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All throughout time money has played a central part in the lives of people.

Money is the commodity that


sustains people, but also has the power to kill as well. This is clearly evident in the plays A Dolls House by
Henrik Ibsen and Miss Julie by August Strindberg even though both plays were written by different authors
and had no acquaintances with each other. In both plays even though money is portrayed in the same manner,
but by analysis of the speech of the different characters one can see that Nora Helmer, the protagonists
actions differ considerable from Jean, who is the antagonist even when their conducts are alike.
One of the first things that one sees in both plays is the means both the major characters use to get
the money. In Dolls House, Nora has to lie to her husband about getting money as seen by her quote and he
was so ill, there was never any need to tell him (Ibsen 12). When Nora states that she has borrowed money
without Torvald knowing about it, her sentence structure clearly shows this. There as an increasing amount of
repetition in her speech when she said never (Ibsen 12) three times. This repetition may be caused by her
being nervous and also uncomfortable with it. On the other hand Jean in Miss Julie also uses mischievous
means to get money from Miss Julie. In order to do this he has to lie and he does this feat quite comfortably
when he states I remember it was dangerous to sleep under an elder bush. We had a big one, just then in
flower. I stripped it of everything it held, and made up a bed for myself in an oat-bin (Strindberg 83). Elder
bush symbolizes protection from witches and evil spirits and the fact that Jean want to die under it clearly
shows that he is a liar and that he really does not want to die because death is bad. By this Jean lies to Miss
Julie about wanting to die for her much like Arabian folk stories. The manner that Jean makes his statements
are fundamentally different from the Noras because Jeans sentences are long and flowing. From the
comparison of the two characters it is seen that even though they both lie in order to get money, the actions
Nora being the protagonist of the story shows a sense of being ashamed at lying, but Jean, the protagonist
does not seem to have any problem.
Money can also lead to the death of people. After Torvald found out Nora has borrowed money
without telling him and after seeing the reaction of him, Nora becomes extremely sad and also contemplates
committing suicide. This is seen in where she states that never to see him again, never, never (61). One can
take the literary meaning of never because she further emphasises them by repeating them. Furthermore the
tone of her statement is ardent is the stage directions further show that a person who is somewhat mentally
disturbed as seen by her throwing dominos on the ground and using spasmodic whispers. These
directions create an atmosphere of death because a person is not able to speak properly because of weakness
and thus uses whispers and also use of the adjective spasmodic further cements the weakness felt by Nora. As
she repeats the words over and over again the tone she used further proves that she is speaking the truth.
Later on Nora makes references to icy black water and unfathomable depth where one can clearly see that
Nora is again alluding to suicide. Ice can mean the temperature of the dead body that is cold and
unfathomable heights can be a paradox for hanging oneself because in reality one knows that all heights are
reachable. In Miss Julie money also leads to the suicide of Miss Julie. This is contrasted with Nora where
she herself thinks about suicide, but Jeans makes someone else commit suicide and saves himself. In page
110 of Miss Julie the stage direction states that Miss Julie walks resolutely. This word has a sombre
connotation because it not only means farewell, but also never to see one ever again. From the actions of the
two, one can see that the difference between the protagonist and the antagonist are different and that even as
the protagonist does bad deeds their later moods shows that they are not very happy about it.
Aside from the major differences in the two characters over one can also see that money has given
both characters a sense of power over others. This is seen in page 12 of the Dolls House where Nora states
yes someday, perhaps, after many years, when I am no longer as nice looking as I am now. it will be
good thing to have something in reserve. This means after when Nora is old and does not look as pleasing as
she does now she plans on telling Torvald about her loan to make him happy. From this one can decipher that
she is foreshadowing the fact that Torvald is not a good husband and that Nora is aware that he adores her
only because of her looks and her entertaining skills. Nora will be using her new powers of money for good
purposes such as for her subsistence for she needs Torvalds help and also to make him happy with her. Jean
as one would guess as the protagonist uses his power gained from money for vice. After Miss Julie brings
him cash is that Jeans orders her, but also uses it for death. Immediately after Miss Julie brings Jean the
money he kills her pet bird in the most gruesome manner possible snatches the bird away from her; takes it
to the chopping block and picks up the axe (102). The killing of the bird not only is about just killing a bird
but has wide symbolism attached to it. It is an allusion to the beheading of John the Baptist and the symbolic
castration of Miss Julie where she is to lose her false sense of manhood being a female.
Wealth is also indirectly portrayed through the use of expensive objects. A Dolls House makes
references to pate de foie gras (38) and shows the good relationship between Nora and Dr. Rank. Pate de foie
gras also has a positive sexual connotation. Expensive goods are compared with an out-house, or bathroom in
Miss Julie where Jean states that there was a Turkish pavilion, shaded by Jasmines. and I had to choice
but to take it. This means that not only did Jean have a bad experience with the out-house because he could
not come out of it, but later during his speech he holds up a lilac at Miss Julies nose which is an oxymoron
to the odour of the out-house. From these example one can see that the protagonists always relates money
with positive objects such as romance, but the antagonist relates it to pessimistic objects showing the
differences in each of their ways of thinking.
Aside from the differences in the attitudes in the different characters one thing that similar between
them is their ambitions. Both Jean and Nora want to climb the social ladder. Nora becomes very excited to
hear about the as seen when she quickly speaks in a tone that one can see as being excited (3). The same is
for Jean who also seems to be excited about using the money to buy a title when he states in Romania you
can buy a title, so youd de a countess all the same (88).
From the actions of both Nora and Jean it is evident that money is portrayed the same in both plays,
but what is different is the reactions of the characters. Money is a good indicator of determining who the
protagonist and who the antagonist of the stories and these actions can also be connected to real-life events
where honest people who steal generally go so out of extreme necessity compared with professional thieves.