Essay on The Awakening and A Doll's House
The Awakening, a novel by Kate Chopin, and A Doll's House, a play by Henrik Ibsen, are two works of literature that can be readily compared. Both works take place in the same time period, around the late 1800s. Both works feature a woman protagonist who is seeking a better understanding of herself. Both Edna and Nora, the main characters, display traits of feminism. Both Edna and Nora have an awakening in which she realizes that she has not been living up to her full potential. Awakening and growth is one of the main themes in both of the works. Throughout the works, each woman has a close female confidante who symbolizes the traditional role of women and society's views of that …show more content…
When The Awakening was first published in 1899, it was met with unfavorable reviews because people were not ready for the ideas Chopin expressed. Reviewers said that Edna was a shameful character who was not fit to be the focus of a novel. Other people criticized The Awakening for its "explicit" talk of sensuality. The novel was banned from book stores and libraries throughout the United States. Chopin herself was shunned by the male society after her novel was published. Many women, however, wrote Chopin "warm letters full of praise for The Awakening " and invited her to give a reading at the Wednesday Club, the most "prestigious intellectual women's club in St. Louis" (Martin 65). Kate Chopin was very hurt by the negative reviews of her novel and wrote few stories after her perceived failure.
Henrik Ibsen wrote A Doll's House in 1879. The play's central character is Nora Helmer, a woman seeking her independence. Nora is married to Torvald and has two children. The action takes place in the Helmer's residence. Nora is her husband's "lark" and "squirrel." Torvald thinks Nora is a silly little girl who likes to dress up, go shopping, and spend money. Nora is unsatisfied with her life and realizes she wants to be more than Torvald's doll.
The play begins with Nora coming home from a Christmas