Parallels between A Doll’s House and The Awakening Essay

Parallels between A Doll’s House and The Awakening Essay

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Throughout history, society often places women inferior to men, causing women to be predisposed to obeying their husband without a second thought. However, when a woman begins to question the idea of loyalty and obedience, her eyes are often opened to the mold that she is encased in and becomes determined to break through and develop her self-potential. In Henrik Ibsen’s A Doll’s House and Kate Chopin’s The Awakening, the main female character is put through a revelation that changes her life forever.
Through their quest to find their own freedom and individuality, Nora Helmer, from A Doll’s House, and Edna Pontellier, from The Awakening, each uniquely discovers themselves. Since the beginning of the play, Nora was very loyal to her husband and even told him how she would “not think of going against your [his] wishes” (Ibsen 6). However, she does not act like an individual because she is controlled by her husband, along with other men, and acknowledges their role as her superiors (Ibsen 20). After Torvald, Nora’s husband, finds out about her secret, she finally understands, that since she was little, her role in society was primarily to be a “doll-child” and a “doll-wife” for the men in her life (Ibsen 87-8). In contrast, Edna got to a point in her life where she just neglected her role established by society because she was tired of being treated as property rather than a person. She spends time without her husband, grows accustomed to the idea of freedom, and discovers her longing for a role as an individual in the world (Chopin 23). Edna tries to escape the obligations that belong to many women of that time like raising the children or waiting for visitors. As Nora is compared to a “doll-wife”, Edna is portrayed as a bird,...

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... freedom (Chopin 171). In order to grow and develop on their own, Nora and Edna needed various sources of relationships that would shape them throughout the novel positively or even negatively. Relationships influenced them in ways that brought about their own awakening.
Breaking the status quo often takes a strong individual who undergoes a transformation that changes them forever. Nora Helmer and Edna Pontellier both choose to lead a new life, free from any responsibilities or limits. Through both of their journeys, the audience experiences a rebirth of their own, looking at their interests and ideas instead of waiting for the acceptance from others.

Works Cited

Chopin, Kate. The Awakening and Selected Short Stories. Salt Lake City: Project Gutenberg, 2006. Kindle File.
Ibsen, Henrik. A Doll's House. Salt Lake City: Project Gutenberg, 2005. Kindle File.

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