A Doll's House by Henrik Ibsen

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A Doll’s House, by Henrik Ibsen, observes the everyday life of an average Norwegian family. The role that each character plays in this family is very stereotypical. Nora is the obedient housewife and Torvald is the ideal “working man.” The life Nora and Torvald have built crumbles in the end, as a result of flaws in the social order. The responsibilities placed on Nora, Torvald, women, and men limit their freedoms to exist for themselves. Men and women depend too much on each other. If people realize that they are being forced to be and act a certain way, then they will act out against the order. People will truly be free by opting out to the social order. The Yellow Wallpaper by Charlotte Perkins Gilman tells the story of a woman who is plagued by depression. She and her husband, John, move to a mansion in the country. In this house, she must isolates herself in order to cure her disease. This story points out the subordination of women by men. Although John is looking out for the best interests of his wife, he damages her by only looking out for his position as a doctor. If he cannot heal his own wife, that will affect his business. A Doll’s House and The Yellow Wallpaper expand on the discussion of women in society and how society perceived diseases. These works provide a view on what life was like in the past and how the people of that era’s contributions affected life today. Gilman pointed out the abuse of power of men. She changed the medical field by acknowledging that patients’ inputs were very important to finding a cure. Ibsen pointed out the inequality between men and women in marriage and in society. He was one of many who contributed to gender equality. How to Read Literature like a Professor: A Lively and Ente... ... middle of paper ... ...(185). These were the expectations women were held to. A Doll’s House and The Yellow Wallpaper differ in how their characters inherit their disease. A Doll’s House makes Rank’s disease a symbol, while The Yellow Wallpaper realizes that the disease was inherited by real causes. The stories also differ in the effect the characters have towards the letters they write and receive. The letters in A Doll’s House brought the characters grief, while in The Yellow Wallpaper the woman benefited from writing her letters. A Doll’s House and The Yellow Wallpaper uniquely discuss the topics of women’s inferiority, disease, and the significance of letters. Works Cited Gilman, Charlotte Perkins. The Yellow Wallpaper. New York, NY: Feminist at the City University of New York, 1996. Web. Wiesner-Hanks, Merry E. Gender in History. Massachusetts: Blackwell, 2001. Print.

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