Gender Roles Of A Doll 's House And Ghosts Essay

2281 WordsNov 5, 201610 Pages
Gender Roles in A Doll’s House and Ghosts Throughout much of English language literature, gender and sex are equated with specific human traits. Strength is male and weakness is female. Men are stable and women are capricious. Logic is masculine and imagination is feminine. Ibsen uses stereotypical gender attributes in his characterization of Nora and Torvald throughout A Doll House, and then abruptly reverses the stereotypes in the final moments of the play to show that inner strength and weakness are functions of being human, not functions of gender. “When A Doll 's House debuted, its ending -- perhaps the most celebrated in modern drama – shook the foundations of fin-de-siècle domesticity” (Westgate, 2004, p. 502). Domestic life is centered on the supposed stability of the gender roles of Victorian society; fin-de-siècle refers to the final years of the 19th century, or the end of the Victorian age. The play is set in the 19th century, and it explores the unequal gender roles of the time. Including Nora and Torvald, there are six major characters in A Doll House. Three major characters are women and three major characters are men. This balance of gender roles is intentional, and each character’s role in the story contributes to the final revelation that women can be strong, men can be weak, and strength and weakness are human traits, not gender traits. Nora and Torvald represent the stereotypical ideals of their respective genders throughout much of the play while

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