Facing Death by August Strindberg Summary Class 12 English
Facing Death by August Strindberg Summary
In Facing Death, Strindberg dramatizes a heroic sacrifice made by a bankrupt man for the sake of his daughters.
Detailed Analysis and Summary
Durand : Hardworking Father
Adele (27 Years) : Eldest daughter of Durand
Anette (24 Years) & Therese (24 Years) = Daughters of Durand
Antonio : Person living in Durand’s lodge from some months
As a former railroad worker, widower, and pension (lodge) owner, Mr. Durand is in financial difficulty. Adele, 27, Annette, 24, and Therese (24 yrs) are his daughters. Adele does cooking, Mr. Durand serves visitors, cleans, and does errands (including delivering and bringing things). Therese and Annette are useless daughters who don’t do any work rather always behave rudely with their father.
They're all grown up now and live with him at the house with him. The father-daughter relationship is not good. They've turned their house into a lodge in order to stay alive since they’ve been dealing with the economic crisis for the last ten years.
The Durand family has been taking out loans from other people in order to survive. They have borrowed the items from almost everyone, including a baker, a butcher, and a grocery. There's a mountain of debt to be cleared up.
When Pierre, their errand boy, goes to get the bread, he returns empty handed. Instead, he just has outstanding bills with him.
Durand buys candles on the anniversary of the loss of his deceased son, Rene, who was just an infant when he passed away. After all these years, he still has feelings for him.
Only Antonio, a lieutenant in the Italian army, is staying at their lodge at this time. Durand informs Antonio that they are bankrupt and have no more resources to keep him in the home (goods). Durand rejects Antonio's offer to pay in advance and extend Antonio's stay by a month. He also reveals that they went three months without visitors until an American family came to their rescue. Therese kisses Antonio, the visitor, as Durand leaves to get coffee-bread.
They are kissing when Durand enters at the doorway. Therese was caught kissing an American visitor before. In a fit of rage, he chases Antonio from his house. He also tosses the cash he was given. Therese and Annette are not delighted to see this. They'd want to keep Antonio as a guest. They are disrespectful to their father. Because he didn't bring bread, they took his glass of milk as well. He's restricted to a single glass of water each day. Therese grabs matches() while he's preparing to fire his briar pipe().
In the long run, his hunger (starvation) is so severe that he even consumes the rat's bait. Fortunately, it had not been tainted by anything. In the eyes of all three girls, their father is to blame for the state of their home. It is said that if their mother were still living, the home would be in better shape. When their mother was still living, she and her husband Durand did not have a nice relationship. Their mothers' side is also being taken by their daughters, who are exclusively blaming their father. When their mother was chastised for her frivolous spending, she threatened to work as a prostitute.
Durand tells his daughters to turn off the stove (fire) and take careful care of their insurance paperwork (draughts) when the wind blows. They'll also get money from their insurance, he says. His daughters are now behaving themselves around him. Therese is unhappy, but he permits her to marry Antonio since he loves her and sees how unhappy she is. This makes Therese pleased and she returns him the match.
He also says that they lost their paternal fortune and utilised maternal property to raise their girls as a result of her mother's recklessness and unwise investment. As a result, they had exhausted their inheritances by the time they were done. It was her mother (Mrs. Durand) who taught children to despise their father (Durand). When she (the mother) blamed her husband for everything, she (the mother) taught her children to dislike their fathers. Because he didn't want his daughters to doubt their mother's integrity, he (Durand) remained silent throughout his whole life.
Durand encourages Adele to act as a mother figure for her sisters. He proposes that the youngest daughter Annette acquire a job as a teacher so that she may be among like-minded others and properly organize her insurance paperwork. Eventually, he downs the poison and the home catches on fire. As a result, Durand sets the home on fire and poisons himself so that his daughters might collect 5,000 francs from the fire insurance as compensation.
Facing Death : Word Meanings
Monsieur (n.): (in countries where French is spoken) a title used before the name of a
man to refer to him, or used alone as a formal and polite form of address
sous (n.): coins in Switzerland. 100 sou coin is equal to five Swiss franc coin, a four
sou coin is twenty Swiss-centime
mortgage (n): an agreement by which money is lent by a building society, bank, etc. for
buying a house or other property, the property being the security
reproach (v.): to blame or criticize somebody/oneself, especially in a sad or disappointed
way, for failing to do something
privation (n): a lack of basic comforts and things necessary for life
promenade (v.): to take a relaxed walk or ride in public, especially in order to meet or be seen by others
francs (n.): the currency of Switzerland
impudence (n.): rudeness; lack of respect; insolence
prerogative (n): a right or privilege, especially one belonging to a particular person or group
scaffold (n): a platform on which people are executed
scamp (n.): a child who enjoys playing tricks and causing trouble
abyss (n.): a hole so deep that it seems to have no bottom
draughts (n.): cracks from where air flows into a house
veiled (adj.): partly hidden
incendiary (adj.): designed to set buildings, etc. on fire
conscription (n.): the act of forcing somebody by law to serve in the armed forces
spook (n.): a ghost
retrogrades (v.): to get worse; to return to a less good condition
exalted (adj.): in a state of extreme spiritual happiness
divulge (v.): to make something known, especially a secret
chiffonier (n): a high chest of drawers, often having a mirror at the top
Who is 'Facing Death August Strindberg' writer, August Strindberg?
Johan August Strindberg (1849–1912) was a Swedish writer, playwright, and painter. Ranked among Sweden's most important authors,his works fall into two major literary movements, Naturalism and Expressionism. His theater tries to create a perfect illusion of reality through detailed sets, an unpoetic literary style that reflects the way real people speak, and a style of acting that tries to recreate reality. Miss Julie (1888), Facing Death (1892), A Dream Play (1902), and The Ghost Sonata (1907) are some of his notable plays.
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