Patriarchy In A Doll's House

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Introduction This paper focuses on the role and rights of women in Henrik Ibsen’s A Doll’s House (1879). It will focus on the position of women under the control of the invisible and visible hands and the pressures of patriarchal system in Norwegian society. To show the condition of women in society, the paper will critically assess on several issues such as economic dependence of women, Nora’s living in illusion and her concept of miracle, women’s living in fool’s paradise and their firm belief upon their husband, patriarchal power and domination, ideology used by men and society as a tool of domination, necessity of social reform and women’s awareness as Nora slams the door in front of Helmer. To deal with these issues, theoretical approach…show more content…
Patriarchal system is a social system in which men hold primary power. In family life, patriarchy is a system of relation between men and women where men dominate women and women live under pressure. The male figure-brother, father, and husband- hold the primary power and they set rules and rigid strictures for their sister, daughter, wife and expect them to obey their each and every instruction. Ibsen in this play deciphers that women’s role is limited to the domestic area. Nora has only sacred duties as a wife and as a mother.In this connection, we can pertinently cite what Virginia Woolf in her work A Room of one’s Own asserts that,“Men have treated women as inferiors for many years. It is the men who define everything in the society (28)”.In this play, Ibsen shows inequality in Nora’s household, patriarchal system and Nora’s attitude to fight against…show more content…
Nora Helmer and the other female figures portrayed in A Doll’s House are the best models of the “Second sex” or the ‘Other’ that the French existentialist Simon de Beauvoir discussed in her book The Second Sex. Beauvoir holds that girls are given a doll as an alter ego and in compensation (Abrams 93). A girl is taught to be a woman and her "feminine" destiny is imposed on her by her teachers and society. She has, for example, no innate "maternal instinct”. Judith observes in the same vein that Beauvoir's formulation that "One is not born, but rather becomes, a woman" distinguishes the terms "sex" and "gender"(. Borde and Malovany-Chevalier, in their complete English version, translated this formulation as "One is not born, but rather becomes, woman" because in this context (one of many different usages of "woman" in the book), the word is used by Beauvoir to mean woman as a construct or an idea, rather than woman as an individual or one of a group. Butler says that the book suggests that "gender" is an aspect of identity which is "gradually acquired". Butler sees The Second Sex as potentially providing a radical understanding of
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