Gender Roles In A Doll's House And A Streetcar Named Desire

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Throughout history men and women have had separate roles in and out of the family. Henrick Ibsen’s “A Doll’s House” and Tennessee Williams’ “A Streetcar Named Desire” are two pieces of literature placed within a timeframe in history where these gender roles were essential. From the outside, these two plays appear to be very different; however, a very similar theme runs through both. “A Doll’s House” and “A Streetcar Named Desire” have a very similar take on masculinity and femininity in a marital relationship; men must make all decisions and are dependent on the subordination of the women. Women are dimwitted creatures who must comply with what the men say sacrificing all other dreams. Ibsen and William make one idea evident: Daily life is often led by the stereotypical roles society places on the masculine and feminine genders. Stanley and Helmer, the main men characters of the two plays, seem like they are very different when comparing the two to each other. However, they both follow society’s stereotypical roles. Like all average men, Stanley and Helmer are in charge and must always be at the top in their relationship. When Stella orders her husband to come outside with her, Stanley replies, “Since when do you give me orders?” (Williams) This angry…show more content…
Helmer uses pet names for his wife and calls her “skylark”, “squirrel” and “song-bird. These names dehumanize Nora and make her an animal, showing that Helmer believes he can teach her to listen to him as a person would a pet. When finally coming to the realization of the state of their relationship Nora says, “I think that before all else I am a human being, just as much as you are.” She is not the little doll Helmer thinks she is; one that moves exactly the way he wants her to. Society sees a women as an accessory to a man, not an equal counterpart. A women is no longer even seen as an actual human being when stuck in this type of

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