Women’s Role in Society: A Comparison of Henrik Ibsen’s “A Doll’s House” and Susan Glaspell’s “Trifles”
Nowadays, the problem of gender roles in society is very topical. It is, so to speak, a gap which can be hardly bridged. The thing is that when it comes to discussing this issue, we cannot help but think about women’s role in society. And it is not surprising because in most cases it is women who are considered to be the weaker sex and their role in society is often underestimated.
There are different points of view on this issue. Some people believe that women’s place is in the kitchen, while others claim that there is no difference between men and women and they are both equal. In this essay, we are going to discuss this issue based on two plays – “A Doll’s House” by Henrik Ibsen and “Trifles” by Susan Glaspell.
2. Women’s Role in Society Based on Henrik Ibsen’s “A Doll’s House”
Henrik Ibsen’s “A Doll’s House” is one of the most famous plays which deal with the problem of gender roles in society. The play is set in the late 19th century in Norway and it tells the story of Nora Helmer – a wife and a mother who seems to be happy and content with her life but who, in fact, is not.
The play focuses on the idea that at that time women were not considered to be equal to men and their role in society was mainly limited to being a wife and a mother. Nora is a typical representative of her time. She is a housewife who takes care of her husband and children and does not have any job or career. Her main goal in life is to make her husband happy and she does everything she can to achieve this goal.
However, towards the end of the play it becomes clear that Nora is not happy with her life. She feels like she is living in a doll’s house where everything has been decided for her and she does not have any control over her own life. As a result, she decides to leave her family and start a new life where she will be free to make her own decisions.
3. Another Point of View on Women’s Role in Society Based on Susan Glaspell’s “Trifles”
Susan Glaspell’s “Trifles” can also be considered as a play which deals with the problem of gender roles in society but from a different perspective. Unlike Ibsen’s play, “Trifles” is set in early 20th century America and it tells the story of two women – Kristina and Nils Krogstad – whose lives are quite different from each other.
Kristina is a young woman who has just married Nils Krogstad – an older man who already has three daughters from his first marriage. Nils works as a clerk at the local store and he is also very active in the community. However, he is not a perfect husband and he often mistreats Kristina both physically and emotionally.
On the other hand, Kristina is a strong and independent woman who does not allow her husband to control her life. She has her own opinions and she is not afraid to express them even though she knows that they might not be popular with everyone. Towards the end of the play, Kristina decides to leave her husband and start a new life on her own.
As we can see, both Henrik Ibsen’s “A Doll’s House” and Susan Glaspell’s “Trifles” deal with the problem of gender roles in society. However, they do it from different perspectives. While Ibsen’s play focuses on the idea that at that time women were not considered to be equal to men and their role in society was mainly limited to being a wife and a mother, Glaspell’s play tells the story of two women whose lives are quite different from each other but who are both strong and independent.
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