Women granted the right to vote in 1920 with the passage of the Nineteenth Amendment of the United states. Women had a long road of suffrage before gaining their rights as human and the same equality as men. Literature before the 19th century reflects upon the treatment towards women at the time. Male superiority caused women to make many sacrifices by not being able to purse they own ambitions , careers and identity. For example, in the play “ The Doll's House” by Henrik Ibsen, the marriage of Torvald and Nora Helmer was unstable because of the gender inequality. Being controlled by her father and handle over to her husband's authority , Nora was not able to purse her own desires , and identity . Similarly in the short story “The Birthmark” by Nathaniel Hawthorne, the marriage between scientist Aylmer and his wife Georgiana falls apart because he's in love with the idea of perfection and not his wife. Geogiana jeopardizes her life to satisfy Aylmer’s passion of perfection. Another literature that reflects on the same idea is the novel, “Crime and Punishment” by Fyodor Dostoevsky, Sonya pursues the cruel life of a prostitute because her father is incapable of supporting her family. Sonya sacrifices her reputation to keep her family alive. The sacrifices these three women make take them all in different path.
Women start sacrificing from the time they are born, from being taught how to dress up and taught all the house chorus instead of being educated. The father passes his daughter’s hand to their husband and tie her to another bond. In a marriage a strong foundation is required to build a stable relationship. Many times marriage is defined as the male being the dominant provider, while the female takes upon the role of the housewife.Marriage formed on such a constitution is structurally weak and is destined to deteriorate over time.
The play “ A Doll’s House”, is awaking for Nora, the protagonist who realize that her life nor her marriage was not as prefect as she pictured it to be. The first impression of the play beginnings off with Torvald scolding Nora for spending too much money on christmas shopping. Being a woman during the nineteenth-century, Nora follows the ridge society standards that only allows her to be a house wife. Nora has to depend on Torvald to financial support her and plead him for money. Ibsen reflects on “how economic dependence degrades women in a society where respect is based on earning power,where unpaid work in the home is not considered work.”(Roger, 82) Agreeing with Roger’s statement , woman do not get recognized for their hard work raising and keeping the family together simply because they do not get paid for it. Nora’s dependence on Torvald, gives him superiority over Nora.
Torvald and Amyler manipulate their wives to purse their own view of a prefect life and a prefect wife.Torvald and Nora might seen to be the ultimate happy couple of the nineteenth century but it is all a illusion...