Feminism In A Doll's House

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Humans cannot define themselves by a single characteristic. However, women are often confined to a single archetype in which they must suppress their desires and opinions in order to adhere to society’s strict guidelines. However, the women in A Doll’s House by Henrik Ibsen, “The Yellow Wallpaper” by Charlotte Perkins Gilman, and “Siren Song” by Margaret Atwood break away from the repressive nature of society, questioning the dominion that men hold over them. Although each woman’s situation is unique, their revelations are not only personally significant, but also hold a significance to literary feminism. The characters in each work set a precedent for female characters in literature, as they show that women can be representative of a certain…show more content…
She no longer desires an idealistic and Romantic world, but rather is looking to gain a Realistic perspective on society, in which her prospects are not limited. This is apparent as she admits, “I am learning, too, that the law is quite another thing from what I supposed; but I find it impossible to convince myself that the law is right” (69). Nora exhibits a significant change in character as she goes from having no understanding of the law to questioning society’s rules towards women; she no longer believes patriarchal propaganda. Her maturation is evidence that women possess the capacity for intelligence beyond what was appropriate during the time period. And due to this Helmer responds negatively: “Before all else you are a wife and a mother,” yet in response Nora shows her personal enlightenment, “I do not believe that any longer. I believe that before all else I am a reasonable human being just as you are— or, at all events, that I must try and become one” (68). Nora chooses to abandon her role as a Lover in order to obtain knowledge of humanity and independence rather than…show more content…
Thus, she represents the Damsel in Distress archetype for she allows men to handle the details of her life. This is evident through her husband’s disdain for her desire to write. Although she believes writing will be therapeutic, John insists, on the contrary: writing is a symptom of her nervousness. His commandment is solidified as she attempts to disobey him, yet is snuffed by the effort of concealment: “I did write for a while in spite of [John telling me not to]; but it does exhaust me a good deal—having to be so sly about it, or else meet with heavy opposition” (648). The narrator admits that it is her oppression which is exhausting, however she still adheres to her husband’s guidance regarding her health. She confesses her opinion as she states: “Personally, I disagree with their ideas. Personally, I believe that congenial work, with excitement and change, would do me good. But what is one to do?” (648). However, she is not in the position to advocate for her own health and wellbeing for as she is an insignificant, frail

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