A Doll’s House by Henrik Ibsen and Trifles by Susan Glaspell

Freshman (College 1st year) ・Psychology ・MLA ・2 Sources

Women are supposed, traditionally, to be obedient and respectful of their husbands. The group expects them to fulfill their primary duties, which include serving their children and husbands and helping them. As such, life for women revolves around providing their families with treatment. The man, who not only repress but also influence women in marriages, dominates society. In struggling for their identity, the imprisonment of women makes them vivacious. Often, in an effort to exempt themselves from the power held by men over them, they take acts that are not appropriate to society. Comparison of the Protagonists in the Two Plays

The female characters in the two pieces of literature, Minnie Wright in Trifles by Susan Glaspell and A Doll’s House by Henrik Ibsen, Nora Helmer have similar experiences in their marriages. Their husbands exert excessive control on them. Both women live in the confines of their marriages and experience repression from their spouses. They are unhappy and feel overburdened by the expectations of the society. Minnie and Nora respond in similar ways to the extenuating situations presented by their marriage. Their actions to address the control exerted by their husbands are unacceptable by the society. In both plays, the men oppress and treat the two women unfairly. Torvald, Nora's husband, calls her names and claims that her behavior is childish and careless (Roberts, Zweig & Stotler, 2012). In the Trifles, Mrs. Hales and Mrs. Peters, Minnie’s neighbors acknowledge that Mr. Wright had been treating his wife unfairly (Hilton, 2011). Both women are victims of oppressive marriages and are seeking independence. They also end up alone, Nora is divorced while Minnie is left a window. Lastly, the two are not loyal to their husbands. Nora lies to Torvald when she forges the signature to get a loan. By murdering her husband, Minnie defies her loyalty in marriage.

The two women are different in several ways. Foremost, they take various actions to free themselves from their oppressive marriages. Minnie murders her husband, John Wright and she is arrested. On the other hand, Nora decides to leave her husband since she does not find happiness in her marriage and this is a way of reclaiming her identity. The second difference on their marriages is that Nora has children who are attended by the nanny. On the other hand, Minnie has no children and leaves a lonely life. Another difference between the two main characters is the socioeconomic status. The Wright's family lived in an abandoned farmhouse that appears unpleasant and is located in an area that is secluded. Minnie rarely leaves the house, and her dresses are cheap and unattractive (Hilton, 2011). On the other hand, Nora lives in an elegant house that is expensively and tastefully furnished. She lives lavishly and drinks champagne and eats macaroons. Further, she has house cleaners who do all the household chores. Lastly, the women also differ in their social status. Nora's has frequented by visitors, and she holds a banquet for her guests. Her husband, Torvald always brings guests over to their house (Roberts, Zweig & Stotler, 2012). Nora's social status are high. On the contrary, Minnie lives a solitary life, and her husband prohibits her from leaving the house. Their social state is low, and she rarely has visitors.


Conclusively, the females face oppression and live in the confines of a society dominated by males. The society worsens the situation by imposing a lot of expectations on the women. Besides, the actions of the women are often condemned even when they are fighting for their independence. The two plays, Trifle and A Doll’s House reveals the sadness and pain experienced by women from different worlds in their daily lives. By leaving her husband, Nora displays courage in that era where women were treated unequally. The voices of eth women are ignored, and they also need independence to live happily.

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Works Cited

Hilton, L. (2011). Trifles, by Susan Glaspell.Women & Performance: a journal of feminist theory,21(1), 147-149.

Roberts, E. V., Zweig, R., & Stotler, D. S. (2012). An Introduction to Reading and Writing.

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