A Doll’s House and Top Girls

Powerful Essays
Topics: Bertolt Brecht
A Comparative Essay of A Doll’s House and Top Girls

Henrik Ibsen’s A Doll’s House and Caryl Churchill’s Top Girls both are a pillar of critical writing about the society they were originally produced in and have a central theme of the oppression of women, which makes them great sources of feminist reviews. Although Ibsen “abandoned the concept that the play was about gender roles” (Urban, 1997), the central question is beyond the original context within which the plays were produced and received. A Doll’s House can be regarded as criticism of the 19th century marriage norm, the work of the naturalist and the romanticist movement, whereas Top Girls considers gender roles and necessary sacrifices of women to be successful and rise above a masculine world.
Both plays insinuate that to find and stand up for oneself is the most important and hardest challenge in people’s life, regardless of society and political status. To examine these questions, Churchill and Ibsen used a different strategy, language and structure. They use dissimilar supporting characters whose roles are still significant in identifying the protagonist and the problems and situations she handles, forasmuch the stories focus on women’s rights and feminist views. However, while Churchill uses Brecht’s alienation and conversation mainly to emboss the main theme of the play, Ibsen’s work is a naturalist romantic one, and at many points almost “too sentimental, to a degree that makes Ibsen seem unsure of convincing his audience. [...] The ‘all or nothing’ in Ibsen’s writing [...] is rather a quality of the melodrama” (Gray, 1977. p.43).
We are likely to feel involved in Nora’s life and feel scorn for Helmer for his arrogance, petty and selfish behaviour. In A Doll’s House we face a chronological plot structure, however, the story starts in the late past. It is seemingly a well-built classical tragedy about everyday people, but at the end of the plot, instead of easing the problem we find a quarrel

You May Also Find These Documents Helpful

  • Good Essays

    The Doll's House

    • 640 Words
    • 3 Pages

    The lamp in Katherine Mansfield's "The Doll's House" and the monkey in Liliana Heker's "The Stolen Party" illuminate the common theme by showing children in the middle of learning a harsh reality about the world they live in. The young main characters, Kezia Burnell in "The Doll's House", and Rosaura in "The Stolen Party", live in a society where classism is common. They are both naïve though, to the fact that classism exists and that people are seriously affected by it. The lamp and the monkey are…

    • 640 Words
    • 3 Pages
    Good Essays
  • Good Essays

    Doll's House

    • 987 Words
    • 4 Pages

    stresses an individual’s dignity and worth and capacity for self-realization through reason. Humanism is not just about males or just about females; its about humans living as one. In Henrik Ibsen’s A Doll’s House, humanism is shown through every single word and every single detail. A Doll’s House centers on humanism because it demonstrates the search for identity, living up to societal standards, and believing that men and women are equal. Throughout the entire play, each character searches for…

    • 987 Words
    • 4 Pages
    Good Essays
  • Powerful Essays

    A Doll's House

    • 3457 Words
    • 14 Pages

    The Art A Well-Made Doll’s House: The Influence of Eugene Scribe on the Art of Henrik Ibsen Posted by Jennine Lanouette on Sunday, December 24th, 2000 A famous writer once said, “Because someone does a thing first, doesn’t mean they will do it best,” and the history of drama certainly has done its part to bear this out. Playwrights who boldly introduce new dramatic forms (Seneca, for example) have often left to those who came later the job of raising their innovations to the level of art (as…

    • 3457 Words
    • 14 Pages
    Powerful Essays
  • Better Essays

    A Doll's House

    • 2530 Words
    • 6 Pages

    A Doll’s House A dominant style in theatre for the past 120 years, representing sexual romance, violence and domestic disturbances is the realistic style. “The live production “A Doll’s House” by The Young Vic’s effectively uses realism to address gender equality in the 19th century, foregrounding the idea that women are bound by the social conception of the duty of a wife, this is shown through effective use of the elements of drama”. A Doll’s House opens in the main setting of the play which…

    • 2530 Words
    • 6 Pages
    Better Essays
  • Satisfactory Essays

    A Doll's House

    • 274 Words
    • 2 Pages

    3 November 2012 Written Assignment Word Count: The Importance of Appearances in Ibsen’s A Doll’s House Henrik Ibsen was a prominent realist writer in the 19th Century and his works were famous for broaching timeless topics that were not only prevalent in his 19th Century society but are still applicable in present day society. This trend is evident in one of his more known works, A Doll’s House. The plot of the play revolves around the consequences the protagonist, Nora, suffers after deceiving…

    • 274 Words
    • 2 Pages
    Satisfactory Essays
  • Good Essays

    The Doll's House

    • 796 Words
    • 4 Pages

    What is the “spiritual reassessment or moral reconciliation” evident in the ending of The Doll’s House? British novelist Fay Weldon suggests, “The writers, I do believe, who get the best and most lasting response from their readers are the writers who offer a happy ending through moral development.” By this she means that the character or characters reassess their background or decisions to be able to move on such as being out casted but by that they gain confidence in themselves or losing a loved…

    • 796 Words
    • 4 Pages
    Good Essays
  • Good Essays

    a doll's house

    • 866 Words
    • 3 Pages

    and a doll’s house TOPIC:Compare passage A and passage B excerpts of any unit (exclude unit3), and write a report under any topic you choose. (suggestion: content, theme, form and writing technics, etc.) 班级:卓会12-1 学号:201205001464 姓名:李晟 the word-count on the cover:918 abstract A Midsummer Night's Dream is a comedy play by William Shakespeare.The play is one of Shakespeare's most popular works for the stage and is widely performed across the world. A a doll's house…

    • 866 Words
    • 3 Pages
    Good Essays
  • Good Essays

    A Doll's House

    • 782 Words
    • 4 Pages

    Have you ever been in a relationship where only you think everything is going right when your friends tell you that it is not? The more you go further into the relationship the deeper you fall and the harder it gets to break free? A Doll’s House explicitly portrays a role and status of women in the 1900s. Ibsen uses clear characters and morals to support his ideas. Throughout the whole novel Ibsen uses a female character Nora, to perfectly contrast the social status of female to male. However I…

    • 782 Words
    • 4 Pages
    Good Essays
  • Good Essays

    A Doll's House

    • 388 Words
    • 2 Pages

    Reflective Statement on a Doll’s House How was your understanding of cultural and contextual (literary) considerations of the novel developed through the oral exercise? When I first started reading the play I was prepared for it to be a little backward since I had the knowledge of it been written in the 19th century and set in Norway;in which time day to day life and the culture was very closed and what it’s called now is backwards. In the beginning of the play, I felt really bad for Nora when…

    • 388 Words
    • 2 Pages
    Good Essays
  • Good Essays

    A Doll's House

    • 389 Words
    • 2 Pages

    Nora has not always been a feminist; it is throughout the play A Doll's House that she changes the way she reacts when interacting with others. She is introduced as a subordinate, submissive woman who tends to allow others to walk all over her. These "doormat" characteristics are especially prevalent beginning in Act I, where Nora keeps to herself and is used as a puppet by Torvald. For example, Nora states, "Yes, yes, as you wish, Torvald," in response to her husband's orders (Ibsen, 111). As a…

    • 389 Words
    • 2 Pages
    Good Essays