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There are many differences but also similarities between the ways Henrik Ibsen and Thomas Hardy present their leading roles, Nora and Tess in: A Dolls House and Tess of the DUrbervilles.

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Introduction

There are many differences but also similarities between the ways Henrik Ibsen and Thomas Hardy present their leading roles, Nora and Tess in: 'A Doll's House' and 'Tess of the D'Urbervilles'. 'A Doll's House' was written in 1879 and was a 'well-made play'. It is also a translation and was performed across Europe whereas in comparison 'Tess of the D'Urbervilles' was not translated into other languages at the time. This is partly because Ibsen's work was part of a progressive movement. The text originally had a resolution but the translation changed the format of the text and therefore leaves the audience with a discussion. The first obvious difference between the texts is that, 'A Doll's House' is play whereas, 'Tess of the D'Urbervilles' is a novel. Through Ibsen's choice to use a dramatic form as opposed to the prose 'Tess of the D'Urbervilles' adopts. A 'Doll's House' lacks a narrator and as a result has to make use of stage directions, soliloquies and props. The use of props in 'A Doll's House' becomes a method that Ibsen uses to create visual images and reflect the mood and tone of his characters, we can see this with the image of the Christmas tree at the beginning of the second act, 'in the corner beside the piano stands the Christmas tree, stripped, bedraggled and with its candles burnt out'. ...read more.

Middle

Angel, although from a higher class than Tess is unhappy and aspires to do more with his life despite his family's disapproval, 'aesthetic, sensuous, pagan pleasure in natural life and lush womanhood which his son Angel had lately been experiencing in Var Vale, his temper would have been antipathetic in a high degree, had he either by inquiry or imagination been able to apprehend it'. At the beginning of 'A Doll's House' Nora's identity is determined by others. For Helmer, she is a mother, a housekeeper but mainly a pet animal following his orders, 'my little skylark'. These references that Torvald make of Nora might be interpreted by reader that in his eyes she is more of a possession, than a human. Nora adopts the role of his doll and throughout the play until we see her dramatic change in attitude, acts as a silly flirtatious child, 'toying with his coat buttons'. Torvald's constant reference to her as different animals, 'little squirrel......little song-bird' could possibly show the audience the type of relationship that is held between himself and Nora. However, Nora also talks to the different characters within the play differently. As already stated she plays the role of Torvald's doll but in comparison the way in which she present herself and talks to Dr. ...read more.

Conclusion

The audience receives the impression that they are very sensitive about their past, and therefore it may seem strange to see the conversation between the characters concerning this topic, to be taking place in the Helmer's living room. The reason Ibsen does this is to follow through with his method of ensuring all the main events of the play take place in the living room. By being in the living room Mrs Linde and Krogstad are now the focal point. As we can see there are many similarities and many differences between the texts. The obvious main difference already discussed is the fact that that 'A Doll's House' is a play and 'Tess of the D'Urbervilles' is a novel. However, this major difference in form and structure does not mean that the methods used by the authors are completely different, many similarities have been identified. We have seen how both authors use the environment as a method of introducing characters into the plot, similarities also occur with the authors use of symbolism and imagery. Many differences have also been discovered, the most obvious and significant difference is the use of props and visual effects in 'A Doll's House'. The texts contrast well together because Ibsen and Hardy present women negotiating, resisting and subverting the female roles constructed by the societies in which they live. ...read more.

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