The Theme of Emancipation in A Doll's House & Girl by Jamaica Kincaid - Essay Example

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It’s the unending story through the Ages; it’s about him and her! The word marriage has a beautiful meaning. It is supposed to be the happy state of togetherness. Married life is like the scale of justice. …
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The Theme of Emancipation in A Dolls House & Girl by Jamaica Kincaid
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Download file to see previous pages Both arms of the scale are equally important to strike the correct balance. Imbalance leads to many problems. Ibsen in “A Doll’s House” develops a powerful theme—that of emancipation of a woman. What can a doll do? It will be controlled by the string to which it is attached. It has no free movements of its own. That is the type of married life Nora and Torvald live. Nora’s submissiveness to him is seen in every aspect of her life; she is indeed the doll with human physical equipment (body) Forget the movements, even her thoughts are controlled by Torvald. A puppet has no existence of its own, and is totally dependent in its master as to what he will do with her. When Nora learns tarantella, the absolute controlling aspect becomes obvious. Out of sheer submission (and perhaps hidden fear in the mind) Nora pretends that she heeds him to relearn the dance and its each move. Torvald treats Nora like a sex object to be enjoyed at will. He takes her sexual submission for granted and as a matter of right for the husband. After he completes the session of teaching her tarantella dance, Torvald with the urge that reveals his craving for her body says, when she was gyrating, his blood was pounding and obviously he had strong urge for sex. He was constantly observing her physical assets and didn’t care much about her emotions. Nora was in no mood to respond and asked him to go away. Torvald reminded her that he was her husband. This adamancy on the part of Torvald indicates that as a husband he has the right to demand physical pleasure from his wife, at will! Torvald has poor opinion about Nora; he treats her like a child or a slave. She doesn’t have the freedom to spend the money which Torvald gives her on rare occasions. The following conversation reveals the essential gap in their mindset, when Torvald asks her whether she wants anything from him. Henrik Ibsen (2005, p.13) writes, “Nora :( speaking quickly) You might give me some money, Torvald. Only just as much as you can afford; and then one of these days, I will buy something with it. Torvald: But, Nora…. Nora: Oh, do! Dear Torvald; please do! Then I will wrap it up in beautiful gilt paper and hang it on the Christmas Tree. Won’t that be fun?”Torvald thinks that she would spend the money on children goods like candy and pastry. She has a fixed duty schedule of caring for the children, remain engaged in routine household work, and work on her needlepoint. She performs all her assigned duties, the main objective of which is to please Torvald. The issues raised in A Doll’s House by Ibsen, concern not a solitary case of Nora vs. Torvald, but the entire womenfolk of the Victorian Society. There were restrictions around women in every facet of their life. A Doll’s House is not the story of a House, but how the House assumes the form of the prison for the women. They have no freedom of free thinking and their mind is fettered. Nora was treated like a child by her father as well--that was the structure of the society as for the treatment for women! Her husband later dutifully took over the role of dominance. At every stage of life the growth of the women was curtailed. In many societies and in many households, the position of women, even today is comparable to the status of Nora. Even in some advanced countries, her position is equal as per the provisions of the Constitution only—the society still treats her as unequal with antiquated social views regarding women. It is a case of double fault. Women are inclined to use their feminine charm to secure what they want from men and remain satisfied at that level. This is the mindset that one sees in A Doll’s House. Men like Torvald are concerned about the controlling aspect and exercise ...Download file to see next pagesRead More
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