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If I Must Choose a Side

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by , 02-09-2020 at 11:03 AM (335 Views)
[COLOR=#000000][FONT=Arial][I]The Stronger[/I][/FONT][/COLOR][COLOR=#000000][FONT=Arial] is a play about the role of woman in the 20th century society. August Strindberg managed to make a forceful image that fills the soul of the reader with the unforgettable experience and creates the illusion of a long journey. Even though it might only take about ten minutes to read the play or watch the performance, the interpretation of allegories, metaphors, and other stylistic devices can take hours. Furthermore, the author creates visibly powerful characters whose actions define their self. A conversation between two heroes and their life stories suggest that, despite Mrs. X’s emotionality and obvious domination in the dialogue, Miss Y’s silence and composure make her the stronger character of the play [URL][/URL].
[COLOR=#000000][FONT=Arial]Strindberg is a versatile writer who creates plays, novels, and short stories. He is a recognized master of short play and monodrama which, despite brevity, accurately reflect complex psychological issues. In his plays, he usually shows the problems he encountered in his marriages, particularly in three of them. By depicting them, he was eager to analyze own actions. His attempts embody new literary forms which are often surreal and emotionally expressive.
[COLOR=#000000][FONT=Arial][I]The Stronger[/I][/FONT][/COLOR][COLOR=#000000][FONT=Arial] portrays two women who meet in the restaurant on Christmas Eve. One of them is married and has been on shopping. Another one is single. She is sitting at a table reading a newspaper and drinking beer. The audience does not know their names. Instead, the author calls them Mrs. X and Miss Y. Although there are two people in the play, the dialogue does not occur. The play resembles a monolog of Mrs. X. The play does not have any actions or rapid development of the events. In fact, it is an ordinary conversation between two completely different characters. On the one hand, Mrs. X is a loving mother and wife. She is a person who sacrifices her identity for her husband. However, she also appreciates warmth and stability of her family. On the other hand, Miss Y is an independent woman. She makes her own decisions and can affect the formation of other individuals. Despite this inner power, she is alone in a restaurant on Christmas Eve. The reader can make a conclusion that Mrs. X is stronger. However, it is a false idea as she does what others want forgetting about her desires.
[COLOR=#000000][FONT=Arial][I]The Stronger[/I][/FONT][/COLOR][COLOR=#000000][FONT=Arial] reveals the strength and weakness of the characters during the play. Miss Y seems to be stronger because only mentally stable person can keep calm and do not show the interest in the continuous stream of senseless words of Mrs. X in the restaurant. Undoubtedly, it requires power to remain silent. The strength of Miss Y is vivid in the part where the reader notices the history of the love triangle. She goes through a divorce with her fianc?. The constant imitation of the habits by Mrs. X proves the connection between women. Although Mrs. X hates tulips, she embroidered them on the slippers of her husband.

Furthermore, she named her son after Miss Y’s father. Despite her preferences, she wears clothes of Miss Y’s favorite color, reads her favorite books, and even eats and drinks what Miss Y likes. The reader can understand it with the following lines: “That is the reason I had to embroider tulips which I hate on his slippers, because you are fond of tulips;…I wear your colours, read your authors, eat your favourite dishes…”. This quote reveals that Mrs. X borrows the qualities of Miss Y in order to be similar to her.
[COLOR=#000000][FONT=Arial]The author depicts how Miss Y influences Mrs. X and her life. Mrs. X mentions the strength of her rival when she compares Miss Y with a worm that eats the apple from the inside. Making this comparison, Mrs. X admits that the soul of Miss Y lives inside her all the time destroying her own soul. The body belongs to her as she imitates Miss Y. Moreover, she compares her to a snake because Mrs. X cannot escape from her influence. Therefore, she compares herself to a bird that a snake catches and does not let her go. Furthermore, Mrs. X compares Miss Y to an enormous crab who lives under the water and grabs her feet with its big claws. Consequently, Mrs. X is a weak character. She mentions: “Your soul crept into mine, like a worm into an apple, ate and ate, bored and bored, until nothing was left but the wind and a little block dust”. With these words, Mrs. X blames Miss Y for unconscious impact on her life.
[COLOR=#000000][FONT=Arial]August Strindberg’s play is extremely powerful. Despite the fact that Miss Y remains silent during the performance, her actions create the feeling of a dialogue because she responds to the words of Mrs. X. The author makes them interact. In fact, the reaction of Mrs. X is the result of the actions and behavior of Miss Y who states her participation in the dialogue that influences the further development of the scene. Mrs. X uses a variety of stylistic devices in her speech to reduce the value of Miss Y. For instance, the comparison with the animals should mean the behavior of Miss Y. Her shouts and anger increase after she learns the truth about the circumstances of the past. This leads to the abuse and exaggerated expressions of hatred.
[COLOR=#000000][FONT=Arial]In fact, [/FONT][/COLOR][COLOR=#000000][FONT=Arial][I]The Stronger[/I][/FONT][/COLOR][COLOR=#000000][FONT=Arial] has many contradictions. Mrs. X says that she learned to drink chocolate from her interlocutor. Instead, Miss Y is drinking beer with an intention of escaping from reality and forgetting the horrific moments in her life. Thus, Mrs. X can change for the better. She has learned how to love her husband. She has acquired her best traits which she improves all the time in order to benefit from them in real life.

Eventually, she is grateful for the useful lessons Miss Y gave her. She wants to be strong as well: “You can never keep a man's love with your tulips and your passions. But I can keep it. You can't learn how to live, as I have learned”. Thus, silence might both Miss Y’s strength or weakness as she just has nothing to answer.[/FONT][/COLOR]
[COLOR=#000000][FONT=Arial]The play shows the reader how a person can speak to another one who does not respond verbally to any words. However, Mrs. X is not stronger because Miss Y shows her strength keeping silence. She does not pay attention to the offensive words of Mrs. X: “I hate you, hate you, hate you! But you – you just sit there, silent, calm, … unable to hate and unable to love — motionless like a stork over a rat-hole”. Despite this act of aggression, Miss X does not say a word.
[COLOR=#000000][FONT=Arial]In conclusion, [/FONT][/COLOR][COLOR=#000000][FONT=Arial][I]The Stronger[/I][/FONT][/COLOR][COLOR=#000000][FONT=Arial] by August Strindberg is an ironic play. It entails a single conversation between two women, one of which keeps silent all the time. Mrs. X cannot be stronger as she returns to her husband after she is sure that there are no reasons to worry about her marriage. In return, Miss Y shows her strength keeping silence in response to the long monolog and abuse.[/FONT][/COLOR]


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