A Doll’s House, by Henrik Ibsen, observes the everyday life of an average Norwegian family. The role that each character plays in this family is very stereotypical. Nora is the obedient housewife and Torvald is the ideal “working man.” The life Nora and Torvald have built crumbles in the end, as a result of flaws in the social order. The responsibilities placed on Nora, Torvald, women, and men limit their freedoms to exist for themselves. Men and women depend too much on each other. If people realize that they are being forced to be and act a certain way, then they will act out against the order. People will truly be free by opting out to the social order. The Yellow Wallpaper by Charlotte Perkins Gilman tells the story of a woman who is
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Foster has a doctorate in English from Michigan State University and an A.B. from Dartmouth with high distinction. He is head English professor at Michigan State University. Gender in History, by Merry E. Wiesner-Hanks, explores what it means to be a man or woman in society’s past and present. Wiesner-Hanks has a doctorate in History from the University of Wisconsin-Madison. She is chair of the Department of History at University of Wisconsin-Milwaukee. She is an editorial member of the Journal of Women’s History.
A Doll’s House and The Yellow Wallpaper discuss the subject of the inferiority of women, disease, and the significance of letters. A Doll’s House tells the story of Torvald and Nora’s family and its inevitable dissolution. During this time, 1870s, women were seen as lesser individuals and incapable of doing the same work as a man. Nora was subjected to be Torvald’s trophy wife.
In the story, the beloved family friend, Dr. Rank, inherits a fatal disease. Rank claims that he inherited this disease from the immorality of his father. The people of this time thought that diseases were a product of bad fortune or “karma” for bad past deeds, rather than what the disease actually was. In Rank’s case, he had tuberculosis of the spine due to being around someone who had it. A Doll’s House treats diseases in a symbolic sense rather than literal.
Throughout the whole play, letters have been a turning point for many of the characters. The