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Social and political protest writing: A Doll’s House and The Kite Runner Eve McMullen 12th Grade


In the social and political demonstration composing Ibsen’s ‘A Doll’s Home’ and Hosseini’s ‘The Kite Runner’ the preferred impact upon the audience is probably to reveal to them a truth about society or about a particular circumstance, to inspire compassion and maybe to bring a new level of understanding which might shape change in society. Both texts had a really particular audience in mind, for Ibsen the increasing middle classes, and for Hosseini Western readers who had only seen Afghanistan from afar and it is therefore fascinating to check out the different techniques utilized to communicate the wanted affect and to ‘win hearts and minds’ over to the author’s and characters’ sides.

Ibsen, as one of the earliest examples of a naturalist playwright makes use of setting and character to target the Norwegian city middle class audience. Using the house setting with its comfy ‘range lined with porcelain tiles, with a number of armchairs and a rocking chair’ ‘a what-not with china and other bric-a-brac’ indicated that modern audiences would’ve been beinged in front of a set, on which this questionable action was unraveling, which might’ve quickly been a reflection of their own front spaces. Nora too, as they housewife who moved from her daddy’s home to her hubby’s and whose life focuses on your house and kids, was a ‘stock type’ character function whose life and circumstances were likely similar to that of many bourgeoisie ladies in the audience. This implementation of naturalism means that when the remarkable action unfolds, the audience can not help but make parallels to their own lives and relationships. In particular Nora’s rebellious ending in which she declares ‘It’s your fault I have actually not done anything with my life.’, hence linking the whole female audience in this claim and asking them to question whether they are content or proud of their location in life as a wife and mom. This sort of impact causes social modification due to the fact that it requires an audience to review their own scenarios, and in this case especially challenges bourgeoisie couples over how they deal with eachother and whether their relationship is being defined by their social functions.

The Kite Runner challenges views and assumptions in a various way, as a second generation post-colonial text, by crafting a brand-new picture of the Afghan country and cultural heritage. Throughout the unique Western readers are encouraged to empathize with the plight of Afghanistan through its political characterization as a nation. Through the classic retrospective child’s narrative of the very first section of the book we familiarize the country, practically as its own character through familiar sensory descriptions such as ‘multicoloured buses’ ‘laughter and chatter’ ‘hot tea steaming from thermoses, and the music of Ahmad Zahir roaring from cassette gamers.’ This immersive description of the culture produces imagery that juxtaposes both the later transformation of the sensory scape- ‘staccato of shooting’ ‘I closed my eyes and looked for the sweetness. I didn’t find it.’ ‘A haze of dust’- after the Soviet and Taliban occupations and perhaps the promoted images of war-torn Afghanistan Western audiences would’ve been used to viewing on the news when this book was published. It not just encourages us to see the country as a victim of war itself through this however likewise challenges Western understandings of the area and culture as a whole. To this end it wins the hearts of Westerners, possibly those with power to make a distinction to the plight of Hosseini’s homeland, and motivates protest versus possible inaction with Afghanistan’s contemporary situation.

Audiences in A Doll’s House are also privy to a special perspective on the events and the juxtapositions presented as they follow Nora’s interactions with both Helmer and the play’s other characters such as Mrs Linde and Dr Rank. Nora is presented at first in the play as an absurd and naïve lady who depends on her spouse who understood far better than she in his social function as a guy and a lender, this is communicated through her affectionate animalization and dehumanization as ‘a costly animal’ or the possessive ‘my little songbird’. In this discussion she is entirely powerless and typical of a woman in 19th century society. However, during the course of the play, her interactions with the minor characters are utilized as foils to expose, only to the audience, her strength, severity and capability for rebellion. When she then returns to her interactions with Helmer they are juxtaposed and weakened because they are structurally so near the exposition of his weak points and Nora’s capability and for that reason expose the hollowness of their preliminary discussions. For instance, Nora reveals to Mrs Linde, in well-structured and relatively fully grown language and tone, such things as how Torvald ‘he got quite jealous’ and ‘he is so happy with being a male’ or how ‘It was I who found the money.’, defying her weak female representation. This is then juxtaposed by her instant interactions with Helmer in which the audience sees Torvald boast an in-control adult role such as ‘When the real crisis comes you will not find me lacking in strength or nerve. I am man enough to bear the problem for us both,’ and Nora go back to a self-deprecating animalization and 3rd individual ‘Squirrel would do lots of quite techniques for you’. This produces a sense of irony which only the audience views and thus leads them to question the reliability of the social functions they were presented with in the beginning, and in addition the social roles they themselves enforce in society, as here the guy is weak through his fascination with track record, and the woman has handled the monetary problem. As critic Clement Scott put it- ‘the man becomes the hysterical female, and the woman ends up being the silent, sullen, and determined male.’ Showing to the audience the flimsiness of their presumed gender and social roles and hence dissuading their perpetuation.

In the Hosseini’s composing he has one end of the world to select in regards to Western perspectives. This is found in his discussion of Assef- the novel’s allegory and representation of religious extremism in society. The intro to Assef draws on the imagery of ‘the blonde, blue-eyed Assef’ ‘Born to a German mom and Afghan father’, this imagery in addition to the semantics of extreme ideologies such as ‘ethnic cleansing’ and ‘watan’ aid develop a clear parallel in readers’ minds between Assef and the Islamist extremism he comes to represent and the relatable Western example of Hitler- a reference made explicit through his use of ‘Mein Kampf’ as a present for Amir. This offers a point of referral for Western readers that implies the Taliban and extremists are as representative of Afghan culture as Hitler was of the West and hence forces us to reassess our presumptions. With Assef type-cast as a practically phase bad guy in the text, we are inclined to sign up with the side of Air in the Afghans in a desire to withstand and turn down the legitimacy of the modern-day extremists impacting the area. His strong demonization, presented clearly as ‘insane’ ‘a sociopath’, joins characters and audience in a rejection of this aspect of Eastern culture and once again ‘wins over the hearts and mind’ of the Western audience who come to empathise with Assef’s and extremism’s Afghan victims.

Total then, both texts make a clear relate to their designated audience, be it through naturalism and structure, or a design of writing directed at offering a relatable and empathetic perspective. Most of all these writings intend to make their audience question their assumptions, whether that is about a culture or about social roles. It is this that contributes modification in society since it provokes disgust, regret or newly found understanding; for Ibsen, in the constructs and condition of society, and for Hosseini in the suffering of his country and discrimination versus Eastern culture.

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