsen en Strindberg in polêre verhouding met mekaar staan in terme van die debat rondom die godsdienstigheid van die familie en die posisie van die (V)ader binne hierdie raamwerk. Hier leen ek Ross Shideler se term wat die idee van die goddelike Vader en die aardse vader saamsmelt. Dit word later in verband gebring met die kontemporêre Afrikaner kultuur om ten einde ‘n nuwe familiedrama (…van ons vaders) te skep, wat fokus op die hedendaagse hervorming van Afrikaner Calvinistiese geloofstrukture, in ‘n wyse soortgelyk aan dié van Ibsen en Strindberg, maar deur om gebruik te maak van ‘n kontemporêre estetiese benadering.

Please refer to this item in SUNScholar by using the following persistent URL: http://hdl.handle.net/10019.1/86340
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