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A Doll's House and The Handmaid's Tale (Essay Sample)


Using both A Doll's House by Henrik Ibsen and The Handmaid's Tale by Margaret Atwood, answer the following prompt:
With regard to at least two literary works, explain how the setting both influences the characters and reflects the author's own context.
Remember that the Paper Two Exam is a traditional thematic essay in which you must answer the question you choose. In answering that question, you must create an assertion which serves as your comprehensive thesis and which addresses the following:
(1) the author's intentions with regard to that question;
(2) the literary features he uses and how he uses them with regard to that question;
(3) the overall impact on the reader.
Please provide an introduction in which you hook your reader and state your assertion (comprehensive thesis) that answers the question. In multiple paragraphs, give a body that fully addresses all of the aspects of your answer to the question with cited textual support from the play and novel. End with a conclusion that recapitulates your thesis and leaves your reader with a larger take-away from the experience of the two works.


A Doll's House by Henrik Ibsen and The Handmaid's Tale By Margaret Atwood
A Doll’s House is classical, decent and upholds tenets of a moral society despite the appetite for finer things that money can guarantee. Here the woman of the house is treated as a queen. The Handmaid’s tales on the other hand contrasts sharply for its tyrannical and domineering tendencies towards women. The following paper examines how the two literary works describe aspects of women’s place in their respective contexts; on one level egalitarian tendencies are espoused, on the other authoritarianism and upheaval reign, but both story lines’ main characters are a representation of a different set of values.
Women play important roles in society as illustrated by the two pieces of literature. While the responsibilities are not similar, their gender positions them to play assistive roles to their male counterparts. The happiness and considerateness portrayed in the Helmers family which is affluent despite the constant grumbling from the husband about Nora being a spendthrift. Torvald is a conventionalist and holds that the role of the woman is to beautify the home and loves good grooming. Contrastingly, Gilead is an autocratic country whose morals do not value the family unit and treats women as apparatus of fertility. Their culture if full of moral decadence and life is a constant struggle.
The authors’ perspectives
The Handmaid’s Tale is characteristic of an imaginary state of things, otherwise known as utopia. Artwood explores the genre of fiction writing to communicate a significant point regarding feminism in the wake of conservative establishments. These regimes see as threats the clamor for women empowerment during a time when both the religion and government are rigid towards these struggles (Bloom 2001).
Gilead consigns women to suppression and their roles are basically determined by their gender. Apart from matters to do with denying women their rights to vote, they are not even allowed to read in Gilead country due to paranoia.
A doll’s house is a personification of the main character in the literary work. Nora is depicted as the lady of the Helmer household. The author portrays Nora as the perfect woman in. The term doll is symbolically used to signify the place of a woman in a conventional context where even in childhood; they are pampered by their fathers and later by their husbands. In essence, the author intends to unravel the obscured potential of women in society and further challenges them to break the barriers and acquire their own identity. This use of irony perfectly brings out the message that there is need for women empowerment and ob

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