Author(s): Joan Templeton
Source: PMLA, Vol. 104, No. 1 (Jan., 1989), pp. 28-40
Published by: Modern Language Association
Stable URL: http://www.jstor.org/stable/462329 .
Accessed: 04/10/2011 23:11
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The Doll HouseBacklash:Criticism,Feminism,and Ibsen
more. She embodies the comedy as well as the
tragedy of modern life" (vii). In the Modern Language Association'sApproaches to TeachingA Doll House, the editor speaks disparagingly of "reductionist views of [A Doll House] as a feminist drama." Summarizinga "major theme" in the volume as "the need for a broad view of the play and a condemnation of a static approach," she warns
that discussions of the play's "connectionwith feminism" have value only if they are monitored, "properly channeled and kept firmly linked to Ibsen's text" (Shafer, Introduction 32). Removing the woman question from A Doll
House is presented as part of a corrective effort to
free Ibsen from his erroneousreputationas a writer
of thesis plays, a wrongheaded notion usually
blamed on Shaw, who, it is claimed, mistakenlysaw
Ibsen as the nineteenthcentury'sgreatesticonoclast
and offered that misreading to the public as The
Quintessence of Ibsenism. Ibsen, it is now de
rigueurto explain, did not stoop to "issues."He was
a poet of the truth...