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The Influence of Torvald Helmer and Esteban Trueba as Dominating Male Characters in the Books “A Doll’s House”by Henrik Ibsen and “The House of the Spirits” by Isabel Allende, respectively.
Candidate Name: Lay Majmudar Candidate Number: 002272- 027 School: Indus International School, Bangalore, India School Code: 2272
No debt. Page 1 A Doll's House. Page 2 2 2 . Men were the ones who would earn for a living and take the major decisions for the family and the wife just had to follow everything the husband said and look after their children.What strikes the reader is the fact that this dominance does not only affect the characters directly associated with the dominating character but it also creates ripples that permeate throughout the society. The novelists. respectively. The book A Doll’s House was written during the 1800’s. Male dominance is one such recurring idea that Henrik Ibsen and Isabel Allende have successful incorporated and highlighted in their books.” Ibsen uses Torvald as a medium in his book to give an idea about the society during that time. no borrowing” Torvald tells Nora about what he feels regarding borrowing money and thinks nothing can go right for a home which depends on borrowing. respectively . often bring in varied concepts and ideas that pertain to their specific unique cultures and become successful in defining and portraying them through their characters. A Doll’s House and The House of the Spirits. When 1 A Doll's House. 1“Is that my little lark twittering out there?” This line from A Doll’s House tells us how Torvald calls Nora and treated her like a doll who was under his control. this time men were considered to be superior to the females. in their works. Nora is like a puppet that Torvald controls and Nora unwillingly ends up listening to him. you know what I think about that. 2“Nora.002272-027 May 09 Session: May 2009 Word Count: 1382 The Influence of Torvald Helmer and Esteban Trueba as Dominating Male Characters in the books “A Doll’s House”by Henrik Ibsen and “The House of the Spirits” by Isabel Allende. Henrik Ibsen once quoted saying “A woman cannot be herself in the present day.
Esteban is portrayed as one of the strongest and the most dominating male characters in the novel. Allende shows the Latin American culture of that time where men were always seen as a higher superior authority in the house. As Blanca was sent to a boarding school. Esteban’s life is changed and his attitude towards everyone is changed. she does not tell anyone about it and keeps it a secret to protect his pride and also because she was scared how he will react to it. he is completely devoted to his wife. she didn’t have a very strong relationship with her father while Alba didn’t have the need to go to school and spent her early childhood with her grandparents. This shows a sense of fear in Nora towards Torvald. After this accident. When he was away working. 3 The House Of The Spirits.002272-027 May 09 Nora secretly borrows money from Nils Krogstad to save Torvald’s life. Torvald’s character is calmer and quieter but at the same time. In this book. Both of them have their similarities and their own differences. during his childhood Esteban loved Rosa. His relationship with his daughter is not shown to be as strong as his relationship with his granddaughter. Alba. Even though it was written in the 1900’s. One of the examples of his temper is when he throws a tantrum at Clara saying he is not 3“some ninny whose wife could go around making a fool of him. he used to work in the mines and earn money. While comparing the two books A Doll’s House and The House of the Spirits. This behaviour pushes everyone close to him away and also creates problems with his family. He has a violent temper and as the book progresses. Esteban’s character compared to that of Torvald is more of a short tempered and cruel nature. he marries Clara and despite his cruel behaviour. But this attitude also helps him to sustain and retain his position as a dominating patriarch in the Trueba family. respectively. he sees the negative sides of it and finds himself very lonely at the end of the book. being the only and much loved member of the family.” In the book. The House of the Spirits was again written during the time of male superiority. also dominating. Rosa accidentally dies by poisoning. Page 245 3 . After Rosa’s death. one finds that both Torvald and Esteban are the main dominating characters of the novels. In order to support her. the male were always considered to be superior.
Nora. Page 64 A Doll's House. he finds out about his wife borrowing money and lying to him that her father gave the money for his surgery but the truth was that she borrowed money from Krogstad. It deflated his male ego to a great extent. He didn’t consider her feelings for him but just bothered about what an outsider or any other person will say if they find out about this. She tells him that he had no right to question her as he is her husband’s subordinate. At this point. the reader for the first time in the book feels that Nora speaks up for herself and starts taking control over her life. the maid arrives with Krogstad’s message which has his apology.” and 6“I know you only did what you had to do because of your love for me”. Page 64 5 6 4 . a hypocrite without realising that Nora’s intentions were genuine and she did that to save his own life. He suddenly bursts out throwing a tantrum at Nora calling her names like liar. During the 1800’s women were always considered inferior to the men and weren’t allowed to work or earn money in any way possible. we find that the reason their relationship ended was because of his superiority over her. one of the main characters in A Doll’s House. Nora starts realising that her role in their relationship didn’t really matter. Page 19 A Doll's House. Mr Krogstad? You. She tells Torvald she is leaving him and does not want him to send her any letters or try to communicate to her in any way. Soon after this incident.002272-027 May 09 One of the examples where his dominant character is shown in the book is in Act 1 where Krogstad visits Nora to find out about Mrs Linde and Nora says 4 “What right have you to question me. She tells him that she is tired of being treated like a toy or a doll all her life. Nora throws a sudden tantrum at Krogstad and she backs this up with her husband’s power. borrows money from Krogstad to save her husband’s life. Moments later. Torvald continued it. I have forgiven you everything. Torvald then calms down and tells Nora 5“Nora. one of my husband’s subordinates!” In this line. While in the other book The House of the Spirits we don’t find such an incident of another character using Esteban’s power to overrule another character. I swear it. Here. 4 A Doll's House. Her father also treated her that way and when she got married. When Torvald opens the letter box and reads the letter Krogstad sent.
we see females being inferior and the males taking advantage of that. In A Doll’s House. For an example. while comparing the two books. but she constantly refuses to answer that. end. It is seen that both the overpowering male characters have brought about nothing but loneliness to their lives by playing the role of a dominating patriarch throughout. towards the end. Alba is physically and mentally hurt as she is constantly raped by the guards. In conclusion. she asked Esteban Garcia 7“I want to go to the bathroom. until she told him where Miguel was. The House the of Spirits we find Alba and the other prisoners singing songs together to try to avoid the pain of their being tortured. the only person who is with him was his granddaughter.” The writer effectively shows that the power of male seems to be going down as the play ends when “She is gone. the power of male domination has caused relationships to change and at times. Nora speaks up for herself and utters 8“It is no use forbidding me anything any longer. his family falls apart and at the end.” While in The House of the Spirits. 7 The House Of The Spirits. The sense of fear among the women also showed signs of how they were treated and what position they had in the society during the times. This showed that the women had no sort of right to say anything to the guards even though they were scared. Alba. Here again. Page 409 A Doll's House . when Alba wanted to go to the bathroom. we have found that in both the books.Page 67 8 5 .002272-027 May 09 At the end of the book. because of the domination of Estaban Trueba.” but she wasn’t allowed to.
0553273914 6 . ISBN – 0486270628 “ The House of The Spirits” written by Isabel Allende. Translated by Philip Smith. Publication City – New York. Dover Edition. Year of Publication – 1992. ISBN . Year of Publication – 1993. Translated by Magda Bogin. Publication City – New York. Bantam Edition.002272-027 May 09 Bibliography “A Doll’s House” written by Henrik Ibsen.
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