The Conflict between the Individual and Society Essay

While Sophocles’ Oedipus the King and Ibsen’s A Doll House are the merchandises of two really different cultural era. they both approach the inquiry of single individuality within the confines of a restrictive societal universe. As it shall be seen. Oedipus the King reverberations archetypical forms of the struggle between the person and the society. Its core subject. the incest. reveals the complex relationships established between single individuality and the societal environment. The incest that Oedipus commits unwittingly is one of the most abhorred wickednesss from a spiritual and societal position.

As a tragic hero. Oedipus fights non merely his grim fate but besides society and its judgement. A Doll House revolves around the same subject of the clang between the person and the environing society. In Ibsen’s play the struggle arises from the gender favoritisms which inherent in patriarchic communities. Nora struggles with the anticipations that society has of her. Like Oedipus. she besides committed an mistake: she borrowed a certain amount of money to salvage her husband’s life. without his cognition.

The societal criterions and the gender prescriptions do non let her to take the place of a adult male and hold economical duty and therefore she has to fight with her debts in secretiveness. Therefore. the two plants portray the individual’s battle to happen his individuality and his struggle with the unblinking societal norms. In both instances. the supporter faces the challenge of set uping an individuality within the labyrinth of societal outlooks and regulations. Sophocles’ Oedipus King is at one time the idol of the Grecian classical calamity. one of the indispensable myths of world and a great esthetic accomplishment.

It is furthermore a drama full of conundrums. beguiling inquiries of individuality. fate. guilt and artlessness. sightlessness and second sight. at the same clip. The extraordinary and inescapable happenstance which forms the secret plan of the drama is the nucleus of its cardinal significance. The calamity knows no reprieve and no declaration for itself ; it is an unanswerable conundrum. where all the elements converge at different points. Oedipus becomes king and marries his female parent after he symbolically manages to work out the conundrum of the Sphinx which threatened the life of the dwellers of Corinth.

A wise adult male. Oedipus identifies the animal that has sometimes two pess. sometimes three and at still other times four as adult male himself. in his development from babyhood to old age. By work outing this conundrum. Oedipus becomes the Jesus of the metropolis and is proclaimed king as recompense. Interestingly therefore. the conundrum of the drama is reflected in the conundrum of the Sphinx. as solved by Oedipus. The funny immature adult male learns from external beginnings that the parents he knows may be merely his Foster parents. He hence sets out to work out the conundrum of his ain life: his beginning and individuality.

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Oedipus’ about paranoid hunt for the truth of his birth shows him as a societal Nonconformist who is urged to seek replies instead than meekly accept ignorance and his given batch. It is really important that Oedipus considers that no truth about himself can truly alter what he is. Normally. such a statement would be true in most instances. even the tragic 1s. but Oedipus truly finds out that he is different from what he had thought himself to be. He is the nonvoluntary liquidator of his ain male parent and a boy and hubby to his ain female parent. If few state of affairss in life could find a extremist alteration of individuality. this one certainly does so.

Oedipus’ struggle with society is a complex 1. At his birth. he is given away by his male parent. in order to avoid the day of reckoning promised by the prognostication of slaying and incest. When Oedipus hears the same prognostication. he leaves his place in the effort to get away his fate. While meaning to run from his destiny nevertheless. he really races to run into it. What makes him a tragic hero is the fact that his illustriousness does non forestall him from neglecting and being awfully defeated. The way he follows in life is bitterly dry. since he strives to move rightly and he achieves all the triumphs that would be achieved by any other great fabulous hero.

However. all his strengths bend into failings when the truth of his past emerges. Oedipus is so singular and has the virtuousnesss of a fabulous hero. such as kindness. a righteous character. intelligence. wisdom. curiousness and many more. His award and his natural goodness nevertheless are non a barrier in forepart of his inevitable day of reckoning. Oedipus is hence a representative tragic figure. who is caught in the labyrinth of his ain fate and who errs unconsciously. while really seeking to avoid doing the awful errors that were predicted for him by the prophet.

Despite the fact that he struggles to be happen his ain individuality and to accomplish merely good things. he is finally vanquished. The hero owes his licking non merely to his relentless fate but besides to the grim society. Although he plays the function of a Jesus for his people when he delivers the metropolis from the awful monster. he can non get away societal obloquy when the truth of his incestuous relationship comes out to visible radiation. Oedipus the King can be regarded as the calamity of a virtuous and brave adult male who will still hold a conflictive relationship with his community because he is guilty of two major offenses: parricide and incest.

A Doll House will make a similar decision sing the clang between the person and the societal universe. The moral issues in A Doll House are really complex. The drama tackles human freedom in the signifier of gender favoritism. moral corruptness in the household and fraudulence. fraudulence and improper titillating games through the “menage a trois” subject. the offense against maternity and paternity as sacred responsibilities every bit good as many other topics. The rubric of the work is really important as it reveals portion of the struggle in the drama.

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There is a dual significance attached to the image of the “doll house” : at first sight. the matrimony of the Helmers seems to stop because of the prevarications that had crammed up their lives. In this context. the doll house is an allusion to the unreal life the household has ever led. The more outstanding reading nevertheless. is that the doll is Nora herself. Ibsen describes in his work the typical signifier of favoritism against adult females. The cardinal struggle therefore is that between Nora as an person and the societal position of gender. Nora is the beautiful. immature. pampered married woman who is ne’er taken earnestly by her hubby.

He believes she is extravagant and infantile and treats her with a truly paternal feeling: “Nora. Nora! Just like a adult female! But earnestly. Nora. you know what I think about that kind of thing. No debts. no borrowing” ( Ibsen 149 ) . The bantam names he calls her are all declarative of the manner he thinks about her: “It’s a sweet small bird. but it gets through a awful sum of money. You wouldn’t believe how much it costs a adult male when he’s got a small song-bird like you! ” ( Ibsen 151 ) . It is genuinely dramatic that Nora carries with self-respect the burden of many more attentions and concerns than her hubby could of all time conceive of.

Torvald misinterprets her forfeit. taking her for a child adult female. a mere doll. an cosmetic object that he merely plays with. To him. Nora has really small world as an person. in malice of her attentions. Nora is delighted when she has the chance of gaining money on her ain. merely like a adult male: “Still it was enormous merriment sitting at that place working and gaining money. It was about like being a man” ( Ibsen 162 ) . At the terminal of the drama. Nora herself realizes she has been nil but a doll to her hubby all her life: “Helmer. I have it in me to go a different adult male. Nora: Perhaps–if your doll is taken off from you” ( Ibsen 230 ) .

The fact that Nora hides a strong and determined character behind her doll-like visual aspect. uncover how unfair this position of adult females as mere objects or as frivolous animals is: “I was merely your small songbird. your doll. and from now on you would manage it more gently than of all time because it was so delicate and fragile” ( Ibsen 230 ) . Furthermore. the gender favoritism is perpetuated from one coevals to the other. Nora feels as if she were an object or a toy that was simply passed from the custodies of her male parent into those of her hubby. From an ethical point of position. Nora’s relationship with Torvald is really complex.

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First of all. she behaves and is in bend treated as a doll that lives in an unreal universe. She is allowed no portion in the universe of work forces. where the ‘action’ takes topographic point. As a adult female. Nora can non move independently so as to salvage or save the 1s she loves. Her counterfeit of the bond is easy explained because she as a adult female and an person is non allowed to do a loan without male consent. Nora acts recklessly but she is besides given small pick in the affair. because the jurisprudence does non give her any right to carry on concern of any sort as a adult female. In a manner. Nora is compelled by the societal environment to move as she did. for deficiency of independency.

From a moral point to position. the gender favoritism that Nora suffers deprives her of her natural right to freedom as a human being. As a discriminated adult female who has had no power to move independently. Nora appears to be right in taking a extremist measure towards self-discovery and acknowledgment of her individuality. The fact that she leaves both the hubby and the kids nevertheless inquiries the really thought of maternity. at least in its traditional apprehension. Nora differs from her responsibility to her hubby and kids when she decides to go independent.

While from a feminist point of position. Nora is entitled to prosecute the agencies for recovering her individuality. she is besides conflicting to the moral norms of household and maternity. Therefore. her struggle with society is similar to that of Oedipus: she is besides forced to do a fatal mistake from a societal point of position. viz. to abandon her household. Both of the plants analyzed here analyze the conflictive relationship between the person and society. Oedipus enterprises to avoid his day of reckoning and to be an model adult male from a moral point of position. but this does non save him the sufferance and the societal disapprobation.

Nora besides struggles to be a perfect married woman and female parent. while taking upon her the duties belonging to a adult male. harmonizing to the societal criterions. She is non repaid for her forfeits nevertheless and her hubby does non understand her. In the two texts. the individual’s battle with society is an backbreaking and complex 1. uncovering his dependance on the societal environment. Works Cited: Ibsen. Henrik. “A Doll’s House” . Ibsen: The Complete Major Prose Plays. Trans. Rolf Fjelde. New York: New American Library. 1996. Sophocles. Oedipus Rex. Trans. by F. Storr. New York: Heritage Press. 1965.