World Literature 1.4.6 Print

World Literature 1.4.6 Print - A common principle that...

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A common principle that freedom cannot be bestowed but earned justifies the rights of individuals in society. For women, the inequality that is often present in their lives takes aim at the foundations of equal representation. It is perhaps the indifference of social and cultural practices that has led to the suppression of female individualism. In Hanan al-Shaykh’s Women of Sand and Myrrh and Henrik Ibsen’s “A Doll’s House”, the women are ultimately restricted by social norms. This essay will demonstrate the truth of this statement by first examining the use of imagery to exemplify the ways in which the male characters hold inferior views of the women in both these works, then analyzing the social settings in which the female protagonists find themselves and then, finally, the ways in which the women emancipate themselves. In “A Doll House”, Ibsen uses imagery to convey a prejudiced perception of women. The images serve as a contrast between the self-emancipation and confinement of Nora. The different imageries, in relation to Nora, distinguish irrevocable distinctions in gender and equality, identifying two different consciences. Torvald’s relationship with Nora is more possessive than affectionate as he constantly belittles her: “Now my little lark talk sense” (Ibsen, p.100). The images of ‘squirrels’ and ‘birds’ distinguish Nora as a primitive creature, a mere possession. Furthermore, certain comparisons demean Nora as a human being as she reflects on Papa’s relationship: “He used to call me his doll child, and he played with me the way I played with my dolls” (Ibsen p. 109). The extent of Nora’s oppression can be understood through the inhumane assumption of her being a doll. She is metaphorically depicted as a possession to be played with by the men in her life; she is not an equal. Instead the men are domineering to Nora, depriving her of her rights as an individual. The different possessive images used in the play exemplify the idea of female inequality in “A Doll House”. Page | 1
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Turning to the novel Women of Sand and Myrrh , there are specific references to different images based on the perception of women. In comparison to “A Doll House”, the author uses images to add depth and understanding of the different views of society. In most instances, the imagery used
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World Literature 1.4.6 Print - A common principle that...

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