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What is the Influence of Work in the Madame Bovary and A Dolls House?

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What is the Influence of Work in the 'Madame Bovary' and 'A Doll's House'? Name: Laurens Tijsseling Candidate Nr: School: Bangkok Patana School Teacher: Ms. Sally Flint 1497 Words 'Work is love made visible'. (Kahil Gibran). Or we work for the ones who we love. We don't always go to work because we're exited about it, but we all go to work to make a living for our family. The question is: how is this expressed in the drama play 'A Doll's House' and the drama book 'Madame Bovary'. There are many relevant themes that are portrayed within the books, one of which explored is in this text the influence of work on the lives of the characters and also compare it to the historical context of the late 19th century. These themes can be directly linked to the presence of odd jobs, family-divorces, marriages and servants. The first point of similarity in both books is that several characters have to do jobs that they would not normally do according to their position in society. In 'A Doll's House' Nora does jobs, which are supposed to be done by low-class people: 'Yes, odd jobs - sewing, crochet work, embroidery, and things like that'1. ...read more.


In 'Madame Bovary', Emma has several lovers but Rodolphe was the most serious one. She gets to know Rodolphe when they move from Tostes to Yonville-l'Abbeye. At first the relationship seems to go wrong. But when Charles attempts a clubfoot operation (which dramatically fails), Emma sees that the people in their new hometown have less respect for him, and talk about him behind is back and decides to become involved with Rodolphe. This implies that the dramatic decrease of Charles' reputation on the work floor which again increase Emma's reasons to become involved with Rodolphe ' All for what? For him! For that creature, that man without feeling or understanding who sat there in perfect placidity never would now sully her as well. She had tried to love him; had repented in tears her surrender to another man'5. The use of rhetorical questions and exclamation mark increase the feeling of disgust for Charles and the use of short sentences here shows how fed up she is with her marriage problems. My third point is the influence of work on marriage in the books. According to me, the reason for Emma to marry Charles was the reputation that Charles had as a doctor, not as a man. ...read more.


In 'A Doll's House' Nora stays nice to the servants, no matter what the situation. After her conversation with Krogstad about the debt the maid interrupts her, she will try to distract the maid from what actually happened: 'Dear old Anne Marie, you were a good mother to me when I was little'11. This highlights also Nora's character in the book: never showing how she feels on the inside. The use of words as 'dear' and 'good' also show how she is trying to please Anne Marie so that she thinks that Nora is totally fine. In conclusion the husband's reputation in the workplace has a significant influence on both books, but though in 'Madame Bovary' the influence is bigger. In 'Madame Bovary' nearly the entire plot depends on Charles' occupation. If he would have been a farmer Emma might not have married him and as such avoided much of the suffering she would experience. In 'A Doll's House' the influence is also great, but in a different way. Helmer's occupation makes Krogstad come to Nora and that gets her in trouble. Also in this book the plot is based on the husbands job and reputation definitely has a great influence in 'A Doll's House' in that Nora doesn't want Helmer to find out about the IOU. ...read more.

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