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A Feminist Perspective of A Doll's House

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A Feminist Perspective of A Doll's House

In "A Doll's House", Ibsen portrays the bleak picture of a role held by women of all economic classes that is sacrificial. The female characters in the play back-up Nora's assertion that even though men are unable to sacrifice their integrity, "hundreds of thousands of woman have." Mrs. Linde found it necessary to abandon Krogstad, her true but poor love, and marry a richer man in order to support her mother and two brothers. The nanny has to abandon her children to support herself by working for Nora. Though Nora is economically advantaged, in comparison to the other female characters, she leads a hard life because society dictates that Torvald be the marriages dominant member. Torvald condescends Nora and inadvertently forces Nora to hide the loan from him. Nora knows that Torvald could never accept the idea that his wife, or any other woman, could aid in saving his life.

At the beginning of "A Doll's House", Nora seems completely happy. She responds to Torvald's teasing, relishes in the excitement of his new job, and ...

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... as a wife and mother. She now sees that she is a human being before she is a wife and mother and she owes herself to explore her personality, ambitions, and beliefs.

Works Consulted

Clurman, Harold. Ibsen. New York: Macmillan. 1977

Ibsen, Henrik. Four Major Plays. New York: Oxford University Press, 1998

Shaw, Bernard. "A Doll's House Again."  Twentieth-Century Literary Criticism.  Detroit: Gale Research Inc., 1979.

Templeton, Joan. "The Doll House Backlash: Criticism, Feminism, and Ibsen." PMLA (January 1989): 28-40.

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