How do roles define a man or woman? A famous writer once stated, "When women are seen with pen in hand, they are met immediately with shrieks commanding a return to that life of pain which their writing had interrupted, a life devoted to the women's work, of needle and distaff”(Archangela Tarabotti), thoroughly acknowledges the various struggles experienced by a typical woman in the 19th century. Henrik Ibsen’s play, A Doll's House illustrates the 19th century as a time period when equality among genders was not accepted. The roles of men and women in 19th century consist dominantly of the male, which is exhibited through the household, society, and the workforce.
Primarily, the typical household in the 19th century indicated the male dominance. As the head of the household and ethical leader, the husband was entitled to the house and had full control over the possession of property. Male domination in the household negatively affected women as it caused women to experience imprisonment implemented by the husband or head male of the house. Men felt they had more contribution to the home, since they provided the family with financial support by working out of the house. They were considered to be the breadwinners as it was more acceptable for men to work (Elaine Fortin). Entrenched in customs, the roles of a woman necessitated her to honour and remain obedient to her husband, by complementing her husband. Nora presents the role of a woman of the 19th century as she takes care of the household; meanwhile, Torvald, the head of the family, works in the bank. The fact that Nora does not have possession of the keys to the house, divulges to the audience the lack of power Nora has in the household. Torvald’s depiction of Nora is a ...
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...that being a girl is degrading” (Ian McEwan), demonstrating the control that men continue to have in this time period as well.
Wojtczak, Helena . "Women's Status In Mid 19th-Century Englanda Brief Overview." English Women's History. N.p., n.d. Web. 20 May 2014.
Tarabotti, Archangela . "Words of Wisdom." Women in World History Curriculum. N.p., n.d. Web. 18 May 2014.
"Striking Women." 19th and early 20th century. N.p., n.d. Web. 21 May 2014.
Ibsen, Henrik, and Peter Watts. The league of youth.: a doll's house. The lady from the sea. London: Penguin Books, 1965. Print.
Author’s last name, first name (if available). “Article or entry title.” Title of the website. Website
organization. Publication day month year, or n.d. for “no date”.Web. Day month year retrieved.
“Women in the Victorian era.” Wikipedia. Wikimedia Foundation. 2014-05-21. 2014-05-22
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