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Frank Kafkas novel The Metamorphosis and Henrik Ibsens play A Dolls House both explore the theme of womens independence, which is highlighted through the contrast of female and male power.

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Introduction

Frank Kafka's novel The Metamorphosis and Henrik Ibsen's play A Doll's House both explore the theme of women's independence, which is highlighted through the contrast of female and male power. Grete, the sister of Gregor, who turns into an insect, and Nora, spouse of the 'machista' Torvald Helmer, are primarily dependent on their male providers for the family. From initial weakness to facing challenges to experiencing a breakthrough of independence, Grete and Nora embody female growth. In the beginning of both works, the two women are fully dependent on the financial supporter of the household, given that neither has jobs. Nor Grete nor Nora contributes to the financial status of their abodes. The day that Gregor's ability to work is impeded by his metamorphosis, Grete stays in her room crying, "because he was in danger of losing his job..." (Kafka 76). The narrator's simple suggestion show's that Grete's interest in Gregor is financial, now that he might not be able to support the family. Her dependence is unveiled in her unconscious thought of losing her older brother, the leader of the house, and the possibility of taking that role. ...read more.

Middle

With this declaration, the author is creating a new situation, which is where Grete has taken over Gregor's job in the house. In A Doll's House, Nora has started to show signs of independence through her manipulation of Torvald. "You must let Hrogstad keep his post in the Bank" (Ibsen 40). On the surface, Nora's request seems simple and bland, yet her manipulation lies in her urge to keep her forgery of her father's signature a secret, which would not be possible had Krogstad left the Bank. Nora's rays of independence are visible through the manipulation of her husband for her own personal reasons. On a superficial level, the women in both works seem just as dependent as before, yet their actions and thoughts insinuate a still-invisible independent future. By the end of both works, a breakthrough as independent women has become recognizable in Grete and Nora. At this point, there are more than just rays of growth and hints f independence; Grete and Nora break their barriers of repression and set themselves free. Grete is able to use her talent as a violin player to portray her absolute independence. ...read more.

Conclusion

(Kafka 132). While this directly recognizes Grete's independence, the use of "increasing vivacity" suggests future growth. Although Nora is older than Grete, she is in the same initial state, as she is also new to independence. Nora decides to leave her husband, Torvald, as well as her children. Nora's concentration at this point is on her independence, as she has planned nothing. When asked about the future, she responds, "How can I tell? I have no idea what is going to become of me" (Ibsen 71). This sarcastic rebuttal only emphasizes her desire to be an individual. The use of the exclamation mark leaves all issues in the open, as she will live day by day. When issues are publicly recognized, they become official, which is the case for Grete and Nora's independence. In Metamorphosis and A Doll's House, two women experience social breakthroughs and succeed in becoming independent in societies with many impeding obstacles. Grete and Nora could be thought of as emerging butterflies that were still in their cocoons. At the end of both works, evolution has reached a point where both women flourished, and became individuals. ?? ?? ?? ?? World Literature #1 ...read more.

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