Despite the century-and-three-decades difference between them, Henrik Ibsen’s A Doll’s House and Zainabu Jallo’s Onions Make Us Cry are studied for their indebtedness to two movements that have shaped human history and conditioned contemporary thoughts: the former as a play that inaugurates the modernist discuss in literature and pioneered the feminist subject, and the latter expressively reflecting this gender-based discourse. Aside the woman question, the texts, however, share some other important elements. They both provoke the question of being: the being of human reality and of truth. In Ibsen and Jallo, we witness Nora’s and Malinda’s experience of existential structures, their perspectival grappling with the perceptual realities of their existence, the psychological alteration that comes with this ontic awareness, and how a perception of ‘what is’ moves one to revolt against ‘what has been’. The plays are seen as capturing nihilism, what Cunningham calls the unmaking of formed things and the making of formless things. This essay is thus an ontological explication of the works grounded on phenomenological inquiry.
Keywords: Phenomena, Unconcealment, Becoming, Nihilism, Authenticity, Potentiality __________________________________________________________________________
There is no shortage of critical appraisal of Henrik Ibsen’s works. “The most widely performed dramatist in the world after Shakespeare” (Henrik Ibsen—Book Launch), his A