Gender Relations in A Doll’s House and How Did I Miss You? Essay

Gender Relations in A Doll’s House and How Did I Miss You? Essay

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Gender Relations refers to the power relations between men and women. Under patriarchal society, men and women do not stand on an equal ground, men shows superiority and women have lower status than men. Under patriarchal values, men possess higher status and act a dominant role, women are obliged to live according to their gendered roles, to be submissive. This notion of gender relations is like a culture, it affects how men and women interact and perceive one another, it also propagates though interactions between men and women. The imbalanced power relations between men and women can be found in a lot of Western and Chinese writings.
A Doll’s House is a play written by Henrik Ibsen. In A Doll’s House, Henirk Ibsen presents the female protagonist, Nora, as a conventional woman living in a patriarchal society. Nora had to follow the rules and customs. She always had to mask her unconventional traits in front of her husband. Through the interaction between Nora and Torvald, the imbalanced power relations between men and women is shown. Torvald had more rights than Nora, and he just treated Nora as a possession of him. For Nora, she had to mask herself to accommodate to the patriarchal society. Finally she transformed into a New Women, breakthrough the patriarchal values and leave the confinement to search for her self. Through A Doll’s House, Ibsen criticizes the patriarchal values that society accepts.
For How Did I Miss You, Zhang Xinxin presents the imbalanced power relations between men and women through the nameless female protagonist and male protagonist. They both symbolize the many men and women who lived in China during the Cultural Revolution. In the story, the female protagonist tried hard to pursue equal status wit...


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...ates to men. To become an real individual, a woman has to leave her gendered role and seek her own life. It would be a difficult time for women. Henrik Ibsen thus reminds society of the imbalanced power relations and society should solve the problem. For How Did I Miss You, Zhang Xinxin presents the imbalance of power between female and male sex in China. The female protagonist acts as a mirror of millions of female in China. She suffers due to her unconventional traits and through How Did I Miss You, Zhang Xinxin depicts the difficult process of a woman to pursue an equal status with men.



Works Cited

Henrik Ibsen. Four Major Plays. Trans. James McFarlane and Jens Arup. Oxford: Oxford UP, 1981.
Tam, K.K., Yip, Terry S.H., and Dissanayake, Wmal, eds. A place of one's own : stories of self in China, Taiwan, Hong Kong, and Singapore. New York: Oxford UP, 1999.

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