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How does the social setting affect the husband-wife relationship in A Dolls House and Death And The Maiden?

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Dhirubhai Ambani International School International Baccalaureate IB English A1 Standard Level World Literature Assignment Topic: How does the social setting affect the husband-wife relationship in A Doll's House and Death And The Maiden? Name: ******* Candidate Number: ***** Session: May 2010 Word Count: 1431 Both Henrik Ibsen and Ariel Dorfman use the social setting of their plays to influence the relationship between the husband and wife. In both the plays society plays a major role in the important decisions the husband has to take. Both Torvald and Gerardo are worried about what society will think of them when their wives both do something wrong. Also both the husbands treated their wives like they were inferiors. They were treated like children and not equally. In Death and the Maiden, the circumstances of Paulina and Gerardo's relationship and situation of the country made them trust each other and so Paulina opened up to Gerardo about the details of her incarceration. On the other hand, in A Doll's House Nora and Torvald's relationship was just a marriage that looked perfect in society and was not out of true love so Nora did not reveal the details of her secret of her forging her father's signature to take a loan to Torvald. ...read more.


Society came first for him and then his marriage. Hel.: Very likely people will think I was behind it all-that it was I who prompted you! And I have to thank you for all this- you whom I have cherished during the whole of our married life. Do you understand now what it is you have done for me? 4 In Death and the Maiden the secret was shared between the husband and the wife while in A Doll's House, the wife kept the secret from the husband. Death and The Maiden is set in a country that is moving from dictatorship into a democracy. During the dictatorship, Paulina had been taken by the government and jailed unfairly. While detained, Paulina had been raped by a "doctor". When she was finally let free she went back to Gerardo and told him everything. Since she was afraid of the repercussions for both of them if society came to know, they kept it a secret between themselves. But later on when she kidnapped Roberto Miranda, the "doctor", we see fissures opening in the Gerardo and Paulina's relationship. ...read more.


The letterbox shows us how Torvald has control over Nora. Nora does not want Torvald to reach the letterbox in the same way that she does not want him to control over her. Both Ariel Dorfman and Henrik Ibsen have used the relationship between the husband and wife to show the position of society at the time of the play. The little mistrust in Paulina and Gerardo's relationship reflects the tension and distrust that the people in the country have for each other since the country has just become a democracy from a turbulent a violent dictatorship. People were also unsure how long the democracy would last. In A Doll's House however, the author uses Nora and Torvald's relationship to show the dominance of men and how society was more important than love in 19th century Europe. Thus we can see how both the playwrights use social setting to influence the husband wife relationship and use the husband wife relationship to reflect their views of the social setting of their plays. Word Count: 1431 1 Dorfman Ariel, Death And The Maiden, Page 6-7 2 Ibsen, Henrik, A Doll's House, Page 2 3 Dorfman Ariel, Death And The Maiden, Page 36. 4 Ibsen, Henrik, A Doll's House, Page 63 1 ...read more.

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