A Comparative Analysis of Determinants of Family Identity in Selected Plays by Henrik Ibsen and John Ruganda




Allegiance to social categories is a universally acknowledged human phenomenon. Being a social category, family identity is an important function of human co-existence. This article analyses the traits that are emblematic of a harmonious and functional family and those that lead to its breakup thereof. Having been derived from this critic’s Ph.D. thesis, truncation of detailed information has been employed to reach the necessary summary condign for a journal article. The analysis is thematic in approach and theory guided. Brecht’s Realist Marxism has been used as a tool to interpret the meanings borne in the selected plays derived from Ibsen’s and Ruganda’s oeuvre: A Doll´s House (1879), Ghosts (1881), and Hedda Gabler (1890) were taken from Ibsen’s while The Burdens (1972), Black Mamba (1973) and Shreds of Tenderness (2001) were taken from Ruganda’s. The analysis found out that traits called love (and not the mere fact of sharing blood ancestry), ranging from honesty to sensibility, selflessness to compassion make families succeed while competition for dominance to greed and selfishness; indifference to a desire to gain absolute control over others; violence and murder and/or suicide see  families doomed to failure. 


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How to Cite

Nyagemi, B. (2022). A Comparative Analysis of Determinants of Family Identity in Selected Plays by Henrik Ibsen and John Ruganda. Nairobi Journal of Humanities and Social Sciences, 1(3). https://doi.org/10.58256/njhs.v1i3.773