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The Cherry Orchard And A Doll’s House.

1437 words - 6 pages

People bring their downfalls upon themselves. Do certain habitually practice leave them wondering what wrong they did? Torvald from Henrik Ibsen’s A Doll’s House and Madame Ranevsky from Anton Chekhov’s The Cherry Orchard are left to start afresh at the end of the plays after they neglected a key element in their lives. Torvald toys with Nora, his wife, fulfilling only his wants and only his needs and abases her; never considering her his equal. The fallacious choice Madame Ranevsky makes concerning her home and family leads them to destitution and separation. Ibsen shows Torvald as being an egotistical man who decides to mend his ways after his neglected wife leaves him while Chekhov shows Madame Ranevsky neglect as never effecting her at all.

Ibsen, a modern realistic, represents Torvald as a condescending spouse who makes a social statement that husbands are portrayed as figures who protect their families, but in reality they are only there to serve themselves. Throughout the play Torvald constantly calls Nora “my little skylark” and “my little squirrel” and even “my little spendthrift” (Ibsen 2-4) Each one of the nicknames he gives her contains the word “little” in it; abasing her and making her inferior to him. He uses these frequently, especially when he wishes to make her happy. On page 4 he says “It's a sweet little spendthrift, but she uses up a deal of money...expensive such little persons are!” and then proceeds to give her the money she asked for. In this he is using the condescending names as well as showing his superiority. He does this by making Nora confront him for her basic needs; she does not even own a house key. Torvald's study is also a sign of superiority over Nora, a private room that she is prevented from entering. This shows that he does not perceive Nora as his equal or to be intellectually involved with any business or for that matter, any important matters in life, which is why the topic of any conversation he starts is of money or the ball.

In act two, the egotistical Torvald shows his cunning side as he gets out of talking to Nora about an important issue. Torvald says “My dear Nora, I can forgive the anxiety you are in...come what will, you may be sure I have both courage and strength if they be needed. You will see I am man enough to take everything upon myself.” (Ibsen 36). This quote represents how males are typically viewed. Torvald says this so Nora would yield her excessive begging and bring a smile on her face; very much what a father would do to his daughter. Torvald shows his egotistical side by only caring about himself. In the quote above, he uses ten pronouns to refer to himself. In the entirety of the play, he refers to himself two hundred and thirty-one times.. This includes phrases such as “my little skylark” and “I am punished” and “my wife” and even “I can” (Ibsen 2, 62, 61, 36). This proves he is egotistical because he doesn’t like listening to anything Nora says and he makes himself...

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