Henrik Ibsen: Focusing on the Right’s of Women Essay

Henrik Ibsen: Focusing on the Right’s of Women Essay

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A man, intoxicated and impoverished, lay on the dirty streets of patriarchal Norway and as the jeering citizens sauntered by, they could have never guessed that this man, Henrik Ibsen, would be the Prometheus of women’s rights and the creator of the modern play. Having been born in 1828, Ibsen lived through various examples of the subjection of women within the law, such as Great Britain allowing men to lock up and beat their wives “in moderation” (Bray 33). Therefore, Ibsen was known for his realistic style of writing within both poetry and plays, which usually dealt with everyday situations and people (31). Focusing on the right’s of women, Ibsen’s trademark was “...looking at these problems without the distortions of romanticism” and often receiving harsh criticism for doing so (31). In an attempt to support his family, Ibsen became a pharmaceutical apprentice, but after three years he abandoned this profession and took up poetry writing. After an apprenticeship in the theater, he began writing his own plays, including a drama in verse, Peer Gynt (31). While working and writing in Norway, Ibsen and several social critics observed “...the penalty society pays when only half of its members participate fully as citizens” and decided to flee Norway in hopes of finding a more accepting social environment (33). Ibsen wrote A Doll’s House, his most famous work about women suffering through the oppressive patriarchal society, while living primarily in Germany and Italy where he “...was exposed to these social norms and tensions to a much greater extent than he would have been had he remained solely in Norway” (32). While Sweden, Norway, and Denmark began to grant legal majority to women, Ibsen understood the legal improvements for wo...


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...e spoke out against Helmer and said that she has “…other duties just as sacred… [d]uties to [herself]” (78). Finally, Mill concludes by explaining that women are the only one’s who understand and can truly identify the oppression they have lived under, yet few women speak up because their voices will be refuted (438). However unlike most women, Nora finally speaks up for herself as she admits that she is leaving Helmer. Nora has finally discovered the cage she has been trapped in and the fake man that she has married and as she leaves she says, “…it dawned upon [her] that for eight years [she] had been living here with a strange man, and had borne him three children” (80). She explains to Helmer that she has been living under the illusion that she was happy, but in reality she was just a little skylark chirping for her owner and now she has finally been set free.

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