A Doll House Essay

1427 words - 6 pages

In A Doll House and Death and the Maiden, the husband betrays the wife. In a marriage, the husband and wife are constantly supposed to be there for each other. However, in A Doll House and Death and the Maiden, this is not always the case. A Doll House is a drama written by Henrik Ibsen portraying the relationships between a family and their acquaintances, as well as the events that affect these relationships. Death and the Maiden is a play about a woman's determination to seek revenge for the horrible acts committed to her many years ago. In both plays, the wives were mistreated by their husbands in their everyday lives, as well as in the climax of the story. In A Doll House and Death and the Maiden, the husband betrays the wife by not supporting her and not treating her fairly. In A Doll House and Death and the Maiden, the husband is condescending to the wife. In A Doll House, Torvald Helmer is very patronizing to his wife, Nora, who he treats like a child. He believes she cannot do anything by herself as she is a "little helpless thing" (pg.91). At the end of the play when Nora is explaining her plans to leave, Torvald retorts, "Oh, you blind, incompetent child!" (pg. 110) He also tells her, "You think and talk like a silly child" (pg. 112). Torvald behaves in such a condescending manner towards her that she takes on the role of a child to him. She tells him, "You know I could never think of going against you," (pg. 47) and, "Yes, whatever you say, Torvald," (pg. 44) much like a child would tell his or her parent. Torvald does not treat Nora as an equal and is forever talking down to her. He once asked her, "Are your scatterbrains off again?" (pg. 44) He also makes sexist comments when she is acting silly. For example, when Nora is trying to persuade Torvald that they can afford to be a bit extravagant, he says, "Nora, Nora, how like a woman!" (pg. 44) One of the most condescending things Torvald does towards Nora is his habit of constantly calling her pet names. Instead of simply asking if it is Nora that he hears, he asks, "Is that my little lark twittering over there?" and "Is that my squirrel rummaging around?" (pg. 43-44) He treats her as his little doll and he is proud that Nora belongs to him. She is his "richest treasure" and he likes to marvel "at all that beauty that's mine, mine alone - completely and utterly" (pg. 100). In Death and the Maiden, Gerardo is also very condescending to his wife, Paulina. As Torvald does in A Doll House, Gerardo calls her patronizing names such as "poor little love" (pg. 1) and "silly girl, my baby" (pg. 7). He also makes a few sexist remarks by addressing her as "woman" (pg. 22) when asking her a question and saying to Roberto, "You know women..." (pg. 9) when describing how she gave her mother the car jack. Gerardo is also controlling of Paulina, who finally asks, "When are you going to stop telling me what I can and can't do? 'You can't do this, you can do that, you can't do this'." (pg. 17) When...

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