Misogyny refers to the prejudice or contempt against women. The societal ailment can be manifested in numerous ways, though hard to spot. In most of the cases, misogynists do not acknowledge that they indeed hate women. It is typically an incognizant contempt that men form, often resulting to psychological harm that involves a female figure. Therefore, as regards to the women protagonists in the “Revolutionary Road” and “A Doll’s House” respectively, April Wheeler and Nora Helmer in particular, greatly explicates various effects on female protagonists. These two great artistic works both happened in cultures of strict conformity, intending both men and women must “play roles” in almost all aspects of their daily lives. In the Revolutionary Road, April Wheeler is a passionate and independent-minded woman, but inveterately unhappy. As a suburban lady of the house, she is perceived miserable with her life. She struggles and wants to fit in among neighbors who lead a good life. On the play, A Doll’s House, Nora Helmer is also portrayed as a young woman, has three children and married to Torvald Helmer. At the outset of the play, she is carefree and bubbly, excited about her husband’s promotion and Christmas. Despite the fact that she was intrigued by some maters in her household, she entirely remains skeptical about it. Both contexts reflect misogyny in women as well as the various consequences that led them undertake certain actions.
In both settings, misogyny is well manifested, though as a feature that cannot be spoken but whispered, mostly inclining at setting off certain circumstances. In the movie and the play, misogyny relates to the contempt against women. They are viewed as objects to be disrespected by showing lack of respect accompanied by a feeling of intense disdain. In the Revolutionary Road, April Wheeler is bound to social exclusion, an indication that reflects misogyny, particularly by the fact that she feels she does not fit into society. Upon meeting Frank, she believes that Frank is an intelligent man who can present her to a world less excluding. She abandons her dream of becoming a professional actress and marries him. She, however, does not accord the idea of getting children till her late-twenties but is otherwise convinced by Frank not to abort an inadvertent pregnancy.
Conforming to A Doll’s House, Nora Helmer is also subjected to a treacherous experience of male privilege, an example to misogyny. At the beginning of the Play, Tovarld Helmer, her husband views him as a spendthrift. She is largely downtrodden and scolded by her husband throughout the entire play. She, however, does not seem really concerned about this and jubilantly plays along with her husband’s pet names such as “Skylark,” “squirrel,” “pet” and “Songbird,”. In general, her husband seems dominant to her, controlling her and making all sorts of treatments, like “A Doll.”
Despite this, Torvald regularly treats her or refers to her as a child. A good example is an inclination that her husband forbade her from eating on macaroons, something that she frequently does anyway in spite of her promises to her husband of total obedience to him. The imagery of both animal and child reflect Nora’s clearly carefree nature, innocent, and suggest that Torvald does not perceive of her as a mature adult by the fact that she is a woman.
On another overview, male dominance is predominately expressed in the Revolutionary Road where Frank had choices and options over April. From time to time, Frank went every day to the city on the train with other men to their “boring jobs” while April stayed at home as a homemaker. Yet on the play, A Doll’s House, Nora is perceived to has no formal occupation because she cannot be given the opportunity to be employed. She is constantly reminded by her husband that women were allowed to work only if they were widowed or unmarried. In the play, Nora is only permitted to do light work such as embroidery, crochet.
Contrary to these aspects of misogyny, we can perceive women hostility in Revolutionary Road. After the opening night of the theatre, April and Frank had an awful fight while on their way back home, a fight that managed to make their affair even less friendly. In an attempt to regain his lost state of being a man and draw his attention away from his problems, Frank committed adultery with a young and naïve woman, Maureen. The context in this overview explicates women hostility by the fact that they are harshly treated as well as the idea of adultery that Frank engaged. On the play, A Doll’s House, it can be ascertained that Nora was a total subject to hostility. Upon Torvald opening his letterbox, he calls her a liar and a hypocrite to an extent of complaining that Nora has ruined his happiness. Torvald further declares that Nora will be discontinued upon raising their children. As a result, the protagonist in the play does not easily submit to the status quo. When Torvald further learns of the debt and eventually fails to forgive her till he is certain that his reputation is indeed safe, Nora becomes fully aware that her apprehension of herself, her marriage, her husband and the society at large was all wrong. She then gives consent that she cannot for more time be happy in her marriage and life, and finally resolves at leaving both her husband and her home in search of purpose, a sense of self and a chance be cognizant about the world.
In addition to the misogynistic environment between the two contexts, the contemplate against women can be further perceived through sexual objectification. In the Revolutionary Road, sexual objectification is attended by the fact that April has two children and having the third one on the way before her alternative to aborting, which led to undesirable consequences. To April’s horror and despair, she found out that she was indeed pregnant with her third child and this factor greatly ruined all her dreams and hopes. However, on the play, A Doll’s House, things were not baffling. Nora had three children with her husband and during his lifetime, tendered and cared for his family. He even had to intervene in her husband’s illness and secure a loan which was bound by secrets. Though she had good intentions of keeping this a secret, the consequences that followed his choices led him to an abrasive relationship.
By this means, i think that these protagonists, both caught by their cultures’ misogyny trump over the cultural attitudes and got doomed by it respectively. Attending to the Revolutionary Road, the main protagonist, April Wheeler was doomed by the culture’s misogyny. Following his crumpled dream of moving to Europe, where she could ideally change her status quo by eventually resorting to working, sparing Frank all the time he needed to figure out what he could do. The hurt was intense and April crashed. Similarly, to Frank, April she slept with her old admirer, Shep Campbell, as an attempt to get through her sorrow. April eventually died in a hospital due to an unsuccessful attempt of self-abortion. Frank then learned that April really never loved him, from the last note she left before dying. Frank would never be in a position to recover from this, compelling him to abandon his own children who lived with his elder brother.
On the other hand, Nora managed to trump over the culture’s misogyny in the play A Doll’s House. As perceived through the paper, upon her husband opening the letterbox, he throws insults to Nora, to whom she perceives this as unpleasantly stern. Torvald complains that Nora has ruined his life after calling her a liar and a hypocrite, eventually declaring that she will not be in apposition to raise their children. However, at a subsequent time upon Helene bringing him another letter, Torvald discovers that Krogstad, who faced dismissal has delivered Nora’s contract which typically contains the forged signature. Torvald, who is extremely joyful attempts to dismiss his insults, but the harsh words had triggered Nora’s senses. She then declares to her husband that in spite of their 8 years of marriage, both of them do not quite understand each other. Nora asserts, that Torvald has over time taken her as a “doll” to be admired and played with. She leaves Torvald, declaring that she ought to “make sense of [her]self and everything around her”.
Indeed, the misogyny in these women that are portrayed within both context reflects the various effects that channeled them undertake certain actions. The interiorized impacts of misogyny on women in both cultures is largely reflected issues with the outcome of the event as relative to the individuals. With the content of female objectification that is ingrained deeply in the minds of women during their shaping period, the pressure of maintaining a pleasing appearance to men is often ineluctable.
YATES, R. (2010). Revolutionary Road. https://nls.ldls.org.uk/welcome.html?ark:/81055/vdc_100049002851.0x000001. Törnqvist, Egil. Ibsen: A Doll’s House. Cambridge: Cambridge Univ. Press, 1995. Print.
Ackley, Katherine A. Misogyny in Literature: An Essay Collection. New York u.a: Garland, 1992. Print.