Women’s Suffrage in Literature

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Throughout history during the suffrage movement women were treated as unequals of men. The suffrage movement was as quoted,was the struggle for the right of women to vote and run for office and is part of the overall women’s rights movement. In other words it was a time where women wanted to speak out and go against the social norms of society and wanted to have the same opportunities and rights as men did during this time period.

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This movement began officially in 1848 when a woman’s rights convention was held in Seneca Falls, New York. The author Henrik Ibsen, who wrote the very popular title A Doll’s House was one of the first men during the time period of the suffrage movement to really bring the issue of women being treated unequally to the general public. In this book he showed that women were being treated as unequals and that they will eventually learn to speak out and go against the social norms of society. He tried to show this through his characters in the book, but he mostly shows this through Nora, Kristine Linde, and Nora’s husband Torvald. He used these specific characters because throughout the whole book, Nora was treated very badly, and unequal to Torvald and Ibsen shows how she started in a bad place, where she was mistreated, and trapped to in the end where she gains the courage to stand up for herself and walk away from the miserable marriage she was in. Moreover, in this book Ibsen is showing an accurate portrayal of how women were treated as unequals during the suffrage movement.

Nora Helmer who was married to Torvald Helmer was the main character of A Doll’s House. Nora was treated as most of the other married women during the suffrage movement were treated. She was treated as unequal, to her husband and she was constantly made upset and was reprimanded for pretty much everything she was doing. For example, Nora was treated very poorly throughout the whole play always having to be afraid and back down from the way she actually feels and Ibsen uses her to represent how a women in this time period were portrayed by being constantly treated as if she is an unequal to Torvald and having him treat her as a pet and name call etc. He does this when, You are talking like a child. You understand nothing about the society you live in. (Direct Quote pg 83 speech four Torvald). This quote shows that he is telling Nora she doesn’t understand anything,

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