Feminism In A Doll's House

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In order to explore the theme of feminism in Henrik Ibsen’s play, A Doll’s House, the following must be considered: the roles men and women are expected to have, what feminism is, the different ways that feminism can be shown in the play, and finally how feminism effects marriage. The roles that men and women are expected to have is a major contributor to the different ways that feminism is shown in the play, as well as how feminism effects marriage. Therefore, there must be a clear understanding as to what these expectations are so that the effects of following or rejecting these roles can be seen. In addition, there has to be knowledge of how following or rejecting these roles influences feminism in this play. Another thing that must be understood in order for there to be a clear viewpoint on what is being analyzed in Ibsen's work is what feminism is. The expected roles of men and women in the nineteenth-century differ from what is expected of both men and women today. However, the expectation of men’s roles has not changed nearly as drastically as women’s roles have since this time period. Just as Ibsen displayed in his play men were expected to be the one who was stronger, smarter, and the breadwinner for his family. Whereas, women were expected to be weaker, less educated, and the homemaker for her family. During this time period women did not maintain careers like women today do, it was especially rare for a women to even obtain much education. Often times if a women had an education it made others think of her as less of a woman. Margret Walter’s gives us an example of this in her book, Feminism: A Very Short Introduction, when she states that when, “Working with the scholar Roger Ascham, Elizabeth [the Queen of England] b... ... middle of paper ... ...women suffer discrimination because of their sex, that they have specific needs which remain negated and unsatisfied, and that the satisfaction of these needs would require a radical change (some would say a revolution even) in the social, economic, and political order. But beyond that, things immediately become more complicated. " (Mitchell and Oakley). Throughout this play the social and economic order shown to be areas that women are discriminated against. The book What is feminism? also states, "In the writing of feminist history it is the broad view which predominates: feminism is usually defined as an active desire to change a women's position in society" (Mitchell and Oakly). This is the definition that works the best for all forms of feminism, but to clarify in this play specifically it is the economic and sicial roles of women that are actively changing.

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