Analyzing CS Lewis' 'We Have No Right to Happiness' and Henrik Ibsen's 'A Doll's House'
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1. In "We have no 'Right to Happiness'" CS. Lewis claims that the right to happiness" is "chiefly claimed for the sexual impulse." Because Nora in Ibsen's A Doll's House does not leave Torvald for another man, the principles upon which C.L. Lewis bases his essay are moot and do not apply. Lewis exhibits a disturbing amount of gender bias, sexism, and stereotyped assumption in his essay, but he might indeed understand that Torvald has emotionally and psychologically abused his wife throughout their marriage.
At the same time, Lewis presents himself as a traditionalist. His conservative social values are self-admitted when he accuses his friend Clare of being "leftist in her politics." Towards the end of "We Have no Right to Happiness," Lewis lets his misogynist flag fly when he claims that women need domestic happiness more than men, and that men have an obligation to keep their marriage vows because of this. The author also states that "the quality by which they most easily hold a man, their beauty, decreases every year after they have come to maturity," a clear admittance that women's primary value to men is their beauty. Thus, Lewis would sympathize well with Torvald and Torvald's upkeep of a pristine little doll's house, or bird cage both metaphors fit for Ibsen's play.
Lewis would therefore chastise Nora for leaving her husband, because to do so violates her sacred marriage vows. She would be cast as the villain by Lewis equally as much as Torvald. Lewis would