Doll’s House

Comparing the Positions on Women ‘s Position in Jane Austen ‘s Pride and Prejudice and Henrik Ibsen ‘s A Doll ‘s House


The research conducted in order for this essay to be written was n’t like that which would be conducted during a scientific discipline experiment or a mathematical job resolution. The research undertaken for this essay was really analytical. It delved profoundly into two celebrated literary plants of the 19th century. The research was chiefly carried out because of the interesting difference between the two plants and the highly strong female supporters. What the chief thought of this research essay was was comparing the positions on adult females ‘s places in Pride and Prejudice by Jane Austen and A Doll ‘s House by Henrik Ibsen. The literary plants are merely 70 old ages apart, yet society ‘s positions changed so drastically in those 70 old ages that it is hard non to be interested in analyzing the two plants. To genuinely understand the positions of adult females in these two publications, one must read the two exhaustively every bit good as research what kinds of events were happening at the times of the publications. When Pride and Prejudice was published, society in the book was indistinguishable to society in existent life. When A Doll ‘s House was published, adult females ‘s rights were get downing to go more outstanding in society. Of class, even so, there were still some old fashioned heads. Torvald Helmer was the prototype of what Ibsen disapproved of. As many people analysed, Ibsen wrote this drama to do the universe move frontward quicker. It is unknown whether or non his drama really made a immense impact ; nevertheless, adult females ‘s place in society has changed drastically since. Even between the two publications, there was a dramatic alteration. Nora Helmer was an impossible character to Jane Austen. By the clip Ibsen had his drama performed, adult females were get downing to believe independently and seek independency. The findings evident in this essay will non alter the universe or halt planetary heating. However, they do do a individual believe how otherwise life was lived in the 19th century.


For a period in history, the lone thing that seemed to blight adult females was the chance of matrimony. Even if a adult female did n’t needfully desire to get married she would be forced into thought of it because it was all that surrounded her. In the early nineteenth century, it was non difficult to understand that adult females in society were believed to be simple animals, who did n’t desire more than a lovely place to sit in and neighboring adult females to dish the dirt with.

In 1813, Pride and Prejudice, a novel that supported all these societal ideas, was introduced to the universe. This novel was written by Jane Austen and is likely one of the most celebrated love narratives of all clip merely because all adult females love to read about a love that survived the good and bad times. Jane Austen was a adult female in the clip where matrimony was all one should believe of as a immature lady. Not 70 old ages subsequently, a drama was performed for the first clip, titled A Doll ‘s House. This drama was written by dramatist Henrik Ibsen and illustrated strongly contrasting subjects to those present in Pride and Prejudice. Whilst Pride and Prejudice Centres on a adult female in privation of a hubby, A Doll ‘s House focuses on the other side of matrimony ; the side of matrimony cipher wanted revealed when it was foremost performed. Ibsen wrote his drama at the clip when adult females were get downing to be thought of in society as something more than merely females. In his drama, Ibsen created a character that began seeing past the cuteness of matrimony with her hubby. She began to believe for herself and understand that there is more to larn about the universe and one can non cognize it unless one seeks it.

Two authors, less than 70 old ages apart, with wholly different attitudes as to how the universe should be seen, in the eyes of a adult female. Both existed in the same century, yet they were universes apart when it came to society ‘s positions on adult females and their place. Jane Austen believed it merely natural for matrimony to be on a immature lady of nubile age ‘s head. Henrik Ibsen, on the other manus, thought it inappropriate to demo matrimony as ever being a traditional fate. Ibsen depicted adult females as independent or, at the really least, seeking independency. He succeeded when trying to portray adult females as more than hopeless immature ladies whose life ends were to be married. Both are wholly conflicting narratives ; both are improbably successful.

Fictional character Comparisons

Two really different narratives would evidently hold two really different supporters. Pride & A ; Prejudice and A Doll ‘s House are no exclusion ; the former, Elizabeth Bennet ; the latter, Nora Helmer. They are immensely different but are non the lone characters that are comparable in the two novels.

Elizabeth Bennet compared to Nora Helmer

Elizabeth lives with her female parent who is a lady who badgered and pestered her five girls about matrimony. Elizabeth, being a adult female in the times when matrimony and economic system was everything to a adult female, has differing positions to her society. Elizabeth does non believe in engaging herself to person she is non compatible with. Elizabeth is a alone adult female. Compared to all other adult females in that clip, she is rational and cares about more than money and secular ownerships. She does non desire to get married a adult male she can non discourse with. Even though Elizabeth is a different adult female who fancied more than the mean adult female in the early 1800s, she still wanted to get married a adult male she could populate with. If she did n’t, she would hold to be married to him for life in wretchedness. Divorce was non of all time thought of in the times of Elizabeth Bennet and her sisters. Therefore, if you were betrothed to person, you would be betrothed to them for the whole of infinity. It was considered wholly unladylike and thankless, besides, to go forth your hubby. If a adult female was married to a adult male who was back uping her well and who was giving her all she wanted and she decided to go forth him, society would look at her as an unappreciative married woman who is non satisfied with anything. It was non understood in those old times that two people were non compatible. All that was thought of when matrimony was brought up was if he ‘s a adult male who can back up this adult female with whatever happens. Consequently, Elizabeth wanted to get married but she wanted to get married person she was compatible with, person she could pass the remainder of her life with and non repent it. Marriage is what she wanted but it was n’t the matrimony that her female parent or the remainder of society would of all time understand.

Nora Helmer is a house-wife. She knits and stores, merely as a house-wife should. She ne’er complains that her life is n’t fulfilling. However, Ibsen was clever plenty to hide her true feelings until subsequently on in the drama. As the audience analyses Nora, it is realised that her life was ne’er delighting ; there was ever something missing in everything she of all time did and ne’er did she gain it until it was about excessively late. Nora is tired of life in a place where she is treated as a doll would be treated – pampered and adored for her animalism. Finally, she realises that populating with Torvald Helmer is non the manner she wants to populate. There is so much to see out at that place in the universe ; so much to larn about ; and here she is, populating in a doll ‘s house, confined to a town that is non broad plenty for her head, nor exciting plenty. Finally, she leaves her blue life in the doll ‘s house, to populate her ain life, to larn things she ‘s ne’er known earlier, to go to topographic points she has merely of all time heard of. She wanted to see life, as she ‘d ne’er seen it before and she could non make that whilst populating under the same roof as Torvald Helmer.

Both these adult females are of great deepness and machination. Both Elizabeth and Nora have different ideas to those of the normal flow of their milieus. Elizabeth did n’t desire to get married for money and terminal with a hubby who could n’t even discourse with her, unusual as it was in her clip. Nora did non desire to be imprisoned in a place, which offered no comfort, no exhilaration, no acquisition chances. Both characters are similar in the ways that they both went against the usual class of those around them. However, they are different in the things they wanted finally. Elizabeth wanted to get married person compatible. Nora wanted to remain off from matrimony life and larn more about the universe and herself earlier perpetrating to anything more. Pride and Prejudice ends with both Elizabeth Bennet and Jane Bennett observing their matrimonies to Fitzwilliam Darcy and Charles Bingley. A Doll ‘s House, on the other manus, ends with Nora walking to the universe, ready to encompass whatever the universe has to offer. In less than 70 old ages, the narratives written about adult females and their place changed drastically. Womans were get downing to be seen as more capable and as more equal. It was besides known that matrimony was non all that would traverse their heads. After all, it is n’t that adult females are despairing to acquire married – the society and the state of affairs society put adult females in merely made it look that manner and by the clip Henrik Ibsen wrote his drama, those types of ideas were get downing to hesitate.

Torvald Helmer compared to Nils Krogstad and Dr. Rank

Torvald Helmer is a adult male who believes in peculiar places for work forces and adult females. He does n’t believe adult females should supply, as Kristina Linde is be aftering to make for Nils Krogstad. He is a traditional adult male with an out-of-date manner of believing life in a society, which is quickly altering. Torvald Helmer is stuck in the times, which Austen described in her novel. He is, nevertheless, merely joined by a few. In A Doll ‘s House there are two other male characters whose manner of thought was decidedly altering with that of society. Nils Krogstad and Dr. Rank both believe in equality of work forces and adult females. Ibsen created these two characters as a manner of contrasting to Torvald. Both Krogstad and Rank have different positions. Krogstad wholly agrees with the thought of Ms. Linde working to supply for her household. “I ran a small store, so a little school, and anything else I could turn my manus to.” ( Ibsen, H. A Doll ‘s House. Act one ; page 157 ) . Rank besides would sit and hold many treatments with Nora, handling her like an equal grownup. Torvald ne’er one time had a serious conversation with her, which proves how small he thought of the supposed equality between them. In the beginning of the drama, it seems to the audience that everybody thinks as Torvald does when Kristina provinces, “A married woman ca n’t borrow without her hubby ‘s consent” ( Ibsen, H. A Doll ‘s House. Act 1, page 160 ) . From this statement, it seems as though the society Nora is populating in is merely like the society Elizabeth Bennet was populating in. Nora besides states, “I was lucky plenty to acquire a batch of copying to do…it was enormous merriment sitting at that place working and gaining money. It was about like being a man.” ( Ibsen, H. A Doll ‘s House. Act 1, page 162 ) . This line suggests that adult females were non to work as work forces did in that society. However, when Dr. Rank is introduced, these thoughts change. When Rank enters the place intending to see Torvald, he does non travel off when he hears he is busy. Rather, he sits with Nora and converses with her, like equal grownups. “Bankrupt! In less than a month, possibly, I shall lie decomposing in the churchyard” ( Ibsen, H. A Doll ‘s House. Act 2, page 191 ) . Rank discusses affairs of earnestness with Nora, whilst Torvald does non. It is clear that Rank has a head that is altering with the altering society. “Helmer ‘s excessively sensitive to be able to confront anything ugly – I wo n’t hold him in my ill room” ( Ibsen, H. A Doll ‘s House. Act 2, page 191 ) . Rank explains that Torvald is really sensitive. It is understood that he does non even talk of serious things with people other than Nora. He is clearly the uneven one in this novel because everybody else has the same frame of head but he seems to be stuck in the yearss that were even altering in Pride and Prejudice.

Mr. Fitzwilliam Darcy compared to Mr. Charles Bingley

Two other work forces that are contrasting characters are Mr. Fitzwilliam Darcy and Mr. Charles Bingley of Pride and Prejudice. Both have distinct positions on society and the thoughts that society lives on. Both work forces are proprietors of a really big luck – Mr. Darcy somewhat wealthier than Mr. Bingley. The two are the best of friends ; nevertheless, their characters could non be more dissimilar. At the first ball at Meryton, each of their characters is decided by the environing society. “Mr. Bingley was good looking and gentlemanlike ; he had a pleasant visage, and easy, unaffected manners…he was lively and unreserved.” ( Austen, J. Pride and Prejudice. Volume 1, chapter 3, page 12 ) . Mr. Bingley is liked by everyone that was acquainted with him about immediately. It was his lively temperament. “Mr. Darcy shortly drew the attending of the room by his mulct, tall individual, handsome characteristics, baronial mein ; and the study which was in general circulation within five proceedingss of his entryway, of his holding ten thousand a year.” ( Austen, J. Pride and Prejudice. Volume 1, chapter 3, page 12 ) . He is looked at as handsome and even more fine-looking when they ‘ve heard of his luck. However, their positions on Mr. Darcy shortly alteration. “ ( He ) danced merely one time, declined being introduced to any other lady, and spent the remainder of the eventide in walking about the room, talking on occasion to one of his ain party. He was the proudest, most disagreeable adult male in the world.” ( Austen, J. Pride and Prejudice. Volume 1, chapter 3, page 12 ) . The work forces ‘s differences do non merely travel so deep as personalities. They are besides different in what they want finally. Of class, as was the tradition at the clip, they each want to get married ; nevertheless, Mr. Bingley is non so crabbed with who his hereafter bride is to be. Mr. Bingley is much quicker to label a adult female as ‘accomplished ‘ besides, which adds to the differing positions of him and his friend. “It is astonishing to me how immature ladies can hold forbearance to be so really complete, as they all are, ” quotes Mr. Bingley ( Austen, J. Pride and Prejudice. Volume 1, chapter 8, page 35 ) . Mr. Darcy, of class, scolds him for believing such a thing. It is clear that Mr. Darcy has a much more different thought of what an complete adult female is. After depicting an complete adult female, Mr. Bingley listens to Mr. Darcy ‘s words, “All this she must possess and to all this she must yet add something more significant, in the betterment of her head by extended reading, ” ( Austen, J. Pride and Prejudice. Volume 1, chapter 8, page 35 ) . To the reader, it is obvious that Mr. Darcy, deliberately or non, is depicting Elizabeth Bennet as accomplished. It is even more apparent what the two friend ‘s positions on adult females are when they choose their married womans. Mr. Bingley chooses Jane for her unmistakable beauty and sort nature and nil more. His fondness for her is non based on an intelligent head or extended reader. Mr. Darcy, on the other manus, favor Elizabeth. Although she is non every bit fine-looking as Jane, her head is more developed. She takes pleasance in reading and holding rational conversations. Mr. Darcy clearly wants this for a bride. By fall ining Mr. Darcy with Elizabeth and Mr. Bingley with Jane in marriage in the terminal of the novel, it is clear what Austen wants the reader to larn: get married person you are compatible with. Although Mr. Bingley marries Jane for her attraction, their matrimony was compatible because each is sort natured and good spirited. The two are non intellectuals, like Mr. Darcy and Elizabeth. In fact, they are rather the antonym, yet their matrimony still works. When comparing the two chief work forces of this novel, it is possible to state that Mr. Darcy and Mr. Bingley are the male opposite numbers to Jane and Elizabeth Bennet, which is perchance why their matrimonies worked in the terminal.

Writer ‘s Purpose

As authors, both Austen and Ibsen had distinguishable intents for composing what they did. When reading their plants, it is clear to many that each wanted to promote the populace to get down to believe otherwise to the society they lived in. Austen did hold with her society, basically. She approved of matrimony but wanted the ground for matrimony to alter in the head of the populace. Ibsen, nevertheless, promoted adult females ‘s independency and ensured his audience went off with new thoughts about the equality between the sexes.

Jane Austen wrote Pride and Prejudice to let adult female the apprehension that get marrieding for money, alternatively of compatibility, was ne’er the right way to walk on. Even though both Jane and Elizabeth did get married affluent work forces, they did it for love instead than the money involved. They married for the of import fact that they connected with their spouses on a higher degree than how extremely they thought of the money they possessed. In the times when Austen published this novel, the thought of Elizabeth and Jane were ne’er believed to be possible. Austen took this to her advantage and publicized rational thought and brought ideas of compatibility into relationships. Other than Elizabeth and Jane Bennett in Pride and Prejudice, the characters largely think about get marrieding for support and security more than anything else. Naturally, she disapproved of adult females get marrieding bad work forces. By making a character like Elizabeth, the audience could understand that she most decidedly found it rather inappropriate for a adult male and adult female to get married without any love. However, Austen did n’t wholly disapprove of adult females get marrieding for money. She understood that there are certain fortunes, which can non be avoided sometimes. In her novel, she wrote about Charlotte Lucas, who was a girl uncertain of her economic hereafter. She married Mr. Collins for his evident wealth and the belief that she would be financially unafraid with him as a hubby. Although she understood her unsure economic hereafter, Austen used this comparing to her benefit. Charlotte and Mr. Collins ‘ matrimony became one of comfort, non one of love and fondness. Austen did non bury to remind the reader that their matrimony was anything but successful because Charlotte married for money. She besides disapproved of matrimony based entirely on attractive force, as was Mr. and Mrs. Bennet ‘s relationship. “Her father captivated by young person and beauty, and that visual aspect of good temper, which young person and beauty by and large give, had married a adult female whose weak apprehension and broad head, had really early in their matrimony put an terminal to all existent fondness for her” ( Austen, J. Pride and Prejudice. Volume 3, chapter 42, page 194 ) . Their matrimony was all that Austen was against. What she disapproved of, besides, was the world that adult females could non inherit lucks. For illustration ; in the instance of Mr. Bennett who had four girls and no boies, he would hold to go through his luck on to the following male in the household, who was Mr. Collins, who had n’t even been acquainted with the Bennet household. Austen did non understand why Mr. Bennett ‘s girl could n’t take over his luck, when they evidently deserve it much more so than Mr. Collins. She showed her disapproval of this by utilizing the voice of Mrs. Bennet. “I do believe it is the hardest thing in the universe, that your estate should be entailed off from your ain kids, ” ( Austen, J. Pride and Prejudice. Volume 1, chapter 15, page 54 ) . In the terminal, what could be said about Austen ‘s intent to compose such a deep and meaningful novel is that she meant great things for it. She wrote to learn adult females of the universe that they should happen their topographic point in the universe. Their heads should non constantly go around around matrimony and finding matrimony. They should larn to be comfy with their milieus and themselves and merely believe of matrimony when a adult male that is compatible with them comes along and bargains their bosom with what he does and says, and non with how much money he possesses.

Henrik Ibsen wrote his drama in a clip when adult females ‘s rights were get downing to go noticed. Women ‘s right to independence played a brilliant function in Ibsen ‘s A Doll ‘s House. That is basically what he was constructing towards, right from the beginning of the drama. The full intent for his authorship of this drama was to air the fact that adult females should get down believing for themselves. He wanted adult females to believe they could do it on their ain ; that they did non necessitate a adult male to assist them along the manner. Henrik Ibsen wrote this drama non 70 old ages after Jane Austen wrote her novel. Immediately as the first few pages are read, it is rather obvious that Ibsen is looking in to the hereafter. His building of Nora is rather antic. As a reader, it is interesting to observe that Nora Helmer is a wholly impossible character for Jane Austen. Never would Austen even think that a adult female could go forth her hubby in order to larn more about herself and the universe. Nora is an first-class theoretical account of what many adult females thought about in the late nineteenth century. Marriage was get downing to lose its rose-coloured thaumaturgy. The narratives speech production of happy matrimonies were easy get downing to run off to uncover much less pretty images. Ibsen succeeded when trying to compose these ideas down as a drama. He succeeded in the fact that when the audience watched as Nora walked to the universe, a new adult female, they all cheered and agreed with all her logical thinking. Because Nora ‘s action provoked this reaction, it is evident that his mission was fulfilled. His mission to free the heads of all people of the inequality between work forces and adult females was accomplished. By using the usage of Kristina Linde, who worked and provided for her household for many old ages, Ibsen showed that it was non a bad thing. Kristina learnt more about herself and the cruel universe she lived in. Obviously, it might hold worn her out and tired her nevertheless, she came out of it a better, more-rounded and more experient adult female who could take on anything and non back down. Unlike Nora, who was frustrated all her life because she was losing something she urgently wanted. She moved from her male parent ‘s place, where she was treated like a doll, to her hubby ‘s place, where she received the same intervention. She ne’er worked a twenty-four hours in her life, and because of this, she ne’er stopped woolgathering of it. When she did work, behind her hubby ‘s dorsum ( for that was the lone manner she could ) , she commented that they were the three most gratifying hebdomads of her life. Ibsen used Nora ‘s character to demo that a adult female who has been treated as though she is a delicate porcelain doll for all of her being will non of all time cognize how to truly believe for herself. He used this character to demo that holding everything done for you and ne’er cognizing genuinely what the universe around you is approximately is something one should ne’er trust for. Even though Ms. Linde was terribly weary, Ibsen made his audience believe that this is the life, which should be sought after.

In Pride and Prejudice, the society that Elizabeth Bennett lived in was non one which questioned a batch of things. Whatever is put in forepart of them, they believe it. They did non oppugn things that seemed unusual to them. They did non inquiry for fear their ideas and beliefs would be confused and proved incorrect. Desire for society did non be in Austen ‘s Pride and Prejudice, unlike in A Doll ‘s House. Nora wanted to larn more about the society and universe she lived in. Elizabeth Bennett and the people she knew truly merely cared for the people they were already acquainted with. They would non travel out of their manner to larn more about what is go oning in other parts of the universe, or even the state. In A Doll ‘s House Ibsen made it clear that Nora wanted to see as much of the universe as she perchance could. In Pride and Prejudice, Austen merely wrote about matrimony and the ceaseless pursuit to happen the right individual to get married. Whilst Austen showed that matrimony was what all adult females wanted finally, Ibsen showed that matrimony life could be restricted. Ibsen besides showed that traditional hubbies implement several limitations on their married womans, which finally denies the adult females the ability to turn, emotionally and physically. Ibsen attempted to state the audience that if a adult male did everything for his married woman and protected her from everything, there is no possible manner she could turn into a more developed, more experient, more agreeable individual.


Two novels: different in intent but every bit great. Jane Austen lived in a different society to Henrik Ibsen. She agreed with the most portion of her society, except that adult females should n’t get married for fiscal security – they should get married those that are like them. Her novel ended in two compatible matrimonies. Marriage was still the ultimate finish for adult females – every bit good as work forces – but it was n’t the sort of matrimony that her society looked at. Womans so were expected to get married for security and a all right house. Austen wanted to alter these thoughts and guarantee that adult females believed that the luck of a adult male is non what should be looked at when looking for a possible hubby. Ibsen did non hold with his society. In fact, he wrote his drama in order to alter the society he lived in. His drama went against everything the society believed in. Womans were non allowed to go forth their hubbies whenever they wanted to. That is why he wrote the drama – he wanted adult females ‘s places to alter – and they did. When Nora walks to the universe, she received cheers from the crowd. Independence, from so on, was desired and that ‘s what Ibsen wanted. Both of the novels are fabulously written and the message is printed loud and clear. As the old ages go on, it is apparent that each of these literary plant has made an tremendous impact on society. Ibsen helped adult females ‘s battle for independency move more quickly, whilst Austen made adult females all over the universe seek a adult male that was like them, non merely had a luck that could purchase them a place large plenty for one hundred.



1. Austen, Jane. Pride and Prejudice. England: Penguin, 1996.

2. Ibsen, Henrik. A Doll ‘s House. England: Penguin, 1965

3. Spence, Jon. Becoming Jane Austen. 2nd erectile dysfunction. London: Continuum, 2007.

Web sites

1. Cummingss, Michael. J. A Doll ‘s House by Henrik Johan Ibsen: A Study Guide. Retrieved: 18/07/09.

& lt ; hypertext transfer protocol: // & gt ;

2. Haker, Ann. Pride and Prejudice by Jane Austen. Retrieved: 18/07/09.

& lt ; hypertext transfer protocol: // & gt ;

3. Pride and Prejudice: Jane Austen. Retrieved: 13/07/09.

& lt ; hypertext transfer protocol: // & gt ;

4. Pride and Prejudice. Retrieved: 13/07/09. & lt ; hypertext transfer protocol: // & gt ;

5. Pride and Prejudice. Retrieved: 05/02/10.

& lt ; hypertext transfer protocol: // & gt ;

6. Yurgaitis, Daniel. A Doll ‘s House. February 16, 2004. Retrieved: 18/07/09. & lt ; hypertext transfer protocol: // & gt ;

Leave a Reply

Your email address will not be published. Required fields are marked *