Review Of Relationships In “Eugenie Grandet”

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Around 1877, Henrik Ibsen explored the capitalist society and the “conflict between the social and moral restrictions of bourgeois society” (Course kit, 2009). It was during this period that Ibsen wrote a play called “A Doll House”. Written around the same time, “Eugenie Grandet” by Honore De Balzac (2003) and Henrik Ibsen’s “A Doll House” (1996) shows a capitalist society where having money meant you were respected in the community. Often times becoming part of a higher social class, having a good reputation and power became more of an importance than one’s own family. People wanted to live a bourgeoisie’s lifestyle and would do whatever it took to get there. This can be seen in both “Eugenie Grandet” and “A Doll House”. Most affected by this ‘bourgeois attitude’ men mainly had was the women in their lives. In the household the males maintained this bourgeois attitude which made them the dominant person in the family. The men were the providers, the “breadwinners”, while the women were domesticated. Although there were a lot of movements in the early to late 1800s both the novel and play have similarities that seem to fit well with history books of how gender roles were in earlier society. From both the novel “Eugenie Grandet” and the play “A Doll House” one can see through those literatures that males were more dominant in society. This in turn meant that relationships between women and men where also dominated by the man by oppression of women. This essay will begin by examining Balzac’s novel and how Monsieur Grandet has domination over his wife Madame Grandet. The essay will then show how a young woman, Eugenie, grows up to learn to respect that the male are more dominant in a family and that a woman’s role is of a submissive one. Lastly, the essay will then look at patriarchy in the family and how the male maintains his domination through oppression in the
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