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Comparison Between the set roles of Late 19th Century men in the two plays 'Ms Julia' by August Strindberg and 'A Dolls House' by Henrik Ibsen.

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Introduction

Ian Clubb Yr. 12 Comparison Between the set roles of Late 19th Century men in the two plays 'Ms Julia' by August Strindberg and 'A Dolls House' by Henrik Ibsen 'Ms Julia' and 'A Dolls House' are both late 19th Century plays. In the late 19th Century, England was the most economically powerful nation in the world, with naval supremacy and an extensive empire. There was great social change; the nation was becoming more literate and expressive, giving birth to the expression 'art for art's sake'. As a result, controversy and conflict occurred during this time of economic and social change. That caused a knock on effect throughout Europe. A new social class was also formed; this was the middle class, which 'A Dolls House', is based on. During this time of change, men still had family duties which had to be conformed to in the society. Women's role in society stayed the same. Women were left at home while their husbands went to work. Not much was expected from them, but to provide offspring and keep their husbands satisfied. Family image was very important during this time period and loss of face was unacceptable, a tarnished image would lead to gossip and loss of respect from people of the same social class. ...read more.

Middle

After confessing, Nora leaves their well-established home under the protection of Torvald, and ventures off into the harsh world. At this moment Torvald is a broken man. His wife has left him with two children and a broken heart. 'But to lose you - to lose you, Nora! No, no, I can't even imagine it...'. More importantly there is an imbalance in Torvald's life as his role in society is not the same and his broken image cannot be repaired due to what the society expects from happy middle class families. 'But you're my wife - now'. How will he be viewed by others because his wife has left him? Dr Rank plays a distinctive role in the play 'A Dolls House'. His name relates to society, Ibsen deliberately put it in to show the importance of social ranking. Rank is a family friend to the Helmers and makes frequent visits to their residence. When Rank and Torvald discuss matters, they confide themselves to a small room that does not welcome Nora and is not seen by the audience. The subject of these conversations are not known by Nora indicating a difference in the roles in society. When Rank finds death approaching, he confides in Nora, yet Torvald has no that they occur. ...read more.

Conclusion

Yet Jean feels the opposite way as he feels that he deserves a higher position. Dr Rank feels that his life has not satisfied all his needs for women and he had an unfair chance at life because of his father's lifestyle. To conclude, Jean's role in society does not change throughout the play even though he tries very hard to change, he still holds his role as a footman. Dr Rank stays in his role in society as a doctor and a friend, but he tries to bend the rules in his last moments and attempts to flirt with Nora yet he must stay celibate because of his illness. Torvald looses a part of his role and has an increased role of being a single parent and a middle class working man at the same time. If Jean was to conform to society he would not have considered a relationship between himself and Ms Julia. He would have married Kristin and lived his life as a servant and husband. His dreams of owning a hotel would not happen due to his position as a footman. These men had different ideas and roles, but the end result still remains, society still controls who you are and what you can achieve. The bell in Ms Julia is the main image that restricts what you can achieve. In A Dolls House the sickness that Dr Rank has contracted controls his life and his place in society. ...read more.

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