compare 2 works for their use on a literary element
Use of Literary Elements in A Dolls House by Henrik Ibsen and Eveline by Joyce
Use of Literary Elements in A Doll’s House by Henrik Ibsen and Eveline by Joyce
Authors use various literary elements to develop characters with an aim of influencing what the reader captures in their literary work. Characters are made to interact in different forums and scenarios using diverse characterization techniques. Joyce the author of Eveline and Henrik the author of A Doll’s House uses comparable methods in their literary work. They both focus on the inward feelings and thoughts of their female characters. However, there are differences in the form and amount of details provided, which is important in shaping the readers interpretation.
In the A Doll’s House Henrik Ibsen portrays Nora as a nineteenth-century woman who is self-absorbed and who realized that there more to her life than being her husband pretty possession. Nora realized that she left her father house not to be an independent young woman but rather to become dependent on Torvald, her husband who treated her more like a child than as a wife. The author uses moderately tradition story to portray that there nothing good in a relationship founded on control. In Eveline, the author gives a story of a woman (Eveline) current living conditions as opposed to the world she is going to live with her fiancé Frank, who is barely mentioned in the story. The story seems to be more of about world of Dubliners woman and the everyday lives they experience through their thoughts more than through their experience. A large proportion of the story is narrated with Eveline sitting at the window staring outside and in deep thoughts. The author makes the reader enter deep into Eveline thoughts as she reflects her situation.
The two literary works were authored at a time when women were subjected to gender inequality in every element of the society. The authors portray this theme by highlighting the difficult life in a male dominated society. Eveline was subjected to the domination of her father who required her to act according to his will even in circumstances where she felt mistreated. At the onset of the story the desires of Eveline were to escape the world where she was subjected to hard chores with a hope of achieving a new beginning of equity in Argentina. However after evaluating her decisions she doubted whether life will change for her in her destination or it will remain unchanged or may be even worse. Nora in A Doll’s House has been portrayed as the first modern feminist heroine. In many occasions in the play, she breaks away from the domination of her domineering husband. Although Nora is submissive to Torvald, she could manipulate him to get what she wants. Still though throughout the drama there is the continuous talk of women, their prescribed traditional roles and the consequences they face when they break with the traditions.
The men in A Doll’s House are portrayed in many ways as trapped in traditional gender roles as the women. The main character representing men in the story is Torvald, who was the provider and bear the burden of supporting the entire household. Men in the played are portrayed as perfect kings in their respective empire. However, the author portrayed Torvald more or less as a prisoner of society’s set gender roles as Nora is. At the end, there is hope however that Torvald will overcome his society’s concept of masculinity.
The other literary element used by the authors is the setting; A Doll’s House settings is that of suburb Europe, which can be likened to America or any other good place in the world. The play is set in Norway however the characters do not concentrate on talking Norwegian things exclusively. The living room in A Doll’s House is a typical middle-class room. The choice of this kind of a setting was to allow the audience to directly superimpose their lives onto the lives of Helmers. The setting portrayed by Joyce is that of a poor and a working family living in a ‘little brown house neighboring ‘bright brick houses with shining roofs’, (Joyce, 25) that are erected in the Eveline former childhood play field. Their poverty is also portrayed by how money is considered as a precious resource that is shown when Eveline clasp her purse tightly to her body on her way to the market.
Henrick and Joyce in their Literary work brings out the theme of the sacrificial role of a woman. In Doll’s House Henrick portrayed the sacrificial role women held across all economical classes. The female character in the play as demonstrated in Nora’s statement (spoken to her husband in Act III) that even though men are unwilling to sacrifice their integrity “hundreds of thousands of women have”. In quest of supporting her mother and brothers, Mrs. Linde opted to abandon Krogstand, the man he loved and to be married to a richer man. The nanny sacrificed caring for her child to take care of Nora’s Children. She tells Nora that she was lucky to have found a job and state that “a poor girl who’d been led astray”.
Although in the play Nora is portrayed as economically advantaged, she lives a difficult life because society demands that male be the marriage dominators partner. Torvald is seen to issue decrees condescends to Nora. Nora is made to hide her loan because she knew her husband could never allow her wife to help him save his life. Furthermore, Nora was obliged to work secretly to raise money for the loan because it was prohibited for a woman to secure a loan without her husband consent. It was also an act of sacrifice for Nora to abandon her children despite her great love to them. Nora trusted the nanny to be a better mother; this act shows that she was acting in the best interest of her children.
In Eveline, Joyce portrays a theme of the sacrificial role of a woman. Although Eveline was presented with an opportunity to leave Dublin where she had persevered difficult chores and mistreatment by her further, she was hesitant to leave since she was responsible for keeping their family together. It is portrayed in the story that Frank her fiancé treated her respectively and with great tenderness. Although her father mistreated her, she loved him and regretted leaving him in old age. She also kept in mind her mother promise of keeping their home together as much as she could. Eveline also lived a life of self-sacrifices which in the story is described as “of common sacrifices” (33). The memory of her mother enigmatic phrase “Deravaun Seraun!”, Strengthened her decision to leave. However at the station, she was paralyzed, the world seemed too frightening for her, “all the seas of the world tumbled about her heart.”.
In conclusion, the two literary works portray a life journey. The two writers used two distinct perspectives to bring out the life of a woman in who one married and another one unmarried, one economically advantaged and the other economically disadvantage. The two women, however, face more or less similar problems. They both suffer the anguish of gender inequality created by the prescribed gender roles in the society and are made to make various sacrifices in their lives which men don’t make.
Joyce, J., (2011).Eveline. Longman/Pearson Education publishers. Boston.
Henrick, I., (1889). A Doll’s House. The Breshan Press. London.
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