The Visit and A Doll’s House Essay

The Visit and A Doll’s House Essay

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One of mankind’s most primordial instincts is to attain power and authority. In the past, power was achieved through fear, but as humans progressed they created money, a symbol of power. Henrick Ibsen, the author of A Doll’s House, was born in 1828 to a rich family, but soon lost their social status as his family went bankrupt. Ibsen soon learned that money played a huge role in society, especially in Norway. On the other hand Dürrenmatt, author of The Visit, held a pessimistic vision of the post-war Europe and the general corruptibility of justice. Both authors imprinted their previously held views into their own corresponding literature. Regardless, both plays utilize money as a motif for vengeance and control. The motif conveys effects like altering people’s opinions, changing the power hierarchy of a society and destroying a person’s reputation. The effect leads to the creation of a society based on corruption because money controls the society rather than ethics. Ibsen and Dürrenmatt feel that conveying this message to the masses is detrimental because ethics rather than money should be the basis of a utilitarian society.
A Doll’s house is based on a semi-aristocratic lifestyle where the family culture is focused around money and materialistic objects. Nora the protagonist makes decisions based on morals and personal choices, whereas Nora’s husband, Torvald, makes decisions based on money illustrating foil characters. In addition, Torvald accuses Krogstad the antagonist of participating in improprieties like money laundering who in turn blackmails Nora on the premise of money to protect his life and even improve it. Nevertheless Kristine, Nora’s companion is a fate-beaten woman who marries for money rather than love and stil...


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...r hierarchy of a society. Though similar in nature, both plays have distinct differences that reflect their time period, society and cultural focus of the society. For example, A Doll’s House uses money to reveal its corrupting effects on society but ultimately focuses on women’s struggle to achieve equality in 1800 Norwegian society whose cultural focus is to subdue women. This culturally focus can be traced and matched with the time period as well because in 1800s women lacked rights both politically and culturally. On the other hand, The Visit uses money to reveal the corruption in society, but focuses on the human ability to differentiate between right and wrong.



Works Cited
Dürrenmatt, Freidrich. The Visit. Trans. Patrick Bowles. New York: Groove Press, 1956. Print
Ibsen, Henril. A Doll’s House. Trans. Rolf Fields. New York: Signet Classics, 1992. Print.

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