Dr. Sally Drucker
November 27, 2018
The Fight for Happiness and hope for Independence
The two short stories that compare to me are “Trifles” by Susan Glaspell and “A Doll’s House” by Henrik Ibsen. Both women in these stories take roles of a wife that is underestimated by their husband. They live in a world where women have no freedom and are expected to be only in the house. Minnie Wright and Nora Helmer are two women who wish for independence and share the same grief.
To begin with, “Trifles” interests me because it is the picture of a “perfect” doll house. Nora lives in a wealthy house and her husband adores her so much. She has a nanny, hired household help, plays with her children, plans to have the whole family over for the holidays, and helps her husband by working hard when they did not have much money to spend. However, she is looked down on because her husband knows she needs him financially. He loves that he has this power and this gives him the right to say or treat her however he wants. He treats her disrespectfully by calling her “little featherhead” and “little skylark.” This indicates Nora’s status in their relationship. Torvald defines the role of a women is to be a good wife by decorating the house, cooking dinner and raising the children and so did every man in this time period. When Nora borrows money to taker her husband on a trip to Italy for his health, he can not face the fact that his wife saved him. Now she must work in secret to pay off her loan because it is illegal for a women to obtain a loan without their husbands permission. She does all in her power to keep a good public image. Society controls her. When her husband finds out she borrowed money, he threw a raging fit just to want her back in the end. She lives in a world where she isn’t her own person and is forced to live by someone else despite what she is capable of.
Furthermore, “Tifriles” share the same qualities. Minnie Wright used to enjoy singing as a young girl and had a beautiful voice. Her dreams were crushed when meeting John Wright. When married, her life struck in a blink of an eye. She was expected to only be doing farmwork, meeting her husbands needs by cooking and cleaning the house. She did not see any other women in town and a matter of fact, she didn’t interact with anyone. Just like Nora, her expectations were to only do what she is for. To cook, clean, and in her case work on the farm. Her loneliness ate her alive until she found her true happiness, a cheap, canary bird. When her husband murdered the bird, she felt that was the only thing that kept her sane. She was so fed up about her life she decided to murder her husband by strangling him just like how he did to her pet bird.
The authors in both stories gave an interesting message to their readers. Susan Glaspell and Henrik Ibsen both use foreshadowing throughout their stories and personally I enjoy reading that better than finding out everything in the end because than I become confused. However, I think the message represents that each person is going through a struggle. These struggles vary on each person and how each individual is going to get out of it, depends on their actions. Both wives have been hurting and keeping there burdens heavy on their back for a long time. When provoked, they did what they always wanted to do, to get rid of their problems and run away from their life. “A dolls house” and “Trifles” compare by characters and plot. They simalize by the two wives going through a fight and their husbands being set in their ways. By looking at these marriages, it shows that a healthy relationship involves more than just love but trust, understanding and respect.