A Doll ‘s House By Henrik Ibsen Essay

Demanding Husbands

Without freedom, the urge to escape is prevalent. When a lady’s husband is too overprotective and smothers his wife, she may eventually end up running away from her problems. In the play, A Doll’s House, by Henrik Ibsen, and in the story, The Yellow Wallpaper, by Charlotte Perkins Gilman, the main characters, feel trapped by their husbands. Both of these stories demonstrate that during the time period that the stories were written, some men behaved in an authoritarian manner which caused stress and trauma to women. The women in these stories each take drastic action.

During the time that A Doll’s House and The Yellow Wallpaper were written, decisions for anything from the biggest issue to the smallest detail, was arranged by the husband. In the play, A Doll’s House, Torvald makes monetary negotiation, judges when to leave a party, and chooses Nora’s outfits. If Nora tries to argue, her comments are brusquely brushed away. If Nora wants money, she had to beg her husband and explain what she will do with the money. Torvald chooses Nora’s dress for the party. The decision of what time to leave the party was estimated by Torvald as well. In the story, The Yellow Wallpaper, John’s wife has a nervous condition. She knows that she is sick, yet the men in her life refuse to believe her. Her husband and her brother who are both doctors think she has “a slight hysterical tendency” (Gilman 1) and they decide that all she needs is rest and relaxation. Although the lady knows that exciting and active work would be good for her, her opinion is worthless.

The husband, man of the house, knows it all. He takes care of the money, the house and making the important decisions. Torvald manages his family’s money, therefore, …

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…uld be thrust into a dangerous situation so he can have the merit of saving her life. Torvald could have supported Nora when her debt and wrongdoing became known to him, yet he screamed at her. “I have broad wings to shelter you under” (n.p.). Yet he doesn ‘t realize doing a great thing for his wife can be as simple as listing to her speak and treating her like a person equal to him.

As proven in The Yellow Wallpaper being locked up can cause insanity. Isolation in a room with the condition of slight mental issues, will inevitably cause mania. Nora’s isolation led to her escape, while the woman’s isolation caused her sanity to escape from her. After being smothered one feels a desperate need to escape. The cause of both husbands’ worst situations were problems that they created by being overprotective of their wives, and in turn their wives felt a need to escape.

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