Month: April 2010


Cohn, Samuel K Jr. The Black Death Transformed Disease and Culture in Early Renaissance Europe. 318p. Co published, New York: New York, 2002 and London: England, 2002.

All history students have some knowledge of the Black Death or bubonic plague. There are hundreds of books that tell you that the Black Death from 1347-52, wiped out around forty percent of medieval Europe. Many scholars have identified the Black Death and bubonic plague as the same disease. Samuel K. Cohen narrative is based on evidence that the “Black Death in Europe, 1347-52, and its successive waves to the eighteenth century was any disease other than the rat-based bubonic plague (now known as Yersinia pestis), whose bacillus was discovered in 1894.”
The author attempts to prove this thesis “by turning to the sources afresh, first the narrative ones-over 400 chronicles and 250 plague tracts, these chronicles describe the signs and symptoms of the plague.” These chronicles point to differences in contagion, differences in the death toll between the two plagues, acquired immunity over time, and the rapid movement of the Black Death to circumnavigate most of the then known world in five years, whereas modern plague travelled slowly.
Samuel K Cohn has sought to liberate and enlighten students of the fundamental importance of the Black Death on late Medieval and Renaissance society. To understand history we must be able to connect the scientific, natural, and social world. Samuel K Cohn believes historians should take bio-medical research and place the two diseases in the same sphere. Cohn believes that war, natural disasters and bio-medical diseases they should all be analysed and compared. For example, war has the same effects on society as it did 10000 years ago and we have identified and acknowledged the differences in sexually transmitted diseases so why not correct our history books and separate these two diseases in their respected time. The following paragraphs will summarize the author’s thesis, and give a critical analysis of the book. Our conclusion will analyse how well he defended his thesis statement.
Cohn’s work is monumental because his approach is monographic, polemic, chronological, biographical, and institutional. Cohn is an historian who brilliantly places the bio-researcher on the pedestal by using their data along with the biographical letters from the 14th century to prove his claim. His book is also institutional in that he backs up his thesis with some of the greatest scientific minds of the modern era. Ernest Hanbury Hankin (1865-1939), is one of the brilliant scientists that he uses to prove his thesis that the Black Death and modern day plague are two different diseases. Hankin research points to rats as not being the direct cause or spread of contagion to humans in his present day India. Hankin states that the rats did not surface and die, domestic animals did not die in the fields and people did not die in such large volumes.” Therefore different symptoms and affective on population and the eco system should mean that the two diseases are none the same.
“Cohn book focuses on letters written by medieval doctors and eye witness accounts of plague survivors living in the territories of Rome, Puglia, Tuscany and Parma.” The books main purpose is not to denounce the Black Death as a hoax but to place the schematic of plague in a separate sphere. The author believes that it is necessary to separate the Black Death from modern plague because the two diseases have several distinct characteristics. The four main variant consisted of plague lasting through the year in places with a wide variety of temperatures, the distinct buboes in the groin and underarms, modern plague only occurring when the temperatures were hot and humid, and the high mortality rates in households and communities. Moreover, anyone who survived the plague would develop immunity to the disease. This was not the case with modern day plague, which had a mortality rate of less than 3 percent of the population.
This is an interesting book because it raises new issues about an old subject. This book is an excellent primary source for students looking to write a research paper. The author succeeds in proving his thesis, he raises good points to make us aware that the two diseases are different; however, his hypothesis is very weak because he refuses to identify the similarities in modern plague and the Black Death. Cohn credits Alexandre Yersin for developing a serum and finding the bacteria that causes the plague, however, he fails to point out that Yersin identified that the bacteria was present in the rodent as well as in the human, thus hiding other possible means of transmission. Furthermore, Cohn fails to display that DNA traces of Yersinia pestis were found on the teeth of buried victims that date from the 14th century and 5th century.
In conclusion, Samuel K. Cohn is a great historian; however, he is too determined to protect his thesis. I come to this conclusion because I realize that environmental history is more factual if all the evidence is studied. Environmental history teaches me that climate changes and other natural phenomena’s are all part of an ecological clock. Europe experienced a small ice age in the 9th, 13th and 17th century. Bubonic plague was also active in the 4th century BC, 4TH century AD and 14th century AD. This could mean that the Black Death is only dormant. Finally, it is more conceivable that humans and animals have evolved to engineer some resistant that make the plague less volatile. I would consider Samuel K. Cohn, novel an exceptional narration for the discipline of history, however, the research is too one sided for a bio medical historical narrative



Honore de Balzac (May 20, 1799 – August 18, 1850) was a realist writer and playwright who wrote with a precise observation of the environment and an accurate detail to character. Realism represents one of four styles of writing that evolved in a period known as the long nineteenth century, the other three forms of script were, romanticism, naturalism, and Parnassian. Furthermore, the novel titled, Eugenie Grandet is a brilliant analysis of the social, political, and economical history of France during this period. Moreover, the novel is an analysis of the relationship between men and women during the height of the bourgeoisie movement. Essentially, this paper will compare bourgeoisie culture to today’s societies. The conclusion will present some reasons for writing this novel and similar works of fiction from the romantic era.
This novel is set in the early nineteenth century in the quiet, melancholy French village of Saumur. Melancholy is an accurate picture of the town and the characters in the novel, because the characters evoke death, gloom, and deception. The author’s melancholic brilliance is on display in the opening paragraph of the novel. The following citation depicts the melancholic gloom of the novel.
“The writer states, “In certain provincial towns there are houses whose appearances arouse a melancholy as great as that of the gloomiest cloisters, the most desolate moorlands, or the saddest ruins. There is perhaps, in these houses, a combination of the silence of the cloisters, the desolation of moorlands, and the sepulchral gloom of ruins. In them life is so still and uneventful that a stranger would think them uninhabited, if his eye did not suddenly meet the pale, cold look of a motionless figure whose almost monk-like face appears above the window-ledge at the sound of an unknown step. These melancholy characteristics are sitting in the house in Saumur, at the end of the steep street. The street not much used nowadays is cold winter and dark in parts.”
It is the Grandet family household where all these melancholic, greedy, and sad characters meet. The head of the household is Felix Grandet. Monsieur Felix Grandet reminds me of the Grim Reaper because his main passion in life is to destroy, manipulate, and swindle everyone who encounters him. He is the largest landowner and mayor of the town. He has cheated his wife out of her fortune and position in life. Madame Grandet is a rich heir twenty years younger than her husband Felix Grandet, yet destined to die before him because of the neglect and pain from a marriage obviously, construed out of economic aspiration, rather than love.
A prime example of Monsieur Grandet cold and calculating behaviour came in 1789. This was a period in French history when the newly elected Bourgeoisie party had put church property, in the Saumur district up for sale. “Grandet went to the office bribed the district officer and slipped by his father-in-law and purchased the church property which had contained the finest vineyards of the region.” Rather than purchase the vineyard with his father-in-law, Monsieur Grandet preferred to destroy his in-laws chance of economic growth. Furthermore, life was changing politically for all French people. This change came in the period known as the French revolution (1789-99). The French government and society constituted of three estates. The first state being the clergy, the 2nd being the nobility and the third estate was the common people. The commoners were not only peasants and farmers; commoners were from the merchant class, lawyers, and skilled artisans. The third estate had executed a King and Queen in 1789. The third estate had endured 9 centuries of heavy taxes and oppression. Monsieur Grandet and the rising Bourgeoisie had not intended to relinquish this newfound political power and wealth. This is one reason why Grandet was so shrewd, miserly, and calculating with his money.
Secondly, Eugenie is the female protagonist of the story. For her birthday, she receives dresses from her mother and a gold coin from her father. Rival suitors such as Monsieur Cruchot, son of the town barrister and Monsieur de Grassins, the local banker’s son, court Eugenie. “The secret struggle between the Cruchots and the Des Grassins for the prize of Eugenie Grandet’s hand was a source of passionate interests to all of society in Saumur.” The author touches on the importance of wealth and ownership of property when discussing marriage. The two suitors were worthy of Eugenie, nonetheless, her father was more concerned about losing his property and wealth to one of these men’s as a son-in-law. The local population who eagerly witnesses the fight for Eugenie dowry state these words. “The former cooper was eaten up with ambition, and was looking for some peer of France, as a son-in-law, a peer who, for an income of 300,000 livres a year would overlook all Monsieur Grandet assets.” Accordingly, this statement gives you the precarious situation of many European families in the nineteenth century. People married money and titles. The rising Bourgeoisie for the past two centuries had financed and capitalized on the return of the nobility and monarchy. The Bourgeoisie party were interested in extricating themselves from the poverty and commonness of the third estate. The nobility had titles and they craved the economic wealth and genius of the rising bourgeoisie. Sometimes, it was a match made in heaven.
An unexpected visitor appears on Eugenie’s birthday in 1819. Eugenie’s cousin Charles Grandet arrives for an extended visit. Eugenie falls in love with Charles and they begin a nineteenth century romance. Charles delivers a sealed message to his uncle only to find out that his father committed suicide because he was bankrupt. In the nineteenth century, losing of a fortune is shameful. In direct contrast to today’s society it would have been somewhat of a noble thing to take one’s life rather than descend to a lower caste. In this world, prestige meant everything. Upon hearing that his father has committed suicide and he is penniless, Charles is heartbroken. Eugenie falls in love with her cousin, and she gives Charles all her gold coins to invest in the West Indies. Charles gives her one passionate kiss and promises to return when successful to marry her. Since the 16th century, Europeans were heading to the West Indies to make their fortune in the plantation system. The prime trade was in the selling of African slaves to work the farms. Slavery is outdated, but more interesting was how the Noble and Bourgeoisie society would allow first cousins to marry. This was a common practice throughout Europe. It was a way of keeping wealth and power within a family. In today’s society, a marriage between first cousins would be incest.
Monsieur Grandet discovers that, Eugenie has given away her life savings. He imprisons his daughter in her room for this deception. He vows never to have anything to do with his wife and daughter because he feels that they have deceived him. Eugenie mother is very ill and heartbroken. Monsieur Grandet’s legal representative advises him of the situation upon his wife’s death. Monsieur Grandet does not want to divide the fortune between him and his daughter. He reconciles with his wife and daughter before she dies and he then coerced his daughter into signing over her inheritance to him. Eventually old man Grandet dies of old age himself. Death truly adds to the melancholy of the drama. Before Eugenie’s mother dies, she states these words. ‘My child,’ she said, just before she died, ‘there is no happiness except in heaven. You will know that one day.’ In previous statement, Madame Grandet is reflecting on the position of women in nineteenth century Europe. Marriage was about possessions and all female heirs became an economical possession of their husbands. There is no love or romance because their husbands subjugated women. Madame Grandet was a millionaire; however, she looked and dressed like a peasant woman. Ultimately, Madame Grandet was saddened at the future for her daughter living in a lonely Capetian village.
The ending of the story is brilliant because it comes full circle back to the beginning, thus adding to the melancholic setting of the novel. Eugenie receives a letter from Charles, stating that he longer loves her and he wishes to marry a countess. Remarkably, Eugenie pays off Charles debt. She then marries one of her old suitors Monsieur Cruchcot, but he dies. Eugenie is now a wealthy woman. The audience in the words of the writer describes a vivid déjà vous of this story rotating to the introductory paragraph. The author states, “The pack was still pursuing Eugenie and her millions, but it had increased in size, barked more loudly, and encircled its prey according to a strategic plan. If Charles had arrived from the Far Indies, he would still find the same people pursuing, the same interests.”
In conclusion, Eugenie Grandet is truly a feminist masterpiece of journalism. Honore de Balzac is man who is very sympathetic to the plight of nineteenth century French women. Women did not achieve the right to vote until 1945. The French society was home to many unmarried women or single women who realized that marriage meant relinquishing of properties and social freedom. What fascinated me about this novel is the realist approach to the historical period and the subtle identification of the historical events in French history. I compare this novel to the, “Wives of England” by Sarah Stickney Ellis, “Jane Eyre” by Charlotte Bronte and “Little Women” by Amy May Alcott. All of these novels have strong female characters that persevere and overcome the stigma of their position.

Courtney Duncan

Women and Contributions to the Economy of Canada.

Political economy refers to the related, approaches to studying economical and political behaviours in reference to other fields, such as law, education, health, social environment, and gender. The fundamental driving force of political economy is economic progress in relation to the division of labour and the development of science. Labour within our society is a fascinating and diverse theme because the role of women as changed so much since the early 1600s. Themes such as scientific evolution, politics, religion, indigenous cultures, and European cultures have all influenced the political economy on a global scale.
The study of women and their contributions to the political economy is a diverse topic, in that much has changed since the 1600s “In the 1600s, there were two cultures in Ontario: hunter gatherer bands in the north, and horticultural, tribally organized Native people in the south.” The fur trading of New France, whereas the British who colonized their territory by building large cities and farms influenced the tribal horticultural bands, influenced the hunter-gatherer society.
Britain and France believed in the theory of mercantilism. Mercantilism is an economic theory that there is a fixed amount of wealth in the world and that a nation’s prosperity depends on its success in accumulating its wealth by exporting more than it imports. “From the 1500s to the 1700s in Canada, mostly European men and Native people engaged in fur trading, hunting and gathering, horticulture and agriculture.” The Europeans bewildered by the less than hierarchical order of the indigenous people, which included easy divorces, sexual freedom, polygamy, and equal work status. The native women played a vital role in the fur trade. Without the Indian women, the Europeans would not have survived the harsh winters of the north.
“For most of the 1700s, Native people were treated with the cautious respect accorded allies in war and partners in trade.” This changed when the colony of New France ceded to Britain in 1763. The system switched from mercantilism to an industrial society. This was a period where villages were established and most of the people married someone form their village or community. In this period there were Catholic villages and Protestant villages, farming and trading villages.
European society had always subjugated women. Women did not get equal opportunities and equal pay when working with men. A woman’s contribution on the farm is important to the economic survival of the family; however, women were, subjected to sexual harassment and brutal beatings. As the century progressed, two major economic changes occurred. “Small scale subsistence farming was gradually replaced with large-scale, high-volume commercial agriculture and employment based at or near the home was replaced by work in large factories. With the advent of commercial expansion in the nineteenth century, work and family life became increasingly separate and thus the start of an urban and industrialised workforce that witnessed the influx of new immigrants.
Industrialization created controversy because it reiterated a caste system that economies still practice around the globe today. Industrialization limited the opportunities for women in the work sector. In this period, it became demeaning for married women to labour for wages. Working class women would save every penny for their future wedding. Upon marriage, women were inferior to men and women became the property of their husbands. Women could not hold a job or vote.
Canada gained its independence in 1867 and motherhood is women’s main profession. “New Zealand was the first country to give women the right to vote.” By the 20th century, women in most nations won the right to vote and increased their education and job opportunities. The famous five were five Alberta women, Nellie McClung, Irene Parlby, Henrietta Muir Edwards, Emily Murphy, and Louise McKinney. Nellie McClung is a Manitoba woman known for her achievements in getting Manitoba to become the first province to allow women the right to vote and achieve provincial office in Canada. “Nellie McClung was one of the Famous Five—five Alberta women who petitioned the government of Canada to expand the legal definition of the word person to include women. Ottawa refused, but the five persevered, appealing to London. Eventually, they won their case; in 1929.”
We need to understand the key explanations of women, work and family within the political and economic sphere. Originally, native women were equal to their partners in the economic and political system. The migration of Europeans to North America changed the social and economical structure of the state. Mercantilism soon gave way to an agrarian system that evolved into an industrialized society. British North American laws in 1793 dominated society. For the next 124 years, women were servile to men in Canada. It was women such as Nellie McClung who earned political, social and economical freedom for the women of Canada.
“The simplest and least threatening version of feminism is to ask for what is seen in North America as simple fairness. Even lots of Americans who would never, ever think of themselves as actually being feminists nonetheless expect fairness for women” Women have achieved many equality rights in the workplace. “For example employers have to accommodate women who are pregnant. It is also illegal for an employer to ask a woman if she is pregnant.” Society has come a long way, from a century ago, and we have made many positive changes. Today more men can handle the position of nurturing a baby. Finally, the economic position of women can only improve because they are now more educated and pre-conditioned to survive a world based on many social laws.
An important factor in analysing the social laws implemented between men and women is gender analysis. Gender analysis indentifies the inequality between men and women. Gender analysis is the premise that women and men treated in the same way. Gender analysis based on two key components-gender equity and gender equality. “Gender equity takes into consideration the differences in women’s and men’s lives and recognises that different approaches may be needed to produce outcomes that are equitable.” Gender equality is based on the human rights code, which declares equality for all people regardless of race, sex and religion.
By using the Gender Analysis article as an analytical guide, there will be a comparison between the article titled, “Baby Bust: Declining birth rates in Canada to Toronto Star article titled, “Opinion Babies make comeback – except in Canada. These two articles related because they try to find a solution to the problem of declining birth rates in Canada. More importantly, one can get a better understanding of why some regions have a higher or normal birth rate compared to others.
The article Baby Bust by Ginette Petipas-Taylor shows concern for the declining birth rates in Canada. The author uses government statistics to depict the situation in Eastern Canada. Eastern Canada has the lowest birth rate in Canada. “The average age for a woman to give birth in Canada is 30 years old. This is a significant increase from a generation ago in the 1970s when the average age to give birth was 24 years of age.” By using the gender analysis article as a guide one realizes that women in Canada are taking advantage of all the equality that life as to offer. Women are marrying at a later age because they would like to start a career. This is the major reason for a lower birth rate in the bigger cities.
Within the rural areas of the eastern region, the decline in birth involves unemployment and young people migrating to bigger cities across the country in search of career opportunities. The writer is under the assumption that women would like to have more children, however high taxes and inadequate maternal leave programs in provinces such as Ontario, makes the prospect of having large families difficult. Women also fear the repercussion of taking too much time off work to have a child.
In the Toronto star article titled, Babies make comeback – except in Canada, the writer Carol Goar, praises the plan implemented by Premiere Jean Charest. The province of Quebec spends upwards of 45% more than other provinces to support families. “Critics call Quebec’s approach costly social engineering. But the majority of citizens support their government’s family policies because they make life easier for parents and safeguard the province’s francophone identify.” Carol Goar believes that women across Canada would opt for large families, but the benefits in provinces such as Ontario and British Columbia are not equal to the top countries of the world. Carol Goar believes that the Gender analysis law has many flaws. Goar suggests that the system used in Quebec should be the system used across the province of Canada.
Gender Analysis is understood as giving the female sex an equal opportunity to compete in every sector of life. Both articles indicate that certain regions do have a higher birth rate. However, both writers fail to identify that in the indigenous regions of the Northwest Territories and on reservations, high birth rates continue because of drug dependency, rape, alcohol and low self esteem. Both writers fail to explain that the native population and to smaller extent provinces such as Newfoundland, New Brunswick and PEI. These regions are not considered desired regions for economic growth. A more accurate analysis would be to chart the pregnancy rate in relation to ethnic groups, religious faith and social background.
All the articles defined equality. Equality is, at the very least, freedom from adverse discrimination. Gender analysis is a process of constant and flexible examination. In the 1950s, the role for women was almost exclusively homemaker after marriage. Women today have more opportunities to rise in the financial world. This means that women are getting married at a much older age and some women are choosing not to have children. This is a tough task for our government, because the problem of declining birthrates is more than economics.

Love an Expression of Romantic thoughts and tragic Gothic Romantic writings By Courtney Duncan

Love is like a twisting vine on an enchanted climbing bush that bears every shade of roses. Be careful when you pick a rose from this bush because you maybe pierced by the thorns of a stem that bears a rose that presents a love story with a tragic conclusion.
Love stories consist of endings with a happy conclusion, unhappy or tragic ending. In the classic love stories of old, a happy conclusion was an ending of the plot of work of fiction in which almost everything turns out for the best for the hero or heroine, their sidekicks, and almost everyone except the villains.
Unhappy endings usually involve the protagonists and their sidekicks experiencing pain, and sadness, whereas the person pricked by a thorn from a tragic love story this pierce reveals pain so horrible, it could only be the thorn of a rose, which blooms death for the protagonists and the sidekicks.
A Doll’s House is a play by Henrik Ibsen and the “The Hunchback of Notre Dame,” is a gothic novel by the writer Victor Hugo. These two stories are similar because they represent individuals pierced by thorns that present bad relationships. The causes of bad relationships exemplify submissive behaviour, one person loving the other more than they should and belonged to a lower economic or social status. The purpose of this paper is to compare the relationships in the novel titled Hunchback of Notre Dame and the play Titled Doll’s House. Both stories are similar because the social and economical positions of the characters play an important role in the treatment of the protagonist and the antagonist; nonetheless, there are glaring differences, which have symbolic semblance to the various shades of roses from this long lost enchanted rose bush. I will connect a rose to the main characters of the two stories.
In the play titled, “A Doll House,” Norah the female protagonist is exemplified by the dilemma of women living in nineteenth century Europe. For much of the play Norah is a beautiful, naïve, submissive woman whose only purpose in life is to please her husband Helmer. This submissive behaviour is noticed in the opening of the play when Helmer demands that his wife look him fully in the face then he says hasn’t the little sweet tooth been breaking the rules today.” Helmut calls her a sweet tooth because he suspects her of eating macaroons after Helmut as forbidden her to eat these chocolate candies. With increasing clarity, Nora comes to see her oppressive position in her marriage when her old school friend Christina comes for a visit.
Christina is an optimistic and independent woman whose husband died when she was at a young age. “Christina had to run a store, teach, or do anything to take care of her mother and two young brothers. Christina is poor but she realizes she is more free and independent than the privileged Norwegian bourgeoisie life that Nora leads.” Christina awakens Nora to the advantages of an independent woman. Nora’s believes that a woman like Christina would look down upon her because she has no real experience outside of the home. The social and political laws of the nineteenth century were in no circumstances favourable to females, trapped in subjugated and submissive relationships in comparison to their male counterpart. Women like Norah realized that their husbands expected them to take care of the household and the matriarch every sexual whim, thus mentally abusing them. Norah social life and women of the nineteenth century social world was no better than a bonds servant or slave because she had no opportunities to do things for herself.
In the gothic novel titled Hunchback of Notre Dame, submission is also the key to tragic or unhappy love and its manifestation in different contexts. The character that exudes the most submissive behaviour is Quasimodo.
As an infant, Claude Frollo who made him a bell ringer in the famous cathedral of the Notre Dame adopted Quasimodo. Quasimodo is deaf and deformed in one eye but he has a beautiful heart, which is on display, when he rescues La Esmeralda the beautiful gypsy street dancer from the Parisian guillotine. Quasimodo loves La Esmeralda because she gave him a drink of water to parch his thirst, when the Parisian guards were punishing him for rescuing her. Quasimodo loves La Esmeralda but she cannot return that love because he is too ugly and deformed. Nonetheless, she grows fond of him because she sees him as protection from the evil bishop Frollo who later realizes that La Esmeralda is seeking sanctuary in the cathedral of Notre Dame.
Quasimodo is submissive because 15th century Parisian commonly degraded people who were diseased, deformed, or ugly. In the medieval ages, society had always banned or ostracized the invalid because they believed that God somehow punished these people. Quasimodo only escape from the cruel citizens was the dark shadows and somewhat peaceful tranquility of Notre Dame Cathedral. Initially, Quasimodo relationship with La Esmeralda symbolizes the burgundy rose of beauty and the light pink rose of admiration. As the story concludes, the reader realizes that Quasimodo relationship with La Esmeralda best exemplifies eternal love because he would gladly die for her, but its eternal love from the vine of the black rose whose prick represents death to the characters involved.
Eternal love also revealed a haunting and depressing truth in the relationship between Norah and her husband Torvald in the play titled, “A Doll’s House.” Norah wedding was a fairy tale; all she wanted was to revolve her entire life around pleasing Torvald. Norah would wear special clothes for Torvald or only eat certain foods because Torvald willed this of her.
When Krogstad threatened to reveal to Nora’s husband that she had borrowed money from him and had also forged her father’s signature, she was consumed by fear. Nora worries because of the shame to her family and she realizes that she will lose the trust of Torvald.
Krogstad writes two letters, the first reveals Nora’s crime of borrowing money and forgery. The first letter, which Krogstad places in Torvald’s letterbox near the end of Act 2, represents the truth about Nora’s past and initiates the ending of her marriage. The letters represents her release from a chaotic and oppressing marriage. More importantly, a clearer understanding that the person she loves only attempts to return her to a subjugated trophy or property wife denying her of freedom and dignity. The letters have exposed her husband for his self-centredness, which awakens Norah to her destitute position as trophy or doll’s house wife. Norah relationship with her husband was a selfish one-sided love affair because she sacrificed everything for his well-being and he showed is gratitude by complaining about his self-honour. Norah relationship with Torvald initially signifies the lilac rose, which means love at first site. However, as the story concludes the rose changes to variety of colours such as yellow for joy and red for courage. These two colours are synonymous with Norah new freedom and courage to make changes for nineteenth century women.
The final factor in a bad relationship is the economical and social background of the couples involved in the liaisons. In the play titled the Doll’s House, Nora reveals to her friend Christina how she borrowed money for a trip to Italy to save her husband’s life. Christina tells Nora she does not understand why a wife cannot borrow money without her husband’s consent. This is further evidence of the subjugated position of 19th century women. Money was not the only issue; women’s freedoms were lost once they were married, these right constituted the right to vote, own property and work. Therefore, borrowing money from Krogstad would have been socially and morally unethical, because Krogstad was an outcast of society who had once forged signatures. Krogstad reason for committing this crime is solely the purpose of love of an unattainable woman. In the nineteenth century, wealth was an important attribute to marriage and courtship. The relationship between Christina and Krogstad failed because he did not have the economical means to support a woman of Christina status.
During the nineteenth century, marriage for love was unattainable, people married to unite homes and secure personal wealth. It was rare to see men and women marrying above their social status. Besides wealth, other factors in courtship were ethnicity, religion and education. Torvald married Norah because he wanted a beautiful trophy wife. This was normal in the Victorian period because it was common for men to marry wealthy women within their station, only to have these women bare them a healthy heir. Nora knew too well, what society expected of them. It was shameful to marry a lower social caste because of bankruptcy or an ill-advised marriage. The relationship between Christina and Krogstad initially represents the thorn of the black rose, which symbolizes the ending of a relationship or death, but we soon realize that this rose changes to a hot pink and yellow, the hot pink represents gratitude and the yellow personifies joy at finding a lost love.
Parisians during the 14th century followed the laws of a social caste system. For example, “Bishop Frollo belonged to one of those middle-class families known as indifferently, in the impertinent language of the last century, the high bourgeoisie, or the petty nobility. This family had inherited from the brothers Paclet the fief of Tirechappe, which was dependent upon the Bishop of Paris, and whose twenty-one houses had been in the thirteenth century the object of so many suits before the official.” To continue, Captain Phoebus the King of the Captains Archers does not love La Esmeralda but he willing seduces her like all the other women and prostitutes he has had sexual liaison. La Esmeralda loves him, but he is destined to marry a woman of his somewhat noble upbringing. Left for dead after bishop Frollo stabs him Captain Phoebus makes a remarkable recovery and marries Fleur-de-Lys de Gondelaurier. This marriage destroys La Esmeralda, who has been looking for love all her life. Paris is a city of orphans in the 15th century. La Esmeralda is looking for her long lost mother who happens to be Sister Gudule a miserable woman living in the Tour Roland, who hates to hear the sound of children playing because gypsies stole her daughter and she hates all gypsies. When she learns that La Esmeralda is actually her daughter, Gudule gives her life to save her.
La Esmeralda believes that Captain Phoebus has come to rescue her and she comes out of her hiding place that her long lost mother Sister Gudule has provided for her. Everyone admires Captain Phoebus because he is from a privileged society. Parisians only see his good look whereas; La Esmeralda is an Egyptian gypsy who represents a lower caste to the first and second estate, moreover, outcast to all Parisians because she is a gypsy. La Esmeralda, is given one last chance, but she refuses to become a concubine of bishop Frollo and she dies for her belief and hope for love. Quasimodo lifts his eye to the gypsy, whose body; suspended from the scaffold he states these words, ‘All that I have ever loved! Hence, three people die because love was not meant to be. The rose that symbolizes the relationship between La Esmeralda and her long lost mother is white and red rose, which symbolizes unity. Unfortunately, this rose changes its lovely red and white hue to the deeply black rose of death, which presented death For Frollo, Gudule, Quasimodo, La Esmeralda and unhappiness for the wicked Captain Frollo.
These plays reveal glaring similarities such as Dr Rank a family friend, revealing that he is terminally ill and he has secretly loved Norah. In addition, Bishop Frollo’s sinister and inappropriate bribery and confession of love to La Esmeralda.These were glaring similarities that evidently paved the way for a sad ending in both stories. There are many instances of similarities in the relationships of the two texts such as finding long lost love.
This was the case of Krogstad and Christina finding each other after years of soul searching. La Esmeralda also found her mother sister Gudule at the climax of the story and the female protagonist finally found peace though La Esmeralda peace came through death.
The Hunchback of Notre Dame and A Doll’s House are similar because the characters experience pain and they find each other after years of searching. However, the genre of the two stories is different as emphasized by the enchanted climbing rose bush in our essay. Everyone wishes for a knight in shining armour to rescue a princess because this brings a happy conclusion.
Although Christina and Krogstad find each other, the play titled a Doll’s House as an unhappy ending because the protagonist gives up the comforts of home and an ambitious husband to gain an uneasy freedom. The Hunchback of Notre Dame has a tragic ending because the secondary characters find and lose each other thus revealing to the protagonist that her true love only used her and the only freedom from this world is death. Death is a thorn entwined with the thorn of unhappiness yet still and eternity from unhappiness, which resides in the real world whereas death is from the otherworld. Like the two vines entwined together on the same enchanted rose bush but blooming different roses, the play titled A Doll’s House emphasizes a rose that progresses to all shades of flowers but eternally it could never remain black meaning hope for women and lovers. On the contrary, the rose that best exemplifies the novel titled, The Hunchback of Notre Dame, this rose initially exhibits vibrant colours, but it ultimately must remains a shade of black in the end to personify tragedy and death.