Compare The Yellow Wallpaper And A Doll's House

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Both the 1892 short story, The Yellow Wallpaper by Charlotte Perkins Stetson and the 1879 Norwegian play A Dolls House by Henrik Ibsen, explore how the female protagonists are products of and are influenced by the harsh social conventions and expectations of their time. Both protagonists are constrained by the patriarchal society and the expectations of the wife of the late 1800s. Stenson challenges the audience’s response through the use of literary techniques including symbolism, to enhance the submission of the unnamed female narrator dealing with nervous depression. Conversely, Ibsen, through the use of theatrical techniques predominately stage directions and dramatic irony, provokes audiences to discuss Nora’s abandonment of her marriage and children. Both, Ibsen and Stenson use the physical setting of a house in addition to domestic symbols, to enhance the female protagonist’s domestic limitations inside marriage. A Doll’s House is set within the living room of the Helmer residence whereas The Yellow Wallpaper is set in foreign environment to the narrator; a summer rental. Nora is only shown in the living room of the Helmer residence whereas Stenson’s narrator is only allowed within the gardens and the ‘atrocious’ nursery with barred windows. Thus, by the restrictive setting, both authors are reflecting the physical limitations of the female protagonists in regard to the patriarchal society. However, to enhance the restrictive limitations and the domestic servitude
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