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Over 60 ... And Getting Younger: October 12, 2012

Henrik Ibsen (1828-1906)

In the last two months I have become involved with the great Norwegian playwright, Henrik Ibsen. In my class at SUNY Old Westbury, I have had the pleasure of studying A Doll’s House with Professor Narayan Hedge of the English Department. Dr. Hedge is very meticulous and he studies the text line by line. Many subtleties of the text are brought forth and the ideas open up to the average reader.

In addition to A Doll’s House, Lorraine and I purchased tickets to the Manhattan Theater Club’s version of Ibsen’s An Enemy of the People at the Samuel J. Friedman Theater.

Ibsen’s plays deal with moral, social and psychological themes. He challenges the middle class to think about the problems of society.

In A Doll’s House, he deals with Nora. She is the mother of three children and married to Torvald Helmer, a highly principled, condescending character. He treats Nora as if she were a child and she plays that role to make a happy home. She hides her intelligence and ability to uplift Torvald’s ideal. It is a tight drama of female emancipation from the lows and mores of that time period.

Ibsen wrote, “There are two kinds of conscience, one for men and one quite different for women. They don’t understand each other, but the woman is judged by masculine law, as though she was not a woman but a man. A woman cannot be herself in modern society.”

Intellectual freedom and female emancipation were his two major goals. In An Enemy of the People, the hero, Dr. Thomas Stockmann (played magnificently by Boyd Gaines) tells a newspaper that the water supply is laden with bacteria and new pipes must be installed. His brother, the mayor (played by Richard Thomas of The Waltons fame) tries to hush up the problem. Great confrontations by the brothers make for drama, as well as great acting. Once again, Ibsen has portrayed in his play social problems that ring true today.

Individual responsibility in a corrupt world is searching for a just and human society. I was happy and enlightened to be reacquainted with Henrik Ibsen.

News

Thousands of Long Islanders streamed into Burn Park in Massapequa recently for the Town of Oyster Bay’s annual Salute to America concert featuring Dean Karahalis and the Concert Pop Orchestra with fireworks by Grucci.

The event paid tribute to veterans, past and present, and honored three deserving honorees: Guillermo Torres, Plainview’s Robert Reahl and Barbara Tortorice.

Torres is the winner of the Town’s Veteran Lifetime Achievement Award. A Vietnam veteran and Purple Heart recipient, Torres was wounded while on maneuvers.

The kids may be grown. The marriage may have not worked out. Perhaps retirement affords more free time than was anticipated.

Enter The Transition Network, an national social group featuring an active chapter on Long Island that meets regularly at the Plainview-Old Bethpage Library.

Judy Forman, Plainview resident and program co-chair, noted that The Transition Network is an organization of women ages 50 and over who are ‘transitioning’ into the next phase of their lives — whether it be retirement, divorce, losing a loved one or so on — and helping them to meet new people while expanding their horizons.  


Calendar

Movie: Last Vegas

Wednesday, July 23

Women Artists You Should Know

Thursday, July 31

Adult Summer Reading Club

Through Aug. 7



Columns

1959: The Year The Music Stopped Playing
Written by Michael A. Miller, mmillercolumn@gmail.com

The Eccentric Heiress Of ‘Empty Mansions’
Written by Mike Barry, MFBarry@optonline.net

Yellow Margarine And A Pitch For The Ages
Written by Michael A. Miller, mmillercolumn@gmail.com