The Ring Essay

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In the following excerpt, Burstein suggests that the conflict between self-identity and social stereotype is experienced by many of the female characters in Dinesen's works. She then explores Lovisa's (here called Lise) struggle with her selfhood in "The Ring."

Because the work of Isak Dinesen reflects her patrician inclinations, her skeptical view of "emancipated" women, and her high regard for the symbolic—rather than the sociological or psychological—value of art, her stories often appear fairly remote from contemporary concerns; in a world animated largely by individual striving for equality and self-realization, Dinesen seems to speak, conservatively, for values that many of us have learned to distrust. And yet, Dinesen's work is deeply rooted in her abiding preoccupation with a problem that is alive in our own time. Experienced as a disjunction between identity and role, or between self-image and social stereotype, this problem has been...

(read more from the Critical Essay #3 section)

This section contains 2,321 words
(approx. 6 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.