An Analysis of Factors Contributing to the End of Domestic Isolation in America

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An Analysis of Factors Contributing to the End of "Domestic Isolation" in America Introduction Henrik Ibsen's 1879 drama A Doll's House reflected the reality of "domestic isolation" a reality which, in 1959, would be portrayed in a televised adaptation across America. Ibsen's drama centered on a wife's isolation in the domestic sphere and her attempts to break out of that isolation. When compared to "A Nineteenth Century Husband's Letter to His Wife" (1844), which bears at least in essence the form of a real-life Nora-Torvald type of husband-wife relationship (one in which the husband fails to follow the Golden Rule or the Pauline principle, "Husbands, love your wives") Ibsen's stage drama may be seen as an accurate representation of an actual real-life drama unfolding around the world. Indeed, the cultural shift in 1960s America (which followed the 1959 televised production of the play) was rooted in the kind of isolation drama Ibsen depicted and in turn inspired the feminist doctrine of Betty Friedan. From Ibsen to Friedan, the end of "domestic isolation" may be traced, revealing a number of historical developments that presented new opportunities for women in society. This paper will examine how women's domestic isolation changed radically in the 20th century because of these various factors. Influence from the Literature, the Stage, and Television If anything, Ibsen's Doll's House may be read as an allegory for the coming upheaval in America's domestic status quo,
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