The Theme of Superiority

1479 Words6 Pages
How do the authors, Strindberg and Ibsen, portray the theme of superiority in “Miss Julie” and “A Doll’s House”. In both “Miss Julie” and “A Doll’s House”, August Strindberg (1888), and Henrik Ibsen (1879) present the theme of superiority in various ways. Superiority can be seen from many sides, Social superiority, the superiority of men over women and at different points the superiority of women over men feature in both plays. At the time both plays were written, the naturalistic movement was taking place and one of the four principles suggested that “human beings have no free will, or very little of it, because hereditary and environment are so powerful in determining the course of human action”. This essay will look at the ways in which Strindberg and Ibsen present superiority in both plays. The environment is one of the most powerful tools; in addition to the main characters in order to assist both playwrights to portray the theme of superiority. A common assumption is that men are superior to women. Stronger, smarter, less emotional but that does not mean that the statement is true. Furthermore both playwrights suggest this superiority by presenting how the male protagonists control the female characters. This theory, of men superior to women, is acutely illustrated by Jean’s performance towards the end of the play when he is asked by Miss Julie to order her. “I can’t repent, can’t run away, can’t stat, can’t live – can’t die. Help me! Order me, and I’ll obey you like a dog. Do me this last service” . Miss Julie is clearly wishing for Jean to tell her what to do because she does not know how to be independent. She is a very unsecure woman that tends to feel safer having a man by her side, indicating her exactly what to... ... middle of paper ... ... for her father but at the same time Miss Julie is superior to him in the social class and style. Finally, Helmer can control Nora all he wants with his money and his little pet nicknames but when Nora starts to realise this, as the play develops, she matures in the way she thinks and tries to find a way out of her hopeless marriage with Helmer, leaving him companionless. Bibliography 1. Angier, Natalie. Men, Women, Sex and Darwin 2. Ibsen, Henrik. A Doll’s House. (Great Britain: Methuen London Ltd, 1985) 3. Larouse, American Pocket (Mexico: Chambers Harrap Publishers Ltd) No date of publication. 4. Strindberg, August. Miss Julie. (United Kingdom: Methuen Publishing Ltd, 2006) 5. Truth, Sojourner, Ain´t I a woman?
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