Justice in two studied plays - A Doll's House and A Streetcar Named Desire

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                Eva Lamade January 2013

Justice in the two plays – A Doll’s House and A Streetcar Named Desire

Justice can be defined in three ways. First of all, justice is integrity. Someone, who is honest, behaves justly. Secondly, justice can be defined over its antonym, injustice. If someone treats someone else badly, this unfair behaviour can be seen as injustice. Thirdly, justice can be defined over law. Some people might argue that justice acting according to the law.

These forms of justice or injustice can be seen in the two plays studied, “A Doll’s House” by Henrik Ibsen and “A Streetcar Named Desire” by Tennessee Williams, in the behaviour of the characters.

In “A Doll’s House”, justice is mainly mentioned over injustice. In the character Nora, a wife of two children and the main figure of the play, shades of just and unjust behaviour become visible. Her honesty towards Christine, an old friend of Nora, who visits her again after many years, can be seen as integrity. This becomes clear to the reader, when Nora opens up to her and explains what she had done “It was I who saved Torvald’s life.” (Act 1) In her short sentence and clear, her honesty towards Christine is reflected. However, in the following explanation to Christine, Nora talked about her committing a crime, in order to save Tovarld’s life. She borrowed without her husband’s consent and forged a signature. Although this might not be seen as injustice in the narrow sense, this is breaking the law and therefore unjust behaviour in that sense.

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Christine herself listens to Nora and seems to want to help her with wanting to help her hide Nora’s breaking the law in front of Nora’s husband, Torvald. “I will go at once and see Krogstad” (Act 2). In her definite speech, her definite decision is seen, which makes the reader conclude, she wants to help Nora out of kindness or to return the favour of Nora asking Torvald for a job. So Chritines willingness to help can be seen as justice for Nora.

Krogstad’s behaviour to pressurise Nora with the forged signature, although it is seen as just ...

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