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My text is a narrative inserted in a contemporary time that approaches the topic
of propaganda. My objective is to criticize this use of language in propaganda,
demonstrate people are not giving the correct use to it and illustrate it is something that
is going to remain in time because it is incorporated in peoples life since they are
children. This is reflected when the mother says something to her child and shows that
the excessive importance she gives to material things is caused by propaganda, and now
she is instructing these ideas to the child.
The text has a bewildering and metaphorical style as it can be seen in: He was
surrounded by whispering beings () which () belched huge wafts of smoke and
noise when really they were only humans. It is made this way because I think it is
important that the reader gives his own interpretation to the text and because the
audience I wanted to reach is any adolescent or adult that is capable of decipher the
implicit message of the story. I would publish the text in a magazine or newspaper
because hereby it can reach a bigger audience. I chose to do a story to transmit my ideas
because this way it is more dynamic and easier to read.
The story is related to the course since its essence is Language and Power,
specifically propaganda. It relates to The Merchants of Cool as both demonstrate how
people take advantage of propaganda and language to which people are exposed, to
persuade them of believing certain things. That is, through my text I try to communicate
a similar idea to the one expressed in The Merchants of Cool: language is a very
powerful weapon and, nowadays, an incorrect use is being given to it.
Text: Life is an illusion, propaganda is reality
His legs, aged over the years, moved slowly. He was surrounded. They were all
identical. He was surrounded by whispering beings, gray silhouettes holding small black
briefcases, which they opened and closed to get papers and pens. They belched huge
wafts of smoke and noise. That was not the world he knew. He felt confused. The agile
creatures moved quickly. He received blows, strokes, but no one turned around to face
him. In fact, nobody seemed to notice his presence.
He tried to move from where he was, but his weakened muscles were holding
him back. Every time he tried to take a step, he was interrupted by monsters that
appeared and disappeared fleetly.

He resigned from his attempts. He decided to concentrate and try to find out
where he was. He looked at his feet. He was wearing white cotton shoes. Yes, they were
soft. He moved his toes and realized that they were cold, but it didnt matter, the shoes
made him feel as if he were walking on clouds. Then he looked at his legs and torso.
They were covered with a kind of bed sheet. - Is it a shroud? - He asked himself. No, it
could not be. It had a little drawing, similar to a cross at the end of the sleeve, but his
blurred vision did not allow him distinguish it.
He straightened his back and neck and looked forward. He was not as afraid as
before. The creatures seemed more indifferent than at the beginning. He tried to discern
what laid beyond, without success, until he thought he saw something gleaming, bright.
He watched carefully on the figure that was slowly approaching. She was of medium
height, completely different from the beings around him. She stood out because of her
color. She had a crimson dress that reached down to her the knees. He felt a strange
sensation when he saw her delicate legs. She was similar to him. She was brave. She
didnt seem frightened by the creatures around her. She took with confidence the hand
of what he could identify as her son. The child, meanwhile, looked with admiration at
the monsters that did not frighten her mother. The child wanted to be part of them. The
child wanted to be them.
His legs were grazed by the child's small fingers. He was startled and lost his
balance but he didnt fall. The mother, seeing this, glanced him with a penetrating look,
but without interrupting her rapid step nor what she was saying to her son: "I already
told you Sebastian, I'll give you the toy only if you work and try hard in school so you
can be like your father and be the owner of a large company and buy all the toys you
desire. However, the child was barely listening. He was focused in the individuals
around him.
The mother and her son disappeared gradually. He saw himself surrounded again
by an ocean of lead-colored beasts. He was seized by fear. He knew them. He knew
each and every one of the monsters around him. He knew what they were. He had been
part of them. Everything came to his mind in an ephemeral memory.
It must have been about thirty or forty years ago. He was the father of two
children, husband of a beautiful woman and owner of a car of an exorbitant cost. He
woke up at six, as he did every morning, put on his gray silk suit with a tie of the same
color. He took his briefcase and disappeared from his home without leaving any trace.
He went to his work but, as there were so many others working in the same law firm, he

parked his car 7 blocks from the office. Once he was outside the car, he became one
more fish in the sea of workers that, just like him, walked hurriedly, without looking to
the bunch of people that they hit with the shoulder, since the only thing that mattered
was arriving to the office and work all day long just to get home and realize, one more
time, that his wife and children were asleep just as he had left them in the morning and
as he would probably leave them the next morning and the subsequent as well.
It all came clear to his mind. The monsters, the gray creatures, the whispering
beings were just workers who, like him in his youth, believed to be living life, when all
they really did was waste it and allow their families to become only a fading memory.
All this, absolutely everything, caused by language, propaganda and its distortion of
reality. Propaganda, a medium used by evil, intelligent and superior beings to insert
ideas into innocent and nave peoples minds. "You have to make money." "You have to
be the owner of a company." "You have to be the best". "The end always justifies the
means, destroy your competitors."
Satisfied with himself, he came out from his trance-like state. Now, those who
surrounded him did not seem dangerous. On the contrary, it seemed as if they were
begging for help to get out of the false reality they were living.
He heard a familiar voice but could not identify where it came from. A man
touched his shoulder and startled him. He looked at the man. He knew the man, but he
couldnt remember who he was.
Dad! - The man said - I almost had a heart attack when I realized you were not
inside the hospital. I told you not to move from where you were. Hopefully I will not
have Alzheimer's disease when I reach your age.
Question: How and why is a social group represented in a particular way?
Title of the analyzed text: A Dolls House
Part of the course referred in the task: Part 3-Literature: text and context
My response will:

Analyze the social role of women, in relation to men, in the XIX century.

Explain how three characters are presented in the play and the significance of

Conclude by stating Ibsens intention from the point of view of the audience:
criticize womens position in society.

The role of women during century XIX was very evident and it was governed
under the stereotypes created during colonial times. It was characterized by the absolute
submission to men and the predestination to marriage, to the immovability from the
home and to the care of the children. That is to say, women could not develop in their
totality as a human being and they were reduced to be one more tool for men. Moreover,
a womans life was decided by the men who surrounded her, even in issues of love or
friendship. Therefore, within this society created and governed by men, the only thing
women could aspire to was to be conservers of wealth, blood and religion.
Through A Doll's House, Henrik Ibsen tries to make evident this situation
resulting in a social criticism, reason for which when this three-act play was published,
it generated much controversy. In the present analysis, we will demonstrate that Ibsen
raises a miserable picture of the sacrificial role held by women of all economic classes
in his society through, mainly, three characters: Nora Helmer, Anne Marie and Mrs.
Nora Helmer, the main character, throughout the play, allows the readers give to
account of the abrupt change of the point of view about women in the book,
demonstrating the social critic made by Ibsen. First of all, Nora appears like a silly girl
who is not required by her husband in any matter of substance, nevertheless, it is
revealed to us that she is not really that way, she even seems quite intelligent,
encouraged and possesses capacities beyond wifehood. Through the development of the
play, Nora changes a lot her own perception of the role of women in society. Since the
beginning, it is shown that she is subjected under Torvald Helmer, her husband. For
example, when Helmer says to her Is it my little squirrel bustling about? it is
demonstrated that, by constantly referring to Nora with pet names, he dehumanizes his
wife. In addition, she commits an illegal act in order to save her ill husband: she
requests money to Krogstad although loans were illegal for women. Hence, in this part
of the story, Nora sacrifices her own honor and safety for her husband, demonstrating a
clear compliance to what her husband asks and demands, without taking account of her
own needs and desires. This seems ironic later in the story as Nora realizes that Helmer
does not love her as unconditionally as she though and that he considers her inferior.
Moreover, Nora realizes that she has sacrificed too much for Torvald, even her honor,
whereas he hasnt. Helmer says: No man would sacrifice his honor for the one he
loves and Nora answers him: It is a thing hundreds of thousands of women have
done, through which we may notice that Nora realized that women have been

manipulated unjustly by men throughout history. Besides, it is necessary to consider that
Nora commits small acts since the beginning of the play that reveal her challenging
attitude to her husband, such as eating macaroons and the lying to him about it. That is
to say, Nora is a very important element of A Dolls House as she represents women
evolving from conformity, with their submission to men, to the desire and realization of
freedom. Consequently, Nora decides to leave her children and husband to fulfill her
dreams and freedom of human being and, even, try to recover the honor that has been
taken away from her throughout her life.
Another feminine character presented in the play that allows Ibsen to make a
criticism is Anne Marie. She is the nurse that years earlier raised Nora and is currently
nursing Noras children. In other words, she is a low class individual who had to leave
her own child and family to work so she could survive. This character may be used in
the play to generate criticism as she embodies everything Nora is not. She willingly
gives up her life and accepts her destiny: I was obliged to, if I wanted to be little
Nora's nurse. She accepts the role society has given her, which creates a clear contrast
with Noras parallel story and highlights Noras decisions as well.
Something similar happens with Mrs. Linde in the play. She says: I only feel my
life unspeakably empty. No one to live for, which demonstrates that she may only feel
fulfilled only by living in the service of others, not for herself: I want to be a mother
to someone, and your children need a mother. We two need each other. We can see
how Mrs. Lindes mind is impregnated in the stereotype of women that society has
created. Even after the death of her husband, Mrs. Linde wants to fulfill filial
obligations that society imposed on women of the 19 th century. Mrs. Linde surrenders to
chauvinism and inequality: she desires to follow societys stereotypes without
questioning them and that is what differentiates her from Nora, who does question them
and even breaks them.
Starting with what was previously mentioned, we can conclude that women in
the play are presented in a certain way with the objective of generating a strong
criticism against the traditional roles of men and women in society. Even though Ibsen
denies the perception of his book as a thesis novel defending women, the audiences
perception is and was that. In Germany, the perception was so related to this criticism
that different lead actresses refused to play the part of Nora, so Ibsen eventually
modified the ending to the play. In conclusion, A Dolls House allows us to give a
sneak-peak of the role of women on society on the 19th century because they are

presented under the submission of men and the stereotypes of society, reflecting a social
criticism from the author.