Women’s Rights and Identity in August Strindberg’s The Stronger
Identity formation is believed to be a lifelong cultural, psychological and cognitive process where people negotiate their identity. As I examine identity formation in Strindberg’ play, I draw on works by psychological scholars, including Erik Erickson, Kenneth Gergen and Elli Schachter and cultural writers, such as Manfred Jurgensen, Homi Bhabha and Stuart Hall, to position Strindberg’s exploration of women’s identity within psychological and cultural frames. While Gergen, Schachter, Jurgensen, Bhabha and Hall assert that identity structure is an ongoing process that continues over all stages of human life, others, Erik H. Erikson, claim that the pace of identity formation lessens dramatically, if not ceases, at later stages of adulthood. In this paper, I investigate identity formation in August Strindberg’s one-act play, The Stronger. In this play, Strindberg presents us with two women struggling to get to grips with their competition for one male. Arguably, this competition influences enormously their psychology and identity structure. Relying on Ewa Topolewska-Siedzik and Jan Cieciuch, ‘Models of Personal Identity Formation: A Preliminary Picture from the Lifespan Perspective’ (2019), I argue that in this play, Strindberg presents two modes of identity formation, namely, diffusion an is a good example to reflect Strindberg’s reaction to Women’s rights and em d petrification that remain unchanged. Moreover, I suggest that the play ancipation.