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Alienation in The Metamorphosis and A Doll's House

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Introduction

How is alienation/isolation portrayed through Nora Helmer in A Doll?s House and Gregor Samsa in The Metamorphosis? Although ?The Metamorphosis? is a novella and A Doll?s House is a play, the protagonists of the story both portray the theme of isolation whether it is physical or emotional. Nora Helmer and Gregor Samsa undergo alienation within their families and society and the difference in their setting?s time emphasizes on how characters still remain isolated and oppressed by society?s expectations, which influence relationships within the family. Both these characters are alienated within their own family and society as a whole. Nora is seen as a source of entertainment around the house and for performances like the Tarantella and is treated as a child by her husband and Mrs. Linde (especially when she sits down on a foot stool before Mrs. Linda as a child would) due to her illusory happy appearance. Nora was dominated within the household by her father, and later by Torvald, which forced her to hide her true feelings leading to her inner problems. She also worried about the consequences of her loan and how it would affect her loved ones, as she would always try to please rather than follow the status quo; she risked her reputation?s status for family. ...read more.

Middle

Just like Nora, Gregor was isolated throughout life and even further isolated when turned into a bug and as Nora did; he tried to reach out to his family to gain some sense of happiness and affection from his family. The characters are brought out of their oppressive state and reveal their true feelings, resulting in the climax point of their life where it is about to greatly change. In Nora?s case she was blackmailed by Krogstad, who wanted to keep his position at the office (another victim of society and reputations). The event was unexpected for Nora but it showed how hers and Helmer?s relationship was greatly strained and based on money. Nora attempted to prevent Helmer from finding out about the loan on a daily basis knowing that it would upset him and disrupt his high position in society?s hierarchy. But after many failed attempts Helmer ends up finding out and his selfish side is revealed as he states that this ?wretched woman?ruined his life? although only a few minutes ago he was thinking of how he would protect Nora no matter what danger was to face Nora. ...read more.

Conclusion

The writing styles in both the novella and the play are of formal context between the characters and in short but very descriptive sentences which emphasizes on the protagonists? distant relationships between them and their families. The point of views that the stories are told is in 3d person in the play and in 3d limited person in ?The Metamorphosis? as it only emphasizes on how Gregor is feeling which arises feelings of empathy. The purpose of these two acts would be to show how characters such as Nora and Gregor have set roles in society, how money is such a strain between relationships and finally how one is alienated within his own family although a delusional happiness is present throughout the majority of their lives. In conclusion, both of the characters had been isolated throughout their lives within what seemed to be their comfort zone but throughout the story they reveal a deeper side to them, an unhappier side and finally leave behind what had been preventing them from leading their own life individually. -Diana 1489 words approx. (02.05.2012) (I edited it so it?s within the word limit) ...read more.

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