Comparing Social Criticism in A Doll’s House and To Kill a Mockingbird

Comparing Social Criticism in A Doll’s House and To Kill a Mockingbird

Length: 912 words (2.6 double-spaced pages)

Rating: Excellent

Open Document

Essay Preview

More ↓

Social Criticism in A Doll’s House and To Kill a Mockingbird


In A Doll’s House, Ibsen criticizes society and the ways of life in that time. Ibsen shows this in Torvold’s overwhelming power and control over Nora. This is also seen in the way that Women are weakened by society. Lastly it is shown in the way that Torvold tries to maintain a good reputation to the public. Ibsen critics many different aspects of society from the way that the male figure is so dominant in marriage, next how the woman does not have much of a role in society, and finally how reputation is more important than morals.

            First is the way that the marriage between Torvold and Nora is put to shame due to the overpowering actions of Torvold. One example of Torvold’s dominance was his forbiddance of macaroons in the house. Another was the way that he dressed her for the Costume party. All this time Nora had pretty much been loyal and listened to all of what Torvold had said, and then the one time that Torvold cold have been loyal to Nora and believed her and been on her side he didn’t and instead was thinking about himself. This shows how much of a one-sided marriage it was and how it was a mock on society, mainly the ways of the upper class.

 Next is the criticism of the role of the women in society. It was basically a time where the woman could not do anything for herself. An example of this from the book is the loan that Nora took out to save Torvold’s life. Nora could not take out the loan herself due to the fact that she was a women and only men could take out loans, a women could only take out a loan if they had the consent of a husband or a father. Due to the fact that she was doing this for Torvold she went ahead and forged the documents knowing that it was wrong and could end up getting her into trouble. This was a total mockery on society due to fact that even though Nora was doing this to save the life of her husband she not only was not aloud to do it but then Torvold found out he was not happy she saved his life but mad about what it could do to him.

How to Cite this Page

MLA Citation:
"Comparing Social Criticism in A Doll’s House and To Kill a Mockingbird." 13 Nov 2019

Need Writing Help?

Get feedback on grammar, clarity, concision and logic instantly.

Check your paper »

Essay on The Mockingbirds in To Kill a Mockingbird, by Harper Lee

- Walt Whitman’s 1859 poem “Out of the Cradle Rocking Endlessly” depicts the mockingbird as a symbol of innocence that chants or sings of fond memories from the past. By contrast, Harper Lee’s famous novel To Kill a Mockingbird, published in 1960, written almost a century after Whitman’s poem, portrays the mockingbird as innocent but as a fragile creature with horrific memories – memories of discrimination, isolation, and violence. Harper Lee wrote her novel, which is rooted in the fictional town of Maycomb, Alabama, in the Deep South, during a time of segregation and discrimination, social issues which can be seen not only in the novel but were witnessed by Harper Lee in her own life....   [tags: To Kill a Mockingbird Essays]

Research Papers
1988 words (5.7 pages)

Comparing The Play ' The Glass Menagerie ' And ' A Doll 's House ' Essay

- The unlikely pair of “The Glass Menagerie” by Tennessee Williams and “A Doll House” by Henrik Ibsen do share multiple similarities in their domestic situations and in the things they chose to do. . When comparing these two plays you also have to keep in mind about how that both the plays were done in different time periods. Therefore things are going to be different when it comes to the roles of the women. With the “The Glass Menagerie” and “A Doll House” all the characters have flaws, lived in different time period, felt like they were trapped in ways, and reacted to things differently....   [tags: Henrik Ibsen, A Doll's House, Norway]

Research Papers
1268 words (3.6 pages)

Barbie Doll Fantasy Exposed in Marge Piercy’s Barbie Doll Essay

- Is Barbie the model woman. For generations girls have played with this doll and many have aspired to be just like her: the party girl, career women and the beauty queen all wrapped into one. In Marge Piercy’s poem entitled “Barbie Doll” the title foreshadows the theme of the poem which is that girls are ultimately and fatally entrapped by society’s narrow definitions of feminine behavior and beauty. When Piercy compares the young lady in the poem to a Barbie doll she is revealing the irony of the title....   [tags: Barbie Doll Essays]

Research Papers
1603 words (4.6 pages)

Essay Social Difference In To Kill A Mockingbird

- Social differences have changed incredibly in the last decades. The world has known an evolution that no one could have predicted. Aspects such as racism, social class and individual perception have differed drastically and now represent a modern open-minded world. The multiculturism boost our country and our world has known has brought a new wave of cultural, racial and social differences. The world has changed for the better and communities as well as individuals are now more open to differences in others....   [tags: Harper Lee Mockingbird Analysis]

Free Essays
1249 words (3.6 pages)

Essay about The Mockingbirds of To Kill a Mockingbird, by Harper Lee

- “Mockingbirds don’t do one thing but make music for us to enjoy.” Those were the words spoken by Miss Maudie Atkinson. She tries to tell Jem about why mockingbirds should not be killed. Although there are many characters in the novel, the mockingbirds that were the most obvious in the story were Tom Robinson, Boo Radley, and Mrs. Dubose. Even though there are many other characters to choose from, the most obvious mockingbirds are Tom Robinson, Boo Radley, and Mrs. Dubose. The way that Boo Radley was (theoretically) killed (by society), is the fact that he is not extremely religious....   [tags: To Kill a Mockingbird Essays]

Research Papers
555 words (1.6 pages)

Essay about The Mockingbirds of To Kill a Mockingbird, by Harper Lee

- “Mockingbirds don’t do one thing but make music for us to enjoy. That’s why it’s a sin to kill a mockingbird.” (p.90) Miss. Maudie, one of the main protagonists in To Kill a Mockingbird, warns the young girl Scout that mockingbirds should not to be killed or hunted down because they represent those who are kind and innocent. So, on a broader spectrum, the term “to kill a mockingbird” symbolizes cruel and improper behavior towards people with good hearts and intentions. In the town of Maycomb, unethical behaviors, such as prejudice and gossip, are most commonly used against the “mockingbirds”....   [tags: To Kill a Mockingbird Essays]

Research Papers
1256 words (3.6 pages)

Essay on A Doll's House: Social Lie and Duty

- Social Lie and Duty in A Doll's House The play A Doll's House, by Henrik Ibsen, is concerned with the conflict between social lie and duty. This play is about women's need for independence and her obligations to family and society. We can easily recognize sacrifice and guiltlessness in the play. One can follow a theme through the play by looking at Nora -- the heroine. Who is Nora Helmer. She is the beloved wife of Torvald Helmer. They have a very nice, cozy house, and they have three kids. They have been married for eight years....   [tags: A Doll's House Essays]

Free Essays
787 words (2.2 pages)

Social Prejudices in Harper Lee's To Kill A Mockingbird Essay

- Social Prejudices in Harper Lee's To Kill A Mockingbird North America has always had the division of Northern and Southern states within the continent. When Negroes were imported from their native country, most of them ended up in the Southern states, working mostly on cotton plantations. In 1850, over three million blacks lived in the slave states, the vast majority of them being slaves to white men. Generally, it was accepted by Southern whites that ‘all Negroes lie, all Negroes [were] basically immoral beings’ and that they were heathen, lazy and stupid....   [tags: To Kill a Mockingbird Essays]

Research Papers
1852 words (5.3 pages)

Essay on Social Class and Family Groups in To Kill a Mockingbird

- How far do you think Harper Lee has effectively shown social class and family groups to be important at that time. The rigid class structure and social stratification of Maycomb County had a profound effect on the events in the novel To Kill a Mockingbird by Harper Lee. The impact of this class structure was especially evident in the trial of Tom Robins on, a Maycomb Negro. The extreme prejudice of the town eventually led to the unjust conviction of Robinson for a crime he did not commit. Family groups were also seen to be important....   [tags: To Kill a Mockingbird Essays]

Research Papers
1190 words (3.4 pages)

A Doll's House Essay

- A Doll's House The author, Henrik Ibsen, who wrote other social commentary plays (like Ghosts, Enemy Of The People, and Pillars Of Society), made a departure in this plays ending by having the protagonist run away rather than staying to set an example and continuing to struggle for the better along side others. This scenario creates a sad, troubling and for Nora unjustified ending as she, the protagonist in A Doll's House, leaves Torvold, her husband. She destroys any hope that married couples can reconcile differences and learn to change and grow with one another....   [tags: A Doll's House Essays]

Free Essays
2389 words (6.8 pages)

Related Searches

Therefore showing the very weak role of women in society by saying that Torvold would have rather died then have a women save him.

Last is the idea that in the upper class of society the most important part of your life is how others portray you, bringing me to my next topic which is how Torvold's reputation was more important than his family life and morals. As was sad before Nora had been very loyal to him for the years of their marriage and then when it came to the point where Torvold could return the favor to Nora by defending her and he was more concerned with making sure it doesn’t get out so that his reputation would not be ruined. Ibsen is criticizing the social ways in this situation due to the shallowness of the upper class in dealing with this sort of problem.

Another author that criticizes society in his work is Harper Lee. In the novel To Kill a Mockingbird Lee does a great job at putting down and mocking society. The difference between Ibsen's criticism and Lee criticism was that while Ibsen focused on the upper class, Lee’s criticism is focused more towards the lower class. An example of criticism in the novel is the way that a black person of that time and place was unjustly accused of a crime just because the color of his skin, and even if their was evidence to support and prove him innocent the jury of all white men would probably convict him once again because the color of his skin. This also brings up the fact that even though Atticus Finch was a lawyer and it was his job to defend the defendant, he was still pressured by the white community even to the point where his life was threatened just for doing his job. Although this is only a couple examples of criticism it gives a similar idea to that of Ibsen, being that society is full of flaws and the only they can be changed is by criticism to try to connect to the social ways and change them.

In conclusion Ibsen criticizes a wide range of social issues of the time. Now although there are three different examples of his criticism there seems to be a relationship between the three, and that is the fact that they are all mocking the ways of the upper class. From having a fake and overpowering one-sided marriage to being fake to preserve ones reputation to the lacking role of women in society Ibsen manage to do a good job of mocking the ways of life then. Finally even though it was probably not only the upper class for the sake of arguments we will say that it was and the examples and arguments that I have presented all lead to one thing and that is that the upper class in society is not only fake in their actions, and to the point of the women’s roll to be so miniscule, but also very concerned with others opinions.
Return to