Discuss how dramatic texts express or reinforce patriarchal conceptions of gender.
Gross (2003) suggest that “Patriarchy involves a gender hierarchy of men over women. Men control women, or at least they think they do.” During the nineteenth century women tended to be domesticated, homemakers and their role was to be ‘seen and not heard’. Their responsibilities were to tend for their family and look after the home. Men however were the dominant figure, they were the rulers who went out to work and provided and protected their families.
In 1879, Henrik Ibsen, a Norwegian playwright published his controversial “A Doll’s House”. Through his work he wrote about his own disapproval towards inequality and self expression. The work of Caryl Churchill in “Top Girls” also attempts to show an interpretation of women’s rights in a 1980’s Britain. She presents the change in priorities towards women’s and expectations within the work place that are set against them. Within this essay I will discuss how the plays “Top Girls” and “A doll’s house” express and reinforce patriarchal concepts of gender.
The play “A doll’s house” focuses on the main protagonist Nora, and throughout the play we follow her actions and the consequences that they lead too. When Ibsen first published the play he came upon large amounts of criticism and scrutiny as the play pushed ‘ the boundaries of its typical ‘middle class’ audience. Ibsen specifically wrote and targeted his play “A doll’s house” for the ‘middle class’ with intent to present a true representation of Middle class life, with large amounts of focus on the women being an ‘object’ as opposed to having their own lives. Bossy, Brothers and McEnroe (2001) suggested that “Ibsen turned the theatre into a socially relevant forum” this therefore suggests that through Ibsen’s work he challenged the typical picturesque view of middle class life and presented a more realistic and accurate account of life in a patriarchal society. He...