Out of everything we have read in class this year, A Doll’s House by Henrik Ibsen is not my favourite. This is not to say it was a bad play, it wasn’t. If anything, I found it great but very unsettling. From the very first sentence on the first page to Nora slamming the door on Torvald in the last, I couldn’t shake the odd feeling of the play. Both Torvald and Nora’s characters annoyed the everliving daylights out of me at the beginning of the play. Oh my gosh. I had never been so annoyed by two characters so much in my life. When we first started reading, I genuinely wanted nothing more than for them to stop talking. Every time Torvald started his sentence it felt like nails on a chalkboard. Plus, the casual objectification of his own wife definitely threw me off a bit. But I think it was more the way he spoke to her in general. He treated her as though she was a child, and was incapable of understanding things on her own. For example, when Nora is talking to Dr. Rank about his job and Torvald says
“I say, my little Nora talking about scientific investigations!”
And again when he says
“Now my little skylark is talking as though it were a person.” (pg.172)
Once again implying that Nora is something to be owned and possessed and that she is incapable of understanding complicated topics, such as a “scientific investigation”. Speaking of, Nora’s character was not much better than Torvald’s at first. When we read the first scene in the play she just irked me so much. I didn’t like the way she spoke or the way she acted so immature. Like she would do anything for just the smallest amounts of money. I believe that part of why Torvald treats her as a child is because she enables it. She always searches for his approval, and never stands up for herself throughout their marriage (at least not until the very end). This makes Torvald look as more of a father figure towards Nora, rather than a husband. The dynamic between them was more similar to that of a father and child.
The one thing I did truly enjoy in this play was Act 3. When Nora finally wakes up from the almost trance-like state she has been in for the past 8 years of her life, and she finally leaves Torvald. Trust me when I say I had been waiting for this moment since Act 1. The complete 180 flip of Nora’s character was something I didn’t really expect, but enjoyed a lot. I think it was the perfect ending to the play as it sort of leaves us with the question “What happens after Nora slams the door?” There have been many adaptations that all give a different answer, but I like the idea of the ending being left up to one’s imagination. While it was not my favourite thing we have read thus far. Overall I would say I pretty thoroughly enjoyed this play, it left me with some very mixed emotions and it was definitely something new for me.
After receiving our “Let Evening Come” Practice Paper 1, and tallying up our mistakes, I saw that the most common mistake I had made was the same as my last practice paper. That being number 29 “Omit needless words.” I find myself struggling with this a lot, and do it in pretty much everything I write. When reading my essay, I noticed that I had a lot of super unnecessary details and extra words that added no real value to my writing. In order to help correct this ongoing error, I honestly think I just need to practice writing more. This way, I can go through the steps of planning out my essay and writing it, and then go back through it and strip it of any pretentious sounding, meaningless details. This will help me to become a more efficient writer, and will prevent me from wasting mine and my audiences time with taking forever to get to the point.
I really did love this book, and I especially loved Antigone’s character, her sheer boldness and unwavering confidence are traits that make her so easily likeable and even admirable. For a woman of her time to stand up to man of Creon’s status and fight for her right to bury her brother and honour her family name is truly inspiring. Comparing the story of Antigone to that of Oedipus, I found that I preferred Antigone far more. I found it much more exciting and empowering than Oedipus, it was also much more relevant, covering concepts such as feminism, misogyny, religion, justice, and morality.
It very clearly explores the topic of femininity and sexism, and compares women’s expected roles in society, and their actual behaviour. The thing that makes Antigone so powerful is her inherent teenage behaviour. From what we can assume, Antigone is probably around 15 or 16, and anything bad that could happen to her, has already happened, so she really has nothing to lose. This sense of youth and almost immaturity is really what makes her such a politically strong character. And especially at that age, she doesn’t see any other options other than essentially dying for her family’s honour and for what she feels is right, since Creon also expects men to take on a dominant role in society, and women to take more of a submissive role. With this in mind, I strongly believe that had the offender rather been a man that Antigone, he would not have been sentenced to death.
Another major theme in Antigone that I found quite interesting was that of morality. Was Antigone right in defying Creon and burying her brother, even if he betrayed the citizens of Thebes? Or should she have listened to Ismene and let Creon leave his body to decompose? It is also a matter of fate and free choice. While free choice plays a major part in the story, such as her decision to give Polynices a proper burial. However, fate plays an even bigger role. Antigone was not limited by her fate, but rather the knowledge of it.
And finally, Antigone also covers the topic of divine law, meaning law of the gods, and law of man and state. Due to religion being such a prominent part in our main characters lives, religious rules and traditions were promoted to a law status, meaning everyone must follow them. One of these laws stated that all citizens require a proper burial. Creon obviously defies said law which results in our major conflict between Antigone and Creon over each individuals standards of divine law. The only time these two argue over divine law is when it serves their best interests and benefits them.
Hello, some of you may know me already, for those who don’t, my name is Taylor. I was born in North Vancouver and moved to the island when I was 5. I love to surf, play volleyball, read, watch movies, and of course, listen to music. Some interests of mine are economics, business, formula 1, and marine biology. I like all genres of music, but my absolute favourite era is anything from the 50’s to the 90’s. My favourite artists are (in no particular order) Elvis, Queen, Aerosmith, Guns ‘n’ Roses, Johnny Cash, Jack Johnson, and a bit of Run D.M.C. My favourite movies are Top Gun (the original one), Days of Thunder, Saving Private Ryan, The Shawshank Redemption, Blue Crush, and Gleaming the Cube.
My expectations/ hopes for this year are to improve my reading comprehension skills and to read more in general. Last year I really struggled with understanding some of the concepts we studied without the use of my laptop. So I hope to focus on that this year!