Gender Roles in Henrik Ibsen´s A Doll´s House, Gail Godwin´s A Sorrowful Women and Andrea Potos´ Depending on the Light

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In Henrik Ibsen’s short story A Doll’s House, Gail Godwin’s “A Sorrowful Women”, and Andrea Potos’ “Depending on the Light”, the characters reactions revel the author’s attitudes challenging the traditional roles of men and women.
The authors used different attitudes and mediums, but each challenges the traditional roles of men and women. Andrea Potos’ poem, “Depending on the Light”, emits a nostalgic tone that is evident throughout. As the narrator puts on lipstick, she sees her “mother again carefully coloring inside the lines.” The flashback depicts the narrators mother putting “on her face” in anticipation of her father’s homecoming. This whisks her back to contently sitting on her mother’s bed watching her put on her make-up. This memory conjures reminiscent similarities of the narrator and her mother. Gail Godwin takes a much different tone in her short story, “A Sorrowful Women”; it has a heartbreaking and compassionate tone. This illustrates Godwin’s sympathetic sadness for the woman who is trapped in the traditional role of wife and mother. This woman feels she should desire this conventional role, but does not want to fill that role anymore. Henrik Ibsen also takes a different approach in his play, A Doll’s House, by using a prominent feminist tone. This unveils his true disposition and thoughts on the customary roles of men and women. Ibsen has a matter of fact unwavering opinion about the roles of men and women. His beliefs are expressed through Nora’s calm and determined demeanor when informing Torvald of her decision to leave. The author was always empathetic to Nora throughout the story which continued to emphasize the authors view.
“Depending on the Light” is unique in the aspect that we do not have a tradition...

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...nitially considering the idea is overwhelmed, “She took up her pen and pad and began working from words that had lately lain in her mind…. She pondered these possibilities until she tottered into a larger choice: she did not have to write a sonnet. Her poem could be six, eight, ten, thirteen lines, it could be any number of lines, and it did not even have to rhyme.” Poetry is stereotypically thought to rhyme and her consideration of writing an unconventional poem using free verse is allegorical to her relinquishing her traditional role. In the end, her death is symbolic of the death of the stereotypical women’s role.
Henrik Ibsen, Gail Godwin, and Andrea Potos use different literary techniques, mediums, and tones, but they all challenge the pre-established and preconceived notions of the roles of men and women; and in doing so encourage their readers to do the same.

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