Leaps And Bounds Towards Feminism Essay

1992 words - 8 pages

“There are two kinds of spiritual law, two kinds of conscience, one in man and another, altogether different, in women. They do not understand each other; but in practical life the women is judged by man’s law, as though she were not a woman but a man.” Those words were said by the great Henrik Ibsen himself. Henrik Ibsen was born on March twentieth eighteen twenty eight in Skien, Norway. He grew up in poverty following the demise of his father’s business. He was exiled to Italy, and then moved on to Germany. Ibsen wrote A Doll’s House in 1879, while in Germany. He sought to question social practices in the real world, and women’s position in society. He was commonly known as “The Father of Modern Drama”. Ibsen’s A Doll’s House was published in 1879 and first performed shortly after in the same year and month. The play turned out to be very controversial, which lead Ibsen to write an alternate ending. The play was later turned into a television show and multiple movie adaptations. (Galens 106,107 ) Ibsen creates many static and strong characters that help convey his message. Nora Helmer is the play’s protagonist and wife of Torvald Helmer. Torvald, Nora’s husband, is shown to be extremely controlling and dominating. He often treats Nora like a doll or child. There are many relevant themes in the play such as: appearance and reality, pride, honor, sexism, and the search for self-identity. Nora’s life as a married woman is overall symbolized by a doll. Henrik Ibsen’s characters Nora, Christine, and Torvald perfectly depict the marital and societal trends of the 19th century; while further explaining the choices some made leading to a more feminist and gender equal nation.
The lifestyles Victorian Age European women heavily affected the lives of women in all different societies and classes. In the mid nineteenth century, it was evident that the middle class for growing exponentially. The relation between a family and their possessions also seemed to narrow greatly. A family’s middle class identity was held merely in their possessions. Possessions were the new image of wealth, comparable to the previous image of beauty and usefulness. The Victorian lifestyle was completely depended on appearance. “Life must not just be lived comfortably and constructively; it must be seen to be lived according to the precepts or a commercially conscious lifestyle” (Calder 82). Despite its downfalls, the Victorian life was extremely attractive to those seeking, for a protected life, in a middle class marriage. Fathers wisely educated their sons based on moral and religious means. This education ensures a family’s sustaining wealth and success for generations to come. It was no secret that this comfortable domestic lifestyle required funds. Middle class domestic comfort entailed: a spacious house, nice furniture, tasteful decorations, amenities, and quite importantly servants. Servants were a crucial fragment of the lifestyle. The housewife often found themselves...

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