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Sunday, August 18, 2013

1987 AP Test essay #2

Essay #2: On A Dolls House
     Changes in traditions are often pointed out by various authors throughout history.  In A Doll's House, the author addresses the attitude towards women in the late 18th century.  Throughout the story, the wife and mother figure, Nora, is degraded into something helpless and ignorant. Her husband Torvald treats her like a "doll" and doesn't respect all of the things that she does for him.  When Torvald yells at her for borrowing money to help him get better when he grows ill, Nora builds up the courage to walk out on him after eight years of marriage.  This is something that was unheard of during the time period and shows the great courage and strength that women truly have.

     Throughout the play, the author develops the perception of Nora as an emotionally unstable housewife.  The author does this so the audience will see her character as the other people in the play see her.  This is what develops the traditional perception of women that the author wants to break.  Nora is also called pet names by her husband to show the audience how he perceives her as well.  This develops a background on how typical women from the 1800s are seen.

     By making Nora's character finally walk out on her husband, the author breaks the social tradition of women being inferior to men.  During this time period it was really difficult for women to be on their own because there weren't  many jobs available to them and they weren't as educated as men in the field of work.  The author teaches the audience this through Mrs. Linde's character, a woman who grew up through poverty and struggled when she lost her family.

     The author of A Doll's House breaks the tradition of women being inferior to men by creating a character that was able to overcome the degradation of being treated like a "doll."  As Nora's character grows, the audience learns that she isn't as helpless as she looks and learns that she has the strength and courage to stand up for herself.

1 comment:

  1. Melissa, I would also give this one a five. The essay was organized very nicely, but a couple of the sentences were repetitive or somewhat awkward. (One possible suggestion is to say "women's inferiority to men" in the place of "women being inferior to men.") Also, I think it would be more helpful to reader if you included some examples of exactly how "the author develops the perception of Nora as an emotionally unstable housewife." Overall, though, it was a very good analysis of the author's techniques and intentions.