During the late 1800s, gender inequality was one of the common issues that existed in the society. Men and women were often distinguished among themselves. Men were regularly portrayed as the one who had power and strength, whereas women were supposed to do all the household work and they were seen as weak and trivial. Henrick Ibsen shows a prefect illustration of this example in the play A Doll’s House. Ibsen develops a notion of how the existence of gender roles in society affected one’s lives. The protagonist Nora, whose identity is shaped after seeing her husband’s actions, which depicts his beliefs of gender inequality, demonstrates this idea.
In order to do so, she uses a neutral writing and creates an ambiguity about her own her gender that gives credibility tot her work and depth to her progressive ideas to the eyes of whomever is reading it. However, this gender-neutral style is from time to time interrupted with clues of her own femininity as she clarifies that she is talking ‘for’ her sex, and while she may sometimes talks ‘against’ it with an hostility usually reserved to misogynistic men, she never talks ‘as’ her sex. This back and forth between defense and offense underlines her own position regarding her gender; she establishes herself as a spokesperson on one hand (woman/female) but acts as just another oppressor on the other (man/male). This ambivalence of language results in her ending up in the middle of the gender spectrum (it is clear she belongs to a specific gender but she refuses its limitations), that very fact allows her to talk to and about both men and women with an equal lucidity. With this lucid thinking, she wishes to obtain the approval of both genders as both are needed for the problem of women’s subordination to be
In society, an ideal man is perceived as the bread winner who guides his family to victory or survival; his wife on the other hand stands by his side to see the family part. The qualities of a man consist of great character to the action he takes for his family to achieve greatness. On the other hand women’s qualities are ordinary gentile, caring, and meant to endure through everything to protect the ones they love. Although these two qualities pose a contradiction, this does not mean the traits of a man and a woman could not ever intertwine. Men are considered to be the dominate species until Henrik Ibsen’s 1879 play A Doll’s House challenges the power that men think they are entitled to have over women.
In each of these plays, the protagonist is a woman who has a very independent mindset, but is limited by society in how much she is able to do for herself. For example, after Antigone buries Polynices, she tries to defend what she did to Creon. However, he refuses to listen to her because he doesn’t want to seem like he would listen to a woman (Sophocles 37). His refusal shows that men are supposed to be dominant over women and a man who listens to a woman is not masculine. It also represents the idea that during this time period, women have no valuable opinion. Additionally, in A Doll’s House, Nora is criticized for taking out the loan on her own, like when Mrs. Linden says, “Why, a wife can’t borrow without her husband’s consent!" (Ibsen 151). This criticism demonstrates the idea that women are unable to make their own decisions and decide things for themselves. It also shows the belief that only men have the sense to make a business deal, and w...
The Greek theme of women suffering at the hands of men continues with the myth of Iphigenia. In the most famous incident of sacrifice of a young person, a prophet tells Agamemnon that in order to cease the wrath of Artemis so that he may sail to Troy, he must appease her by sacrificing one of his daughters, Iphigenia. This story is told by the playwright Aeschylus in his drama...
Literature normally touches on traditional gender stereotypes and the role of the society in building those gender biases. From earlier centuries, gender stereotyping is closely intertwined with every aspect of the social fabric. The play, A Doll 's House by Henrik Ibsen presents a critical reflection of marital norms of the nineteenth-century. This three-act play revolves around the need of every individual, particularly women, to discover oneself, and how they have to strive to establish their identities. This aesthetically shaped play depicts traditional gender roles and the subsequent social struggles that every woman encounter in a stereotyped society. Though, Nora fits rightly to the nineteenth century social norm of submissive housewife
However, well beneath the surface of the plotline, the viewer can also find himself or herself looking at a struggle for survival that is greatly affected by the roles of genders. Collins asks many questions regarding this; such as “If young girls do not see themselves reflected in media, will this diminish their sense of importance and self-esteem? Will boys conclude that women and girls are unimportant, as well? Will girls lack role models? Will adult women feel disenfranchised? Does the under-representation of women constrict societal perspectives and information in important ways?” (Collins). If Becky had not followed the standard gender role that the frame of time presented itself, she may have seen herself surviving the endeavor, despite almost no chance of her doing so. It is one of those things that today’s society may be glad to have moved past, because there is no reason for anyone to lose their life because they rely so heavily on the opposite
Beatrice's refusal to be controlled by men and Hero's subservience carries echoes of modern-day feminism. Comparing this novel to a contemporary society, women have made a substantial amount of progress in terms of gender roles. It is women like Beatrice, and the many others that choose to defy the expectations that are placed upon us by society, that help us progress to a more utopian civilization. This novel can be read by future generations to reflect back on how much we have changed and how much we have progressed, not only as women, but as humans in general. Additionally, this play also serves as one of the world's greatest odes to the single life known to man.
Over the course of time, the roles of men and women have changed dramatically. As women have increasingly gained more social recognition, they have also earned more significant roles in society. This change is clearly reflected in many works of literature, one of the most representative of which is Plautus's 191 B.C. drama Pseudolus, in which we meet the prostitute Phoenicium. Although the motivation behind nearly every action in the play, she is glimpsed only briefly, never speaks directly, and earns little respect from the male characters surrounding her, a situation that roughly parallels a woman's role in Roman society of that period. Women of the time, in other words, were to be seen and not heard. Their sole purpose was to please or to benefit men. As time passed, though, women earned more responsibility, allowing them to become stronger and hold more influence. The women who inspired Lope de Vega's early seventeenth-century drama Fuente Ovejuna, for instance, rose up against not only the male officials of their tiny village, but the cruel (male) dictator busy oppressing so much of Spain as a whole. The roles women play in literature have evolved correspondingly, and, by comparing The Epic of Gilgamesh, Sir Gawain and the Green Knight, and The Wife of Bath's Prologue, we can see that fictional women have just as increasingly as their real-word counterparts used gender differences as weapons against men.
Kutcher, E., Bragger, J., Rodriguez-Srednicki, O, & Masco, J., (2010). The role of religiosity in