A Literature Perspective on Feminism in 20th Century
The authors of the three stories are influenced by strong feministic perceptions to challenge existing social systems that make it difficult for women to advance. The three stories highlight various issues faced by women in different eras before the clamor for women’s rights gained momentum. As a result, women have more inferior social roles compared to men and this makes it difficult for them to attain personal satisfaction. The three authors make readers understand their intent through metaphors and other symbolic representations. Henrik Ibsen’s “A Doll’s House” takes a look at the position of a woman in the domestic setting and how ...view middle of the document...
Through the innocent eyes of a child, she probes the impacts of domestic abuse and parental neglect on family disintegration. .
The three authors discuss in detail how women look for independence to make their lives more fulfilling. They show their dissatisfaction with unreasonable societal expectations they are required to observe in their homes and communities. In “The Victims” the narrator describes difficulties they endured with their mother when her father was still working and living with them. The narration reveals that the father has failed in his responsibilities and cannot safeguard his family’s wellbeing. She says “She took it and took it in silence, all those years and then kicked you out, suddenly, and her
kids loved it” (Olds 1057). The story discusses the dilemma of a child who has to learn various things by herself after her parents part ways acrimoniously.
The metaphorical use of the title in “The Storm” shows the inner spirit of energy and vitality in Calixta which is largely repressed by societal expectations. Calixta yearns for sexual satisfaction though societal expectations make it difficult for her to attain her aspirations. Her pent up emotions are described as a brewing storm likely to erupt any time, “Calixta put her hands to her eyes, and with a cry, staggered backward” (Chopin). In the story, the storm is used to represent the outpour of her emotional feelings which have been largely repressed by her role as a wife and mother. The presence of Alce in her home liberates her from the yoke of marital gloom she has experienced for a long time. She shows that she is ready to be in control of her own desires regardless of what other people think.
Nora is zealous and ready to protect her marriage at any cost in “A Doll’s House.” She takes part in various activities to protect her husband from any harm that is likely to befall him. She cuts on domestic spending to ensure she has enough money for other important necessities in her home. As a result, the author uses her to show the input of a financially conscious woman in making her home stable. This is a demonstration of her independence because she does everything she can to make her family live comfortably (Ibsen 1451). She later uses her father’s signature fraudulently to acquire a loan to help her husband travel to Italy. Her husband’s frugal ways do not seem to diminish her desire to take all the necessary steps to make her family live in comfort.
The three authors explain their own attitudes about female empowerment in an era when patriarchal ideals were taken more seriously. The three stories bring to light feminine ideas that enable protagonists to take charge of their own lives by overcoming various challenges they are facing. Even though Nora is loyal to her husband in the “Doll’s House”, she is brave enough to look forward to a future on her own due to her husband’s unwillingness to become more considerate. In the “Victims” the narrator supports her...