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How do Durrenmatt (The Visit) and Ibsen(A Dolls House)use the institution of marriage to comment on their respective societies

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How do Durrenmatt (The Visit) and Ibsen(A Doll's House)use the institution of marriage to comment on their respective societies English A1 SL World Literature Assignment 1 Name Jiale Sun Candidate Number:001334-017 School/Center Number:1334 Words 1499 Throughout history, "the role of a woman has been that of a submissive and attentive wife, Her role mainly comprised of living for her husband and her children." (Rasha.Adderpit 2002). Both Durrenmatt (The Visit) and Ibsen(A Doll's House) reflect this issue in their writings: In Henrik Ibsen's A Doll's House, Ibsen examines "the consequences of stereotypical role of couples in marriage and presents how the woman regains her strength and self-respect." (http://sunsite.berkeley.edu). While Friedrich Durrennmat's The Visit, exhibits how a woman utilizes the power of marriage to seek revenge on her ex-lover and town people as a whole. I decided to investigate the different institutions of marriage as they are depicted in both plays, through the question: How do Durrenmatt (The Visit) and Ibsen(A Doll's House)use the institution of marriage to comment on their respective societies. It is vital for us to discuss the temporal settings. As we know, the two female characters live in two completely different times. ...read more.


In contrast, there is evidence to the effect that Clara's truthful relationship in marriages seems to be less important in comparison to Nora. She controls her marriages as a man and most of her husbands are treated as consumer goods. Furthermore, she does not have a stable marriage as Nora does. All her marriages and divorces are so sudden, "it's my second shortest marriage. Only the one with Lord Ishmael was trifle quicker." (Durrenmatt, 1973, page 64) This suggests that she does not really care about marriage itself but about the authority she can obtain. "My fourth, impoverished. His share belongs to me" (Durrenmatt, 1973, page 52) In addition, reading through the play we can also explore that unlike Nora, there is no positive and clear purpose in Clara's marriages. But she has stronger feeling to rebel against the societies' view "The world made me a prostitute and I will turn the world into brothel." (Friedrich, 1973, page 67) we also find that Clara has not lost her identity as Nora beacuse she never had one, and she can also be seen as vicitm of justice itself (Crokett ,1998,page 93). ...read more.


Over the bed. Alfred 'll be old one day. And you never know what might happen, it's a comfort to have a souvenir." (Durrenmatt, 1973 page 70) This might be the reason why she does not find a way to save her husband and buys things for other members of the family. In conclusion, I think that both plays describe female attitudes to marriage consistent with the 19th and 20th century Europe. Despite some similarities, there are many differences as they illustrate the institution of marriage in their respective societies. By examing the marriges of Nora in A Doll's House, I believe that the information Ibsen wants to convey is to critisise the institution of marriage in conventional societies. As we can see in the text, Nora can be a happy and cheerful woman who can greatly gain respect as she devotes herself to marriage. However, the "social conception of marriage insists that for the sake of conformity she needs be nothing else apart from plaything, a doll, a nonentity." (http://sunsite.berkeley.edu). However, if we analyze the character of Clara In the Visit, we will see that Durrenmatt uses her to judge the utilization of the marriage institution. He wants to make Clara's marriage an example to demonstrate how marriage can be abused by woman to gain social acceptance and power through wealth. ...read more.

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