Explore the presentation of Nora Helmer as a deceitful female character in “A doll’s house.” Compare and contrast your findings with the way Wilde presents his female protagonist Mrs. Arbuthnot in “A woman of no importance.” By Gheirey Mulliken
Both “A doll’s house” by Henrik Ibsen and “A woman of no importance” by Oscar Wilde were about Nora Helmer and Rachel Arbuthnot (protagonists) and their role as; mothers, wives, and new women. They were written and performed in Victorian times, for a Victorian audience and they believed in keeping up with your appearances and maintaining a high social status. In order to do so they had to abide by the Victorian code of conduct to remain ‘good’ in the eyes of other people. Nora and Rachel are both similar because they both lied to the people they loved to protect their well-being. Both followed their hearts at the beginning and at the end of the play. Nora followed hers, by choosing to take a loan for the sake of her husband’s health. At the end of the play Nora chooses to leave, so that she could educate herself about the world, she followed her heart. Rachel followed her heart when she chose to go with George to the garden, breaking all the rules for love, and at the end of the play she listens to her heart and chooses to leave for America to start a new life. Nora and Rachel have also had their hearts broken by the people that they loved the most. They had been stuck in their fantasy, and had hoped that their princes will come and save them, but they had been let down. These plays were very controversial because they broke the boundaries of how a woman was perceived during Victorian times. The plays portray women who were independent, confident, women who could look after themselves, new women. These plays would have had a different impact on a Victorian audience than a modern one. A Victorian audience would have been shocked by Oscar Wilde’s play “A woman of no importance” because there was no happy ending. Mrs....
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