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In both Tennessee Williams The Glass Menagerie and Henrik Ibsens Ghosts the absent father can be seen as supportive of Derridas theory of Differance The privileging of binary opposites in logocentric Western thought can be seen to be overturned in both plays and both are tragedies because of this overturning through the agency of the absent father The role of the absent father figure in both plays is to deconstruct the family creating tragedy They represent a reversal of the privileging of presencespeech over absencewriting They also fit the stereotype of the absent father in Western culture wherein the very absence of the father figure causes the family he left to fall apart In both plays if the father were still present the events that occur would not take place According to Derrida there is nothing outside of the text He critiques logocentric Western metaphysics and the favouring of speech and presence over writing and absence Grammatology 306 - 307 He also coined the term Differance to show how words and texts deconstruct themselves Differance 279 This is seen in both The Glass Menagerie and Ghosts as the father figure in both plays is absent Since neither is present to defend themselves or their actions it is easy for the characters to attack them on a personal level such as when Amanda Wingfield says her husband left because he fell in love with long distance Mrs Alving also attacks her husband but in a less direct way Since signifiers are endless chains never reaching a sign we can never arrive at meaning or truth This is because language makes this arrival impossible consequently there is no meaning or truth altogether because we cannot be outside our own internal images of what is real making those images false This is seen in Ghosts when Pastor Manders reprimands her for letting her son grow up in such a way that he see living out of wedlock as
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