A Doll 's House And Trifles Essay

A Doll 's House And Trifles Essay

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The plays, A Doll House and Trifles, brilliantly depict the male dominated relationships that were prominent in each playwright’s society. The play, A Doll House, by Henrik Ibsen, shows how women are seen as nothing more than a pretty face. On the other hand, Trifles, by Susan Glaspell, presents the idea that women are loyal to their husbands so they will do as their husbands wish. The concept of women being viewed as harmless creatures by men because they see them as unintelligent is prominent in both works and serves as the focus of each playwright’s critique of the attitudes toward marriage in their own respective societies.
A Doll House shows the protagonist, Nora, being treated by the men in her life as nothing more than a “doll” to dress up. She says that her father called her “his doll-child, and he played with [her] the way [she] played with [her] dolls” (Ibsen 1773) and that her husband, Torvald Helmer, treats her in the same way. She is treated as a naïve individual that cannot handle the bad in the world. Nora lives her life being first told what to do and what to think by her father and then by her husband. She is rewarded for obeying what they say much in the way that an individual might reward their dog. The fact that she is so restricted with almost every activity of her day brings attention to the fact that in Ibsen’s society, a husband typically controlled most aspects of their wife’s life, making them a play thing, and how ridiculous it was.
In the play, Trifles, women are shown to be viewed by society as individuals who live their life in an effort to make their husbands happy. The play depicts a group of individuals at a house that a murder has recently occurred in. The women of the group are gathering things...


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...of intelligence and the woman finding the most incriminating piece of evidence and withholding it, to criticize the way society views women as incapable. She shows that women are able to do the same things men do to the same level of excellence and in some cases even better.
In conclusion, the plays, A Doll House and Trifles, depict male-female relationships that plagued society where males feel superior. Both plays show how women are viewed as unintelligent by society and unable to make their own decisions free of their husbands influence. A Doll House shows how society believes a woman is made to think and act a certain way through bribery from her husband, while Trifles shows society’s view of women doing what their husband wants because of their marriage. Both playwrights use irony to critique these attitudes of their society and show how absurd they really are.

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