Indeed, the female monster displays the cultural anxieties and fears of the Victorian society. Women are confined into acutely defined binaries that overtly demarcate restrictive boundaries between proper and improper. These socially constructed binaries perpetuated by the dominant patriarchal discourse align the excessive expression of female sexuality with monstrosity while dictating appropriate feminine attributes and desirable gender-roles. Yet, the transgressive sexuality and liberated passion of a woman features a “deviance from sexual norms was identified as both a symptom and cause of degeneration, so that by posing a challenge to traditional gender roles, liminal subjects […] were seen as causes of social unrest and potential threats to national health (199). In fact, the female monster violates the essentialist conception of female nature and constructed ideology of “natural” and “proper” femininity and cultural norms of sexuality.
During the Victorian era, the controversial play was written to highlight a female seeking individuality in an immoral society which stirred up more controversy than any other works. In Ibsen’s writing, “A Doll’s House”, women’s lack to having their own purposes and goals was introduced. Throughout the play, Nora Helmer eventually comes into realization that she has to conclude playing the role of a doll and instead seek out her individuality as a heroine. These occurrences are portrayed through an unstable relationship in which women’s role depends on finance, power, and love. In the nineteenth century, communities had great interest with the changes of social and economic class.
However, her obsession with money somehow diverts her struggle for freedom especially when she discusses how her husband has been promoted to a bank manager with Kristine Linde. She says, “Wont it be lovely to have stacks of money and not care in the world?” (Ibsen 49). Nonetheless, the obsession with money provides Nora with false sense of freedom because she has devised creative ways to save from household allowances besides working on copying jobs, oblivious of her
The inspiring story of Nora Helmer in the play A Doll’s House uncovers the strict roles of women in society and explains how those stereotypes should be broken. Throughout the story multiple themes are present. In the late 1870s the roles of women in society were very strict and Ibsen made that one of the main themes in the play. In the beginning of the play Nora talks with an old friend. As the two catch up Nora says, “...a time will come when Torvald is not as devoted to me, not quite so happy when I dance for him, and dress for him, and play with him” (Ibsen, Act One).
The Rejection of Victorian Ideals in Dracula Within Bram Stoker’s Dracula, Stoker gives readers an interesting yet controversial look into what love and sexuality is like in Victorian society. In the 19th century men and women had distinct roles. Women were confined to their homes and burdened with the idea that they couldn’t do the jobs that the men did and that they were only useful for being subservient and dependent. Men had the privilege of being able to vote and work imperative jobs outside of the home (“Gender Roles in the 19th Century”). Jane Austen’s romantic novel Pride and Prejudice displayed the battle that women had when it came to being a feminist.
The reader becomes very aware of the situation Nora is faced with as Ibsen challenges us to think about the societal times women were a part of during the late 1800’s. As Unni Langas states in her article describing gender within the play, “..this drama is not so much about Nora’s struggle to find herself as a human being, as it is about her shocking experience of being treated as a woman..” (Langas, 2005). This gives the reader an insight into Nora Helmer’s character. She is evidently perceived as the Doll trapped in the Doll house, as she is viewed as an entertainer rather than her own person in the eyes of her husband and children. The representation of the doll is symbolically significant as Nora is compared to a beautiful feminine figure, being the doll, but also someone who is treated as a toy and as someone who is disrespected.
Henrik Ibsen’s “A Doll’s House” is a critique of an unequal society with its structured hierarchy of male dominance. The play seems to be a serious social commentary of the time period when it was written. The characters in the play bring four issues of power and control, ignorance and innocence, rebirth and social status. Ibsen created Nora’s character in doll’s house to represent that women of that time period was unaware of their situation in society but in play women were also taught to overcome their unawareness. As their was nurse to take care of their children so Nora was not taking care of her children so whenever she like to meet her children she meets them so Nora realizes at the end of the play that she is totally controlled by her husband and she doesn’t have the
The modern reader, on the time spectrum, has had the chance to discuss the sexism that prevails in society and the need for feminism; Nora 's courage in going against the pillars of the Victorian era is something the modern reader finds commendable and aspiring. If the play had been performed today, the modern reader would be the one to stand up and whistle during the scene of the slamming of the door, while the Victorian reader 's face would turn pale with shock at Nora
When Gerardo returns home in the first act, Paulina questions him regarding the truth commission leading to the revelation Gerardo has accepted a job that deals directly with the assault she faced without asking her beforehand. This conversation sheds light on the strict gender roles within the society. As Gerardo is symbolic of the stereotypical male, he is the breadwinner and dominant figure. The inference made here is that he need not consult his wife whose opinion is largely irrelevant due to her inherent insignificance as a woman, despite the fact that this new job title deals with events that affected her life so incredibly. This depiction of gender roles shows the disparity of power.
Consequently, Mandelker contends that the liberation of the heroine rejects the conventions of realism and the typical representation of women, thus acting as a leading feminist symbol in opposition of the societal norm of the Victorian Era. Amy Mandelker is an associate professor of comparative literature at the Graduate Center of the City University of New York. She is known for her numerous publications regarding Tolstoy’s Anna Karenina, and her work serves as an essential for scholars and students of nineteenth-century Russian and Victorian literature from a feminist