Character Analysis Oswald Alving


Oswald Alving, although important in the play, is merely a minor character and represents the doomed product of a diseased society. Artistically gifted by having inherited his father's "joy of life" he finds he cannot work at home where the "sun" of self-expression is obscured by the "fog" of duty and social appearances. Fearing that his exuberance and creativity would dissipate, like that of his father, under these circumstances, he wants to leave home with Regina. However Oswald is doomed by a more drastic form of hereditary dissipation; he ends his life in hopeless lunacy, crying vainly for the sun — the symbolic sun of truth, love, and self-expression that he never found among his own people.

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