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International Journal of Research in English

Vol. 5, Issue 2, Part A (2023)

Restructuring the quixotic vision: A comparative analysis of Mary Wollstonecraft’s a vindication of the rights of woman and Henrik Ibsen’s a doll’s house

Author(s):

Minu Paul, Sadaf Ruqsar, Majida Yasmin Aziz John and Luiza Taskin Turza

Abstract:

Henrik Johan Ibsen (1828-1906), the "Father of Modern Drama," was a national emblem in the nineteenth century. He was a renowned Norwegian poet and dramatist who offered a fresh moral perspective to European Realism. Ibsen's plays were scandalous to many of his contemporaries, who believed that any challenge to Victorian notions of family life and decorum was immoral and disrespectful. He thundered his fiery indictment against the four cardinal sins of modern society: the lie inherent in our social arrangements; sacrifice and duty, the twin curses that fetter the spirit of man; the narrow-mindedness and pettiness of provincialism, which stifles all growth; and the lack of joy and purpose in work, which turns life into a vale of misery and tears. 
Mary Wollstonecraft (1759-1797), an uncompromising demolisher of false ideas, social shams, and hypocrisy, pioneered a new secular outlook. She blamed society's degradation for its adherence to antiquated rules that failed to ensure gender equality. Her works are philosophical treatises containing arguments and concepts that examine the flawed conventional mindset that separated men and women in society. 
A Doll's House, Henrik Ibsen's masterpiece, may have relevance to Mary Wollstonecraft's A Vindication of the Rights of Woman. Though two centuries apart, Wollstonecraft and Ibsen saw the tragic side of humanity hidden behind beautiful façades: moral duplicity, captivity, treachery, and fraud causing continual unease. Nora, Ibsen's protagonist, examines the gender disparity constrained by customary thinking, which denied women education for optimal growth. She played the attractive mistress who ignored her duties as a loving wife and rational mother. She was an extension of her father's and husband's ideas. Caught between fantasy and reality, she lost her personality, destiny, and dream life. 
The drama aimed to unravel the intricate ties between Nora, her husband, Torvald, Krogstad, and Linde. Nora finally discovers the significance of being an independent after a series of unpleasant events. At the play's end, Nora shuts her dollhouse door on Torvald and her past. The only way to relieve the burdened soul and restore the long-lost "Garden of Eden" is through sound education for the human race, as shown by Nora's tragic life.
 

Pages: 05-10  |  352 Views  66 Downloads

How to cite this article:
Minu Paul, Sadaf Ruqsar, Majida Yasmin Aziz John and Luiza Taskin Turza. Restructuring the quixotic vision: A comparative analysis of Mary Wollstonecraft’s a vindication of the rights of woman and Henrik Ibsen’s a doll’s house. Int. J. Res. Engl. 2023;5(2):05-10. DOI: 10.33545/26648717.2023.v5.i2a.106
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