Miller’s “A Doll House” and “A Sorrowful Woman” Essay

July 16, 2021 by Essay Writer

Updated: Aug 27th, 2020

All cultures that do not support women should be ignored. Men in the society take control of women’s lives and do not give them a chance of expressing their opinions (Fisher 100). Literature is a way of explaining just what it means to be a woman in a society dominated by men. Therefore, this work will analyze the stories of Daisy Miller A Doll House and A Sorrowful Woman. The paper will present the thematic concerns of the framing and the use of women in different cultures. The contextual backgrounds of the chosen pieces of literature are the earlier cultures across the world that did not consider the women as being important in the society.

This work will analyze the problem of gender inequality as well as cultural framing that treats women of the society as inferior beings. The choice of gender roles and inequity are a critical issue in the contemporary society because they are tools used for campaigning against gender inequality, which is why they are interesting study topics. Therefore, women across the world face a common problem, which they can only overcome if they unite. The succeeding sections of this work give the literal evidence, which indicates the place of a woman in the society, and support the thesis on the need to radicalize the society on gender equity.

First, Daisy Miller addresses the problems that women face in the European society. For instance, men treat women as sexual items (James 45). The first example of such treatment is in the life of Daisy, who encounters several men in her course of life. The story gives a raw portrait of a woman in the masculine dominated culture of the time. The men do not hesitate to use women in the society for their sexual pleasures and they expect women to stay attractive enough to lure. One such instance is where Winterbourne expresses his admiration for Daisy because he thinks that she is charming enough.

The incident made Daisy to be an object of representing the lustful behaviors of men and not allowing to have perception of the world around her (Smith-Rosenberg 23). Therefore, the story implies that women have the responsibility of entertaining the men in the society and that men have considerable control over their wives. However, the contemporary society has since changed, and many women do not like associations with others who consider men as all-important figures of their lives. Smith-Rosenberg argues that the contemporary society is one that focuses on the needfulness for gender equity. He argues that there is a need to treat cultures that demean women as outdated (Smith-Rosenberg 67).

On the other hand, Doll’s House is a story, which title could be an imagery of the perceptions of people about the female roles in the society. For instance, the story gives the lives of two different women in the community (Mahaffey 60). The first one is Nora and the second woman is Christine. The former is a married woman while the latter does not have a husband. The marriage set up is a tool that describes the expectations of men concerning the roles of their wives (Ibsen 67). For this case, the story coincides with the narrations of Daisy Miller in a manner that both of them require the women to remain loyal to their men. A Doll’s House considers a woman as one who should live and depend on her husband for all her provisions. The same woman should stay loyal and truthful enough to her husband even while the husband does not reciprocate (Mahaffey 69). On the other hand, Christine is a depiction of the freedom that all women require in the society. She remained single and had the option of making her decisions on the course of her life. She represents the modernized ideologies that the world holds on gender roles and the freedom to make decisions. However, she is also a confirmation that the women are dependent on the men because she struggles too much before she attains the status she always craved (Smith-Rosenberg 67).

The nameless woman, a character in The Sorrowful Woman, is also another medium that literature uses to describe the function of women in the society. In this particular story, the nameless woman takes the central stage being as both a father and a mother to her children (Xue-hua 19). Such is a variation from the other stories because it gives the woman an authority to take control of her household. However, the story remains similar in meaning to the other two because the society of their settings demands the women to stay loyal to their husbands and fulfill their roles in the same setting. Therefore, The Sorrowful Woman depicts women as being people who take care of children, their husbands, and their entire household (Gharbawi 13). Such an instance caused her all the miseries and the sickness that befell her. Therefore, there is the suggestion that the society expects the women to be loyal to their husbands, submit to them, and at the same time, ensure that they sacrifice their wellbeing for the sake of their families.

In conclusion, the three stories analyzed in this work have a similar perception of women. In this case, they all consider the women as people that should make the lives of the men around them comfortable even if it involves sacrifices of their comfort. The stories present the women as being unequal to the males and that they must always submit to their superior counterparts. However, the same women remain a fundamental aspect of the care that their families require from them. They are left to nurture their children as well as their husbands, which means that they have no choice except of obedience.

Works Cited

Fisher, Jerilyn, and Ellen S. Silber. Women in Literature: Reading through the Lens of Gender. Westport, Conn..: Greenwood Press, 2003. Print.

Gharbawi, Ayad. Anatomist Poet. S.l.: Authorhouse, 2012. Print.

Ibsen, Henrik. A Doll’s House. Rockville, Md: Serenity Publishers, 2009. Print.

James, Henry. Daisy Miller. Vol. 4. Broadview Press, 2011. Print.

Mahaffey, Vicki. Portal to Forgiveness: A Tribute to Ibsen’s Nora. South Central Review 27.3 (2010): 54-73.

Smith-Rosenberg, Carroll. Disorderly Conduct: Visions of Gender in Victorian America. New York: Oxford University Press, 2006. Print.

Xue-hua, Hong. Feminist Reading of ‘A Sorrowful Woman’. Journal of Yanbian University (Social Sciences) 6 (2010): 019.




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