A Dolls House: Emblematic of the Struggle for Feminist Equality and the Hopeless Plight of Women During the Victorian Period - Research Paper Example

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Many characters of plays experience a growth and development as a function of the unique set of experiences.However, this character development is plainly and clearly manifest in Henrik Ibsen’s A Doll’s House…
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A Dolls House: Emblematic of the Struggle for Feminist Equality and the Hopeless Plight of Women During the Victorian Period
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"A Dolls House: Emblematic of the Struggle for Feminist Equality and the Hopeless Plight of Women During the Victorian Period"

Download file to see previous pages However, this character development is plainly and clearly manifest in Henrik Ibsen’s A Doll’s House. Ibsen masterfully casts Nora as the type of character which engenders many of the societal, cultural, and feminine norms and mores of the time while at the same time using her character as a vehicle of nuance in escaping from the rigid constraints that society of the given time had placed on women as mothers and wives. Although such a topic was far ahead of Ibsen’s time, he is able to discover the unique and identifiable methods of what constitutes the hopeless and constrained lifestyle that Nora, and so many other women during the period, experienced as a means of the culture and times in which they lived. In this way, the author of this brief analysis will work to distinctively prove that Ibsen related to the reader a female character who tasted of the power and control that was a fixture of the male-dominated aspects of her society; as such, once this was experienced, she began to wish to exercise her will to power within the context of her own actions. Though many scholars who have analyzed the play have argued over the meaning and interpretation of the actions that Nora chooses to pursue, the fact remains that the driving forces of these actions are abundantly clear and up for little debate (Gilmore 23). This brief analysis will review and analyze three distinct fields of character development which set in motion Nora’s abandonment of her given situation and family. These distinct areas include: Nora’s attempt at social/political action/interaction, Nora’s domestic isolation, and the objectification that she experiences as a female member of Victorian society. The first of these elements of course relates to the “political” intrigue or societal interaction that Nora is thrust into the midst of. Although she does not willfully seek out this factor, it has a powerful effect on her development throughout the plot as she is liberated from the norms/mores of what women were traditionally involved with. Rather than engage in meaningless idle chatter, Nora is thrust into the center of a very stressful issue that encourages her to use her powers of coercion, sex appeal, feminine charm, and cunning. The reader is left to understand that this is a first for Nora as the stress of these actions helps to define her character throughout the novel; through this, Nora experiences a sense of liberation. Although this liberation is born out of the experience in general and culminates in her slamming the door at the end of the play and abandoning her family, it clearly develops as a function of her realization that she is truly capable of handling the same complex set of demands that society has previously entrusted to the males (Austin 24). An obvious parallel to this type of political/social emancipation that Nora unwittingly engages is the fact that it bears a striking similarity to the story of Adam and Eve as it relates to the Garden of Eden and the forbidden fruit. The forbidden fruit in this story is of course in regards to a wife entering into the complex dynamics and intrigue that previously defined the “man’s world”. In this way, Nora is experiencing a character development through a similar mechanism. By realizing that she too, at least on a subconscious level, wants to be considered equal to that of her husband, Nora is experiencing the same types of thoughts that are described in the Biblical story of Eve wanting to have the same knowledge as God. Naturally, the second barrier that serves to restrain Nora and further adds to her own character development throughout the play is in regards to the domestic isolation she experiences on a daily ...Download file to see next pagesRead More
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