A Synopsis on a Comparitive Study of the Potrayal of Women in Henrik Ibsen’s a Doll’s House and August Strindberg’s Miss Julie

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A SYNOPSIS

ON

A COMPARITIVE STUDY OF THE POTRAYAL OF WOMEN IN HENRIK

IBSEN’S A DOLL’S HOUSE AND AUGUST STRINDBERG’S MISS JULIE

UNDER THE SUPERVISION OF: SUBMITTED BY: DR. NITIN BHATNAGAR RAMANDEEP MAHAL PROFESSOR MPHIL ENGLISH DEPARTMENT OF ROLL NO: 11108654 HUMANITIES AND SOCIAL SCIENCES

MAHARISHI MARKANDESHWAR UNIVERSITY MULLANA (AMBALA) APRIL 2011

INTRODUCTION

Women are and have always been a prominent part of literature. Oppression and Dehumanization of women has left a landmark in literature. They have become a part of the writing causing a great stir in the writing of novels and dramas. Later came a phase when women had begun to influence female writers for their place in the society. And hence rose the feminism in literature. Both Ibsen and Strindberg have believed that human nature has dark recesses which must be explored and illuminated. Both have made studies of disordered minds and analyzed relationships. In the entire history of literature there are a few figures like Ibsen and Strindberg who practically have devoted their whole lives to the theatre. In the two plays, women are depicted in a desperate state, not being able to do what their hearts desire or when they do, rather suffer their consequences in the most dismal forms. The powerlessness of a woman suppressed by the male ego is brought about by her status in any given society, whether aristocratic or urban poor. The patriarchal society presses too hard on their lives, suffocating themselves to despair, ill fate and eventually downfall. Ibsen is best known for his work A Dolls House (1879) and Strindberg is known for his work Miss Julie (1889). The theme of the two dramas revolve around women. However there is a contrast in the treatment in the two plays. Critics believe that their lives have a great impact on their works .Moving to their background it is to be noted that both of them didn’t have a good childhood

HENRIK IBSEN’S A DOLL’S HOUSE

Norwegian playwright and poet Henrik Ibsen wrote twenty six plays and a volume of poetry. He was an acclaimed dramatist during his times. He was known to be a second to Shakespeare. He had a great pride in his country Norway. In 1877 he was influenced by the social structure of his country. He wanted to extol the values of truth and freedom in his people with his works like The Pillars of the Society (1877) and then in 1879 A Dolls House which questioned the suppressed role of women in the society. He is best known for creating female characters in dramas like Hedda Gabler (1890) and A Dolls House.

Nora the protagonist in the beginning of the play seems to be content with her life. She prances about and exhibits child like qualities. When Torvald enters the scene, Nora's childlike behavior becomes more patent. Torvald calls her pet names "little lark", "little squirrel", and "little miss extravagant". Nora is being treated like a cute little girl and she happily accepts the epithets. Mrs Linde enters and complains about the hardships she had gone through. However it is revealed that even Nora had to go through her hard times. Unfortunately Krogstad a man with not so good reputation seeks favor from her and threatens her for the forgery she had committed. In return for this he wants a job at the bank. Nora lives in the false illusion that her husband would support through all the hard times. However Torvald’s true character is revealed when he accuses Nora for the forgery and tries to disown her, unaware of the fact that she had forged the...
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