Further Critical Evaluation of the Work
From the beginning of his career, the conflict between the sexes was one of August Strindberg’s most constant, even obsessive, subjects, and he produced several of the most memorable dramas ever written on the topic, notably THE FATHER (1887), MISS JULIE (1888), and THE DANCE OF DEATH (1901-04). Although, as a one act play, THE LINK may lack the scope and depth of the above masterpieces, it is their equal in thematic directness and dramatic impact. Like other great Strindberg plays, it begins as a starkly naturalistic drama and then, by the sheer intensity of the presentation, assumes larger-than-life, even symbolic, stature.
In the early moments of the play, the inevitable inequity and arbitrariness of the law is demonstrated. The young Judge has no experience and little training for his job. The jury is made up of semi-educated local types who vote according to their provincial prejudices and personal likes and dislikes. The Attorneys have no regard for justice, only a facility in manipulating technicalities in order to collect their fees. But it is the law, itself, which is the major villain.
The injustice to the Baron and Baroness is clearly foreshadowed in the treatment accorded to the honest farmer Alexandersson. Because legal technicalities make it impossible for him to defend himself, and he is unwilling to lie to the court, the farmer is fined and ruined on a slander charge brought against him by an ex-employee—even though the employee was guilty of the accused crime and everyone knows it. All are...
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