Western Civilization and Happiness and Justice

Decent Essays

How can Western Civilization avert decline and promote happiness and justice? In a world of political and celebrity scandals from the raunchy to the greedy, our culture is full of corruption and an obsession with fame. Henrik Ibsen’s Hedda Gabler and Sylvia Plath’s “The Colossus” both explore the West’s moral blindness and our paralysis of feeling and thought in the twentieth century. Western civilization is becoming a wildfire fueled by tragic ignorance, societal norms and corruption. This must be exposed in order for any cultural epiphany to occur.
Judge Brack is the definition of the colossus in Hedda Gabler. He is someone people trust and build up to be an honorable and insightful leader, but in the end he is a vulgar and immoral individual full of Dionysian corruption, and lacking any apollonian qualities. Brack throws frequent stag parties that eventually evolve into wild nights of debauchery. He and the men he invite drink and participate in orgies. While at night he is an unrefined sexual animal, during the day he is the definition of justice and trust. During his interactions with Hedda he reveals his deep misogynistic beliefs and his sense of power over her. Instead of letting her display her power through her pistols, he treats her like a child telling her that “we’ll have no more of that kind of fun today,” (249). He knows that she feels trapped in the cultural norm of marriage, but he enjoys poking at her and making her feel weak as a woman. He is allowed to go

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