A Woman of No Importance and a Dolls House

996 Words4 Pages
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
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He uses other names such as; “my little skylark”, “my little spend thrift” etc. which further emphasizes how insignificant and ‘little’ she is. Through language Ibsen paints a picture of a marriage where Nora is child-like and someone who is constantly patronised by her husband, and she takes no offence to his belittling her. He also creates dramatic tension in Act 2 describing the Christmas tree as ‘bare and dishevelled’ and during some dialogue the setting ‘It begins to grow dark,’ saying that the atmosphere was dark we see that it is now a house full of lies, it’s different from the happy house at the beginning of the play. In Wilde’s play, George refers to Mrs. Arbuthnot as ‘a woman of no importance’ undermining her. However at the end of the play we see a role reversal and it is now Mrs. Arbuthnot who refers to George as ‘a man of no importance.’ At the end of the plays the writers cleverly reverse the expectations of the audience, we expect to see a happy ending but instead we were left disappointed and sympathetic for the two women.
Both female protagonists were deceitful in their own way but in my opinion, I felt as though they were both deceitful in their own way. Nora had lied about the loan, but she lied about other things as well. She influenced everyone; her children, the maids, Dr. Rank, and Mrs. Linde her to lie for her, so that she would not be caught by her husband. Mrs. Arbuthnot also lied to her son,
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