The Ring Essay

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Bassoff is Professor of English at the University of Colorado. In the following excerpt, he contends that Lovisa's (here called Lise) encounter with the thief—and the "real world"—results in a dramatic change in her character.

Structuring ["The Diver"] are plot elements that we find also in "The Ring" and "Babette's Feast": a desire for transcendence (represented by the motifs of birds and angels); a fall (or its refusal) caused by the "real world" in which "dreams are tested"; and either new knowledge or resignation, true art or its simulacrum. In "The Ring" Lise, a young, wealthy newlywed wife, muses over her happiness. Unlike the Softa, who wants to transcend everyday life through converse with an angel, Lise feels like the angel herself: the "distant paradise" she shares with her husband has "descended to earth" and is "filled with the things of everyday life." If...

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This section contains 644 words
(approx. 2 pages at 400 words per page)
Buy The Ring Study Guide
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Short Stories for Students
The Ring from Short Stories for Students. ©2005-2006 Thomson Gale, a part of the Thomson Corporation. All rights reserved.