However, soon it is obvious that the frivolous ‘doll’ like nature that Nora exhibits in front of Torvald is not her real nature and she is not really the play thing that he thinks. Ibsen portrays Nora as submissive to her husband, as she is confined by the societal values of their era. Females during the nineteenth century displayed an inferior gender role when compared to males. Nora fits rightly to this submissive role even sacrificing her own happiness for her husband. For instance, when Nora is in a situation to make a tough decision in life, she sacrifices her own self-worth and respect to serve her husband and family.
She is strong inside but doesn't tend to show that side of her as much as she would want to. She tends to play the peace-maker in her marriage and is always trying to understand Othello. Throughout the play she struggles to prove her loyalty and respect to her husband, no matter what it takes she tries to be a good wife. At the beginning of the play when Brabantio, confronts Othello and Desdemona about their relationship, she does not hesitate to defend her husband to her father, regardless of the consequences she faced. She is brought in by her father to the court to be questioned for her actions, she replies with utter respect to her father, but devotion to her husband".
Edna stays married because divorce was unheard of in those days. She wants to marry Robert, but he will not because it will disgrace her to leave her husband. No matter how much Edna exceeds social boundaries, she is held down by the will of others, despite what she wants. In today's world divorce, sadly, is almost commonplace, but in her time she would have been an outcast of her society. By the end of The Awakening, Edna feels like a possession - of her husband, of her children, and of her society.
Likewise, In the yellow wallpaper, the narrator talks about her authoritative husband. Gilman starts the story by introducing the two main characters of the story John and Jane, the narrator. The narrator is mentally unstable. He forces her to visit the doctor, who wants to say no but couldn’t resist. He doesn’t believe she is sick and he talks about the treatment she says “I sometimes fancy that in my condition if I had less opposition and more society and stimulus (Gilman).” She disagrees with the treatment yet she doesn’t have any choice other than listening to her husband and her opinions doesn’t really matter.
When other women see his treatment of Edna, they believe him to be a perfect husband. Edna, however, sees him as being distant and reserved. Though he gives her material freedom, he sees her as a possession. He provides little emotional support and cannot fill any of Edna's rising sexual needs. "Her husband seemed to her now like a person whom she had married without love as an excuse" (77).
“Edna felt that her marriage would anchor her to the conventional standards of society and end her infatuation” (Skaggs 30). She is fond of Leonce, but he does not incite passionate feelings. Edna represents women in the past that were suppressed. These women weren't allowed to give their opinions and were often seen as objects, which explains the way her husband never really saw Edna as his wife, but more as a material possession. “You are burnt beyond recognition, he added, looking at his wife as one looks at a valuable piece of personal property which has suffered great damage” (Chopin 2).
No matter the level, deceit is a constant in the relationship. This outwardly typical, happy marriage is anything but. In fact, the interactions between husband and wife serve a specific purpose: they illustrate the banality of the discourse between the two. Torvald does not address his wife regarding any subject of substance. Instead, he bestows her with pet names that often begin with the personal pronoun “my” and often include the diminutive “little”: “Is that my little lark?” In this respect, Torvald may think he is flattering his wife.
Initially, she is described as an intellectual who is able to discern societal norms. Yet later, she accepts them after noticing it might be in her best interest to conform. Daisy was considering to shatter the tacit rules within society when she was thinking of leaving her husband Tom for a bootlegging newly rich man, Jay Gatsby. But, the vision deteriorates as she resists her urges and returns to her role as the passive wife. Her inability to react to Tom's extramarital affairs indicates that she understood her position as a wife required that she accept her husband's unfaithfulness, despite her internal turmoil.
In her struggle to keep the borrowed money from her husband’s knowledge Nora begins a transformation from dependence of Torvald, to being self-efficient, self-worthy, and self-independent—qualities women of her time lacked of—because all, such as Nora never displayed a mind of their own. At the end, when Nora’s secret is revealed to Torvald and his reaction is to condemn her for borrowing the money, Nora realizes that she no longer fears her husband’s reaction; she is no longer worried of keeping appearances of what society says she should be as a wife, and mother. The secret that Nora tries very hard to keep hidden, gives her the opportunity to discover herself as an individual, and what she is capable of doing regardless the constraints of society. In fact, Nora’s first display of self-sufficiency happened when Torvald “fell deathly ill [and] the doctors said it was essential for him to travel south” (799) At the time Nora and Torvald did not count with money to make the trip, and knowing that Torvald would never agree to borrow money, Nora “was the one who raised the money” (801) She ingeniously managed to convince her husband to travel South without having to con... ... middle of paper ... ...She listened to Torvald ramble about her wrong doings and how embarrassing is for him, while “he never understood [her]” (842) With a determined look she tells him “I’ve been wronged greatly, Torvald—first by Papa, and then by you…I went from Papa’s hands into yours…Now when I look back, it seems as if I’d lived here like a beggar—just from hand to mouth. I’ve lived by doing tricks for you, Torvald” (843) Nora now knows all that she has ever done for her husband was out of duty; she had to behave a certain way because society dictated it that way.
The freedom to be ourselves is an important one, and is one worth standing up for. In the “Story of an Hour,” the main character, Mrs. Mallard, has lost her identity because of her husband. With the death of Mr. Mallard, Mrs. Mallard exclaims that, “there would be no powerful will bending her in that blind persistence with which men and women believe they have a right to impose a private will upon a fellow creature”(Chopin 222). Often, people in relationships try to mold the other person to fit to their needs. Through Mrs. Mallard’s eyes, this influence whether “a kind intention or a cruel intention made the act seem no less a crime…” (Chopin 222).