A Study of Henrik Ibsen’s The Lady from the Sea from the Perspective of EcofeminismDilek Bulut Sarıkaya
Growing out of an academic and activist sensitivity towards the analogous exploitation of nature and women, ecofeminism has gained widespread recognition and popularity across disciplines since the last decades of the 20th century. Condemnation of dualistic constructions, fostering the violation of the rights of women and nature is the central argument put forward by ecofeminism which is unwaveringly committed to revealing the anthropocentric and patriarchal ideologies as conjoint systems of oppression and subjugation. A link to ecofeminism can be found in Henrik Ibsen’s play, The Lady from the Sea (1888). Accordingly, the sea plays a key role in governing the lives of individuals like how the central character, Ellida’s social alienation from the people around her is juxtaposed with her physical and psychological intimacy with the sea. This study is anchored on elucidating Ibsen’s play from an ecofeminist viewpoint by drawing together Ellida’s patriarchal oppression in her marriage with the brutal exploitation of nature, squandered by humans whose anthropocentric misconceptions and consumerist concerns disallow them to perceive nature as a living organism. An ecofeminist approach to The Lady from the Sea will provide a better insight into the play’s consolidation of the gender issue with environmental deterioration as two inextricably linked problems.