Limitations on Women in A Doll’s House and Antigone

1417 Words6 Pages
A recent study reported that 6.7% of the top earners of Fortune 500 Companies are women. This number can seem low and discouraging to modern eyes. However, this statistic would probably seem an unimaginable leap forward through the eyes of female characters in historical fiction. Henrik Ibsen, the author of A Doll’s House, offers a glimpse into the restrictions on women in the 1880’s, when the book was written. These include limited opportunities for expression, personal fulfillment, and free will in a male-dominated society. The same restrictions can be seen as early as 440 BC, when Antigone was written. Sophocles, the author of Antigone, goes into immense detail about not only the expectations and roles of women, but also the treatment of women. Both of these authors, Ibsen and Sophocles, show the hardships that many women have endured over the ages. Their literary works offer great insight into the characteristics of Nora and Antigone, the two main characters of the books, who are not only determined, but also independent and brave. Throughout A Doll’s House and Antigone, By Ibsen and Sophocles respectively, the characters Nora and Antigone are both very independent, despite having been written nearly 2000 years apart. Without this characteristic, neither of these literary works would have been notable, as they are both based on the struggles faced by women during the time periods in which these works were written. In A Doll’s House, there are many times in which Nora portrays her independence to the Author. “From you I will accept nothing,” (Ibsen, 198). Nora says this while she is about to leave Torvald and she declines to take anything of his with her, truly showing her independence. Although in this modern age one may loo... ... middle of paper ... ...offering a completely alternative way in which women were a part of society. Depending on the time period of the reader, they can be viewed in two entirely different ways. If one were reading one of these texts at the time in which it was written, the reader may see the text as a different, maybe even blasphemous suggestion as to how women be viewed in society. On the other hand, a reader from present day can look to these texts to better understand the impediments that women faced in nearly all aspects of life. Works Cited Ibsen, Henrik. A Doll's House. World Literature: An Anthology of Great Short Stories, Poetry, and Drama. Columbus, Ohio: McGraw Hill Glencoe, 2004. 140-202. Print. Sophocles. Antigone. World Literature: A Anthology of Great Short Stories, Poetry, and Drama. Columbus, Ohio: McGraw Hill Glencoe, 2004. 14-57. Print.
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