Feminism in 19th Century

1250 Words5 Pages
Feminism in the 19th Century Scientists like the ones from Stephen Jay Gould’s article “Women’s Brains” saw women as the subordinate sex and expected them to stay at home and not work. In Gould’s article, the views of women are expressed by various scientists. Majority of the scientists in the article are men. In this essay, Gould argues against the views of women at this time, in dealing with their intelligence, or their lack of it. It’s is amazing that the facts he refers to from the 19th century that were actually accepted as scientific evidence are laughed at today. Nobody in today’s world would say that women are less intelligent then men, simply because their brain is smaller in size. Henrik Ibsen’s play A Doll’s House also shows this how women were seen, however Ibsen also helps to change the way that women were perceived. The story centers around a young girl named Nora Helmer, who is constrained to society s view of her gender’s role, and desperately tries to find herself in the midst of it all. In the attempt to save her husband s life and pride, she secretly borrowed money to use for his recovery from a deadly illness. She is then faced with the consequences of her dishonest practice, even though her intentions were always honorable. Feminist ideas are clearly presented all through the play, but are most easily seen in the dependence society put on women, Nora’s changing definitions of freedom, and Ibsen’s portrayal of women as self-sacrificial and cunning, using society s view of them as a foil. Ibsen’s play, A Doll’s House uses Nora, the main character to portray how woman were treated in the 19th century. Nora’s husband, Torvald constantly talks down to her, as if she were his child, instead of wife, “HEL. You can’t deny it, my dear little Nora. [. . .] It’s a sweet little spendthrift, but she uses up a deal of money. One would hardly

More about Feminism in 19th Century

Open Document