Nora's Transcendental Consciousness from Marianne's Sensibility: A Reading of Ibsen's A Doll's House and Austen's Sense and Sensibility
Keywords:Marianne, Nora, Sensibility, Consciousness, Self-reliance
This paper attempts to bring out the nineteenth century's women’s quest for self-respect and self-actuality in the mirror of Nora’s developing consciousness following Marianne’s growing sensibility. Jane Austen’s Sense and Sensibility, and Henrik Ibsen’s A Doll’s House are two prominent genres of ninetieth century’s English literature where both writers show the contemporary women’s soul being entangled to social norms as well as their gradual try to be non-conformist against these norms by their thought and action. In the 19th century, English society creates impediments for unmarried women like Marianne and married women like Nora to think and to talk in their way. It is the patriarchal society where women’s social dignity and security depend on their marital status and husbands. Since marriage is their identity, they show their loyalty and sincerity to their husbands or the men they love. In Austen’s novel, as an ordinary woman, Marianne takes Willoughby’s attention as a scared bonding and challenges the seniors’ matured advice. In Ibsen’s play, Nora does forgery and secretly takes a loan to save her sick husband’s life. She considers it a spouse’s duty and believes that her husband will understand her as he cares for her. When the time comes, both Marianne and Nora betray their loyalty from their partners to whom they are not human beings but puppets to be entertained. From this violation of trust, they realize that they need to be considered human beings first before being respected women in a family and society. It is their strength that despite being taken as soulless creatures, they dare to think about own self beyond the society and become self-reliant. Their growing self-reliance makes today’s women progressive in creating a space in society and family for themselves as human beings.
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