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Henrik Isben's A Doll's House Essay

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After she reveals the "dastardly deed" to her husband, he becomes understandably agitated; in his frustration he shares the outside world with her, the ignorance of the serious business world, and destroys her innocence and self-esteem. This disillusion marks the final destructive blow to her doll's house. Their ideal home including their marriage and parenting has been a fabrication for the sake of society. Nora's decision to leave this false life behind and discover for herself what is real is directly symbolic of woman's ultimate realization. Although she becomes aware of her supposed subordinateness, it is not because of this that she has the desire to take action. Nora is utterly confused, as suggested by Harold Clurman, "She is groping sadly in a maze of confused feeling toward a way of life and a destiny of which she is most uncertain (256)." The one thing she is aware of is her ignorance, and her desire to go out into the world is not to "prove herself" but
to discover and educate herself. She must strive to find her individuality. That the perception of woman is inaccurate is also supported by the role of Torvald. Woman is believed to be subordinate to the domineering husband. Instead of being the strong supporter and protector of his family, Nora's husband is a mean and cowardly man. Worried about his reputation he cares little about his wife's feelings and fails to notice many of her needs. The popular impression of man is discarded in favor of a more realistic view, thus illustrating society's distorted views. Ibsen, through this controversial play, has an impact upon society's view of the subordinate position of women. By describing this role of woman, discussing its effects, and predicting a change in contemporary views, he stressed the importance of woman's realization of this believed inferiority. Woman should no longer be seen as the shadow of man, but a person in herself, with her own triumphs and tragedies. The exploration of Nora reveals that she is dependant upon her husband and displays no independent standing. Her progression of understanding suggests woman's future ability to comprehend their plight. Her state of shocked awareness at the end of the play is representative of the awakening of society to the changing view of the role of woman. "A Doll's House" magnificently illustrates the need f...


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...le that Nora expects and the miracle that actually happens are entirely different. Nora dreams of the day that her husband will sympathize with her and cease to be the dominating figure with the "upper hand" in their relationship. She expects him to understand her struggles with the law and to be willing to take some of the blame himself. However, when he reacts to Krogstad's letter by exhibiting more dominance and control than ever before, Nora becomes more aware of her own individual needs as a woman in society. She understands that in order to be free, she must develop her own view of the world, by setting herself apart from the control and determinism that males have over her life. Therefore, Nora's decision to leave her husband and family is ironic because it proves to be the "miracle" she is waiting for, rather than the one she originally expected. Nora becomes a feminist heroine in the play by showing what women can achieve, but rarely attempt. The determinism that many men force on their women partners in society (in forms of control, dominance, and power) restricts the women's ability to strengthen as individuals, and gain their own self-determinism.



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