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Features of power - Essay Example

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Features of power

" or ""Everyone will be just as it was," drawing on to the themes of Modern ennui or the famous Eliot line ""In the room the women come and go/ Talking of Michelangelo". The boredom is with a wasted life where the Victorian or Aristocratic order becomes a sham. The powerful imposition of an abeyance of organic cycles full of decadent spectral traditions in Chekhov, and the "ghost" of the Victorian order posing acute psychological and intellectual repercussions in Nora's marks themood of Ibsen's play.
The context of power in Ibsen's play is more imminent since it outright satirizes the Victorian marital set-up and the kind of power-relation is shared between a husband and his wife. It did subvert the idea of the 'angel in the house'. The play satirises the helplessness of Victorian women, financially and legally dependent their husbands and were considered legal property of her husband. Her property or wealth too belonged to her husband. There was very little financial independence she was not expected to earn for her own living. This patriarchal imposition was masked behind an idea of good-will. The cold rationality of Torvald Helmer and his patronozing attitude towards Nora is extremely apt in giving the account of the kind of power and hierarchy he engages to help Nora content with an illusion about her home and life. Her eating macaroons and lying about them are just shallow exchanges that have greater ideological practices at play behind them. Torvald is the shaping power who must teach, guide, rescue and advice Nora under the excuse of romantic love which has no basis in anything apart for in creating and restoring a hierarchy where he must appear to represent greater experience, knowledge, intellect and above all benevolence. His appearance masks a deep selfishness (for his own integrity) when he refuses to oblige his beloved Nora by refusing to let in Krogstad. There is a great urge working within Torvald to control appearances within his household and with his relationship. The epiphany about her real self emerges only when Torvald falls short of his role as a protector. Krogstad's blackmail reveals the other side of Nora. It shows her acumen for business, and the desperation to maintain the status quo of her substandard life. She realises that his continuous playful tone with her, disciplining attitude signify Torvald's actual expectations out of her. She is never his equal, sharing his intellectual comanionship. She is another decoration in the "Doll's" house, with a stunted mental life. Nora questions the possession of authority and intellectual power granted to her even for raising her children. She was thus not indispensable in her substance. Nora has lived a derogatory life only to conform to an ideal that does not even exist and says: "I have been performing tricks for you, Torvald". Nora becomes a person with a greater purpose. Her ideals about motherhood take a backseat when she realizes that she is estranged by the religion and the law and fits nowhere. Torvald's desperate plea to make Nora accept her "roles" was a pathetic attempt to appease her reveals his hypocrisy. Choosing integrity over love becomes a crucial question when Nora chooses the prior thus establishing that Torvald's selfishness to maintain his own integrity even at the expense of their marriage ...Show more


Power as per Foucault, is inherently capillary. Both the plays are based on the basic notion of hierarchical power and therefore have a conscious centre of origin. The reverberation of Nora's closing the door in the last act, was said to have been heard all over Europe, that started a metaphorical genesis of feminism everywhere…
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