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Free Essays on A Doll’s House: Marital Lessons

Marital Lessons from A Doll’s House

Divorce has become widely accepted throughout the world. In today’s world, the violent shredding of a family is shrugged off like the daily weather. The Norwegian play A Doll’s House, by Henrik Ibsen, is a prime example of a marriage that didn’t work. The marriage of Torvald and Nora Helmer had many problems because the husband and wife couldn’t discover the secrets of marital bliss. To keep a marriage alive and growing it must hold true to four qualities: love, communication, trust and loyalty, and perseverance. With the incorporation of these qualities any marriage would work.

Without love a relationship would probably not even begin. Two people meet, a friendship forms, and soon a romance blossoms. Though the basis for Nora and Torvald’s relationship appeared to be centered around love, the needed balance was not obtained. Torvald didn’t really love Nora; to him she was just another child to mind. He said, ‘And I wouldn’t want you to be any different from what you are-just my sweet little song bird. But now I come to think of it, you look rather-rather-how shall I put it? -rather as if you’ve been up to mischief today’ ( 151). Calling his wife names such as ‘skylark,’ ‘squirrel,’ and ‘spendthrift,’ Torvald does not love his wife with the respect and sensitivity a man should. The main area where Torvald showed his lack of love for Nora was in the way he managed his house. Torvald was the owner of what he believed to be a perfect doll house. This doll house was first controlled by Nora’s domineering father, and once Nora entered marriage, the titles and deeds to this doll house were handed over to Torvald. Torvald manipulated Nora, and then the children through her according to his wants, sure that he could never lose control over his precious doll house. This lack of love and imperious attitude would eventually ruin their marriage. Nora was the only one of the two partners who showed love for the other in this play. Going against all the odds a woman faced in the late nineteenth century, Nora went behind her husband’s back, borrowed a large sum of money, forged her father’s signature, and went on to pay it off with hopes of Torvald never hearing of it. She refused to be a doll, and would alternate personalities between ‘Torvald’s little skylark,’ and ‘Nora the intelligent and strong woman.

Use Irony and Magic Realism in One Hundred Years of Solitude

Use Irony and Magic Realism in One Hundred Years of Solitude

In Marquez’s One Hundred Years of Solitude, the realistic description of impossible events is an example of both irony and magic realism.

Irony is the use of words, images, and so on, to convey the opposite of their intended meaning. Garcia Marquez employs irony on several levels. Sometimes a single word, such as a character’s name, suggests something opposite to the character’s personality: for example, Prudencio Aguilar, who is not the least bit “prudent”.

Sometimes a character’s style of speech is ironic. For example, in the chapter on the banana workers’ strike, the court uses very stiff, pompous language to state something that is ridiculous: that the banana workers do not exist, because they are technically not “employees” of the firm – an evasion of the government’s responsibility that has tragic consequences. Another example is Fernanda’s long-winded proclamations of her religious devotion. These are obviously expressions, not of Christian love, but of extreme self-centeredness and rigidity. The apparently patriotic declarations of Liberals and Conservatives alike also have nothing to do with loyalty to the country, but are really about the narrow ambitions of the politicians.

More subtly, what the narrator or the characters say may sometimes contradict what the reader knows to be true. There are many examples in the solemn announcements of Jose Arcadio Buendia, including his finding that ice “is the great invention of our time.” Much later, the apparent progress brought by the banana company to Macondo turns out not to be progress at all, but a prelude to devastation.

Still more subtly, Garcia Marquez has reserved a…

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…ecise figures for things. Thus, the heavy rains that fall on Macondo-a perfectly normal, but impressive, event in northeastern Colombia-are said to last precisely four years, eleven months, and two days. To a child watching it rain, it might seem to last that long. Three thousand workers are massacred by troops during the banana strike. Colonel Aureliano Buendia fights, and loses, precisely thirty-two wars, and so on.

When we read of such amazing events told in such an objective and naïve voice, we realize it is up to us, the readers, to interpret their meaning. Whoever is narrating is simply too literal-minded and simple to have trustworthy opinions.

Works Cited

Drabble, Margaret The Oxford Companion to English Literature, Oxford University Press 1995

Marquez, Gabriel Garcia One Hundred Years of Solitude, HarperCollins

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