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Hidden Self

In: Philosophy and Psychology

Submitted By kerifry
Words 1249
Pages 5
Hidden Self

The role of a women, whether in the nineteenth century or even in the present day, is commonly defined as a wife and a mother. A Doll’s House written by Henrik Ibsen captures Nora Helmer whose husband treats her like a child. The Yellow Wallpaper written by Charlotte Perkins Gilman represents a woman who undergoes the rest cure for a nervous depression. Similarly, both characters represent their societal expectations based on gender. Eventually, Nora Helmer is freed from the role of a wife and mother after her secret comes out. Unlike Nora Helmer, Gilman’s unnamed narrator loses her mind. In both works the women keep secrets, which represent their hidden identity, from their husbands. A Doll’s House takes place in the late 1800’s. Nora Helmer lives in a beautiful home and her husband provides for her and their three children. Their nanny, Ann Marie, actually takes care of Nora’s children. She is treated like a child by her husband and therefore acts like one because of her lack of responsibility. Keeping secrets from her husband is Nora’s way of having a sense of power and control.
Hasn’t miss sweet tooth been breaking the rules in town today?
No; what makes you think that?
Hasn’t she paid a visit to the confectioners?
No, I assure you Torvald. Not been nibbling on sweets.
No certainly not.
Not even a bite at a macaroon or two? No Torvold, I assure you really. There, there, I was only joking. I should that think of going against your wishes (Ibsen 426).
The macaroons that Nora consumes represent her hidden self. She knows that her husband forbids her to have sweets because they will rot her teeth, but as long as it is hidden then Nora is given a sense of power.
A much greater secret that Nora has kept is about a loan that she took without his consent. Torvald had no knowledge of the loan. This gave...

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