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Freudian Symbols in The Master Builder The Master Builder by Henrik Ibsen is a play about individuality morality and self But beneath those very ambiguous descriptions lies a play with symbols that clearly depict the collective unconscious Through a careful psychoanalytical critique of the text the relationship between the symbolism and the psychological themes can be discovered as they interact throughout the play Within a play symbolism has a broader role as a kind of natural metaphor or mode of comparison Neu 115 A psychoanalytic criticism will concentrate in the symbols within the play and discover their hidden meanings because elements of the latent content are expressed not directly but symbolically in manifest content Erdelyi 152 Solness the primary character is a successful but aging architect who uses others to fulfill his own selfish intentions He demands respect and fear from all characters who interact with him Even his old carpentry teacher refers to him as the chief and refuses to make decisions without Solness consent Ibsen 13 But beneath the hard exterior he wrestles with instincts and dark forces And yet he can not surmount the sexual obsession that drives him through life Solness is a nymphomaniac and can not handle his wifes infertility which results in the loss of their sexual relationship In an effort to obtain sexual freedom Solness destroys himself Hilda is also a nymphomaniac Because she went through adolescence without a mother she was unable to successfully resolve an identity conflict as a child This results in her inability to develop her own gender identity and she can not therefore create a relationship with Mrs Solness but turns to Halvard to fulfill her sexual needs instead While both of the previously mentioned characterizations may seem at first glance to be quite unrealistic the actuality of each of them is much more plausible after a close analysis of the Freudian symbols in the play Then an accurate personality for
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