A Doll’s House is written by Harold Ibsen is a play about several issues in society coming to light at the time. Like many of the stories, poems, and plays that we read, A Doll’s House addresses gender roles and the sacrificial roles that women in society were placed under by the opposite gender.
The play contrasts two female characters, Nora who is cared for constantly, and Mrs. Linde, a woman who had taken care of herself from a young age and has experienced the world. In Nora’s case, she feels like she is in a cage and that her husband Torvald has put her there because of the way he treats her. He speaks to her as if she were a child because he does not believe or want to believe that she is anything more. Torvald provides for her and she is living a comfortable life.
Mrs. Linde on the other hand has had to provide for herself and has struggled to survive in the world, a society that at the time was biased towards men. Even through her disadvantages she managed to get a job through Torvald and Nora but is still unhappy because she wants someone to care for her or someone to care for.
The contrast between the two women is that Nora has everything that she needs and is cared for but is discontent because she wants to be treated like an adult but has not experienced the world and can never be seen as anything more than a child. Mrs. Linde has experienced the world and has struggled to survive in a male dominated society but is now viewed as an adult. She feels discontent because she wants to be cared for and to care for someone. She wants to have a family.
The two women are clear opposites except for that Torvald is unaware that Nora has made a big step toward becoming an adult. When Torvald was on his deathbed years earlier, Nora took responsibility and took out a loan to save his life and had been secretly paying it off since. Torvald’s condescension to Nora also leads her to believe that she is unfit to be a mother if she is just a child herself.
In an unfortunate turn of events Torvald discovers that Nora has been lying to him and blows up at her. When the problem is averted Torvald tries his best to console Nora but she has made up her mind that she would leave him and the children for all their sakes.
In the end of the play the two women’s roles are reversed. Nora has left home to discover the world and to learn how to provide for herself. She is free to become an adult and whatever she wants. Mrs. Linde is in a relationship with Krogstad and can provide for him with her new job , can love him and start a family. A Doll’s house gives an interesting perspective on the two women’s roles and how both experience life differently.
Trifles by Susan Glaspell is a play based on a true story set in a farming community somewhere in Iowa. Stories like this are not suitable for children. This story is about a farmer that was brutally murdered with an axe (changed to strangled by a rope in the play) by supposedly his wife. His wife was convicted and sent to jail but in a retrial her sentence was reversed and she was set free.
Trifles is told from Susan Glaspell’s point of view because she was the reporter that researched the original story. Her writings about the murder became very popular at the time and probably contributed to the jury’s indecision about the wife’s case, leading to her freedom.
Glaspell displays the men in the story who are investigating as purposeful and intent on finding evidence to help discover who the murderer is (even though they already are convinced that the wife was the killer). They approach the house quickly and spend little time in other rooms of the house except for the murder scene in the upstairs bedroom. Two women that came along to gather personal items for the wife, were portrayed as there only for that purpose, not looking to find any evidence or desire to search the house.
Without searching for any evidence, the two women start noticing the state that the kitchen was in, how unkempt the pots and towels were, and that the wife’s fruit preserves had gone bad. They wonder why the kitchen is in such disarray when they see an empty bird cage that was broken by force. Later after going through the wife’s quilting materials the stumble upon a decorated box. Inside is a dead bird with its head twisted to one side from being wrung.
Their discovery is never fully explained and who killed the bird is left to the audience’s perception. It would make sense that the husband was a very rough and abusive man and that because he hated the bird singing, he wrung its neck. In retaliation the wife murder’s her husband in a similar way showing that the murder was very personal.
Another observation could be made that perhaps the wife killed the bird as a small release of her pent up emotions finally culminating in her husband’s murder. It was no secret to the community that the man was a good man but also a solemn and sometimes harsh man. Without any children or friends nearby, the man’s frustrations would be taken out on her and she did not have anyone to vent her emotions too. Her held back emotions continued to mount until a small release like killing her bird would suffice and murdering her husband seemed like a way of escape and release.
Cases for both observations and many more can be made but what is interesting is the difference between the men and women in the story. The women seem to be more personal and more open to what evidence might be presented leading them to more evidence than the men found. The men on the other hand were more focused on their duty and seemed to already condemn the wife. An interesting commentary on men and women in Glaspell’s society.
The movie The Raven is based on the life of Edgar Allan Poe and the poems that he wrote. Poe believed that he had something truly original to share in his literature and at the time it was. Poe introduced the Gothic genre along with mystery and terror to literature which was new and exciting to people. Poe wrote the poem The Raven in order to become famous and by writing to a broad audience he accomplished just that.
Poe did not earn much money from The Raven but he made himself known among readers. He relied on conveying the sound of the literature as the emotions of the speaker. In the motion picture The Raven, a serial killer feels the emotions of the speaker and admires Poe so much that he begins acting out Poes melancholy stories by murdering people in the ways described in his poems. Poe attempts in his stories to create a nightmarish universe by skillfully blending reality and imagination.
In the film, the screenwriters do Poe’s style justice by blurring the lines between reality and imagination. Poe’s character in the movie is living in the reality of everyday life when events from his own imagination start mysteriously coming true. The stories born of his imagination start to happen to people and even to him through the capture of his love and wife to be. The serial killer targets Poe as an obsession with his writings.
The serial killer’s plot is to make Poe write some of the most moving and emotional pieces that he has ever written out of fear for his bride to be. In Poe’s works he explores the domain of fear and what effect that it can have on an individual. The fear tends to be irrational and drives the individual to be consumed by it and eventually to insanity and death. However in the movie when Poe is confronted with the fear of the loss of his love it drives him to do everything he can to save her from death and eventually gives his own life to save hers.
The screenwriters for the movie toy with the idea that what was born in imagination is actually reality and anything the Poe does will also become reality. They also focus on the sound of the speaker to show his emotion and the emotions of the characters of the movie. They do this so well that the audience is left with the same feelings that Poe had right before he died from drinking poison. He is overjoyed that he found his love and saved her but realizes that he has given his life for her but at the last moment leaves the detective with the identity of the serial killer.
The audience feels happy for Poe and his accomplishments of saving his bride and catching the killer but are saddened by Poe’s tragic death. Poe was a master at the Gothic genre and was unparalleled in his exploration of fear and its effects on individuals.