A Feminist Literary Stance, Roles of Women in Henrik Ibsen’s Play A Doll’s House and George Eliot’s Novel Middlemarch

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A feminist literary stance, roles of women in
Henrik Ibsen’s play A Doll’s House
George Eliot’s novel Middlemarch

Henrik Ibsen’s A Doll’s House and George Eliot’s Middlemarch are based on events from their personal experiences. The events that lead Ibsen to feel the need to write A Doll’s House makes his approach on the feminist stance a bit more unusual from other writers. Ibsen shows his realist style through modern views and tones that are acted out by the characters in this infamous story. In the viewers’ eyes, it is the women in A Doll’s House that makes it so popular, Nora and Christine give readers a real sense of Ibsen’s feminist stance. George Eliot makes her feminist stance in Middlemarch in much the same way as
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Nora says, “Exactly as before, I was your little skylark, your doll, which you would in future treat with doubly gentle care, because it was so brittle and fragile. Torvald - it was then it dawned upon me that for eight years I had been living here with a strange man, and had borne him three children” (Ibsen). Nora keeps a lot of secrets within the house from Torvald. For example, she lies about “eating macaroons” and about how she “acquired the loan” (Ibsen) for her husband’s care. Nora never intends to tell Torvald her secret, but he reads the letter and found out and it ends up costing Nora her family.
After seeing that she is not but a “doll” trapped in her own imperfections, she becomes confused about her stay in the house. Nora finds out she does not “exactly know what religion is” and has “no idea what is going to become of her” (Ibsen). Nora tells the truth about her lies, is embarrassed, and then is forced to face her imperfections. Nora realizes she is not a child anymore and tells Torvald “I am going to see if I can make out who is right, the world or I” (Ibsen). Nora has reached the point in her marriage where she finally has control, she tells Torvald “I cannot spend the night in a strange man's room” and “I set you free from all your obligations. You are not to feel yourself bound in the slightest way, any more than I shall. There must be perfect freedom on both sides”
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