The Role of Women as Outlined in Three Sisters, A Doll House, and Antigone
The perception of women has always varied over time because of the emergence of a new awakening among women who rise up against social structures that hinder them from accomplishing their desired goals in life. Different scholars have addressed the role of women by exposing female characters to various scenarios that outline the nature of challenges threatening their existence in the medieval world and modern society. This way, literary materials demonstrate the best approaches that can be used to overcome the underlying issues by engaging themselves in various activities, which elevate their position in the community. Three Sisters by Anton Chekhov highlights the societal expectations of women and the consequences of defiance. Henrik Ibsen in A Doll’s House describes the sacrificial nature of women and its impact on their interactions with their male counterparts. Sophocles in Antigone takes the reader through the challenges that affect women in the male-dominated society. From this observation, the changing role of women is attributed to the evolving set of beliefs and views, which provoke the thought process of individuals by influencing their perspectives towards life.
In the 19th century, women were expected to obey, love, and respect their husbands as the leaders of the households. Unlike today, women were expected to fully submit to their husbands without demonstrating any form of resistance, which was viewed as disrespect. However, towards the 20th century, Anton Chekhov observes that a group of female reformers emerged and influenced the overall perspectives of women towards their interactions with their male counterparts (Chekhov 193). In Chekhov’s book, Three Sisters, readers can experience the unfair treatment of women and how it undermined their potential to pursue their desired goals and objectives in life.
In Henrik’s book, A Doll’s House, the sacrificial role of women is openly highlighted to demonstrate the vertical interactions with their male counterparts. Despite their social class, women were expected to submit fully to their husbands because of their inferior role, which denied them access to instruments of power that would eliminate the unequal relations. For instance, Nora works secretly to repay her loan because it was illegal for a woman to acquire a loan without her husband’s approval (Mili). Eventually, Nora is unable to withstand the unfavorable conditions, which hinder her from exposing her children to an environment where they can benefit from good parenting.
In the Greek context, men were in charge of different aspects of life and society, compelling women to take a secondary role in their human existence. Notably, the Greek society considered men as brave and aggressive while undermining the role of women by treating them as a second-class population group. Sophocles’ Antigone highlights this relationship anomaly and its influence on the perspectives of women towards life (Gnanasekaran). Surprisingly, the King in Thebes approves a law that deprives disobedient people of their right to proper burial. Hence, the disparities demonstrate the struggles encountered by women because of their inability to meet the societal expectations.
The changing role of women is attributed to the evolving set of beliefs and views, which provoke the thought process of individuals by influencing their perspectives towards life. By analyzing the position adopted by the three literary materials, it emerges that female emancipation has played a significant role in delivering women from the yoke of societal oppression. Understanding the need to empower women influences the nature of approaches used in the workplace to establish a balanced environment where people can be recognized through their input as opposed to their gender.
Chekhov, Anton. Three Sisters. A Drama in Four Acts. Stanford University Press, 2020, 164-224.
Gnanasekaran, D. “Sophocles’ Antigone and Sathanar’s Manimekalai-Pioneers in Social Feminism.” Language in India 18.1 (2018).
Mili, Umme Rabeya. “Craving for Individual Female Identity: A Comparative Study on Ibsen’s A Doll’s House and Rokeya’s Sultana’s Dream.” Journal of Society & Change 14.1 (2020).