Imprisonment in A Doll's House


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Imprisonment in A Doll’ s House

     In a Doll’ s House, a certain number of imprisonment effects are at hand. Characters such as Nora or Kristine, are condemned either by poverty or by the situation or even by the role that women were expected to play and accept in this very conventional society, regardless of the fact that they were, despite this, respected and considered as the “pillars'; of society.

     In the play “A Doll’s house';, all the main characters are imprisoned in one way or another. If we take the example of Helmer. He feels imprisoned when he is threatened by Krogstad “ Oh it doesn’ t bear thinking. Oh I’m in the power of a man without scruples. And I’ m brought so pitifully low all because of a shiftless woman';. This threatening, from his point of view makes him incapable of escaping from his small world. His Small world, which includes his family and the bank he works in. Towards the end of the play, he says that he’ s saved and has in a way escaped from the prison he was locked up in. We find this out as he says: “ Nora I’ m saved!';

     In the entire play, Nora is in fact THE one and only real one imprisoned. She has no rights to do anything; she is “a bird in a cage';. Kristine gives the exact figure of Nora by saying: “ A wife cannot borrow without her husband’ s consent';. She is also imprisoned by law because of her forged signature and is therefore “aggressed'; by Krogstad, the man who lent her the money in the first place. She has been convinced that males are kings of the society she lives in. She even tells Kristine about this idea: “ A man can straighten out these things so much better than a woman';. She cannot afford or obtain anything herself, she has to ask her husband and get his permission to buy everything: “ Your squirrel will scamper about and do all her tricks, if you’ ll be nice and do what she asks.'; Her liberty is non-existent, Helmer is comparable to a prison guard, he thinks that he owns her: “… all the beauty that belongs to no one but me, that’ s my very own';. Helmer is the “prison guard'; and “the prison'; is the apartment she lives in.

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The only time we see her let free is when she and Helmer are invited to their next-door neighbour&#8217;s party but even though it is outside their apartment, it is still considered as the prison because they live in the same building. Before the party, she dances for her husband and Dr Rank, but does not respect the steps, this showing us that she wants to break free and escape. Once they arrive home from the party she desperately asks Helmer if they could not return to it and have more fun but he refuses. This shows us once more her need of liberty.

The apartment is a direct representation of a prison. Nora is asked by Helmer to stay there, but does not want her to bring up the children&#8230; he prefers to leave it to the maid. By the end of the play, Helmer says that he forgives her &#8220;&#8230;I&#8217; ve forgiven you everything&#8230;» it is at this moment that Nora tells him that she is leaving. Helmer&#8217; s comment is in some way her &#8220;freedom ticket'; allowing her to leave the prison or in other words the apartment.

Nora also fights back against Helmer by moving out of her social context and says that she has her own duties, that she disagrees about certain things he thinks true and that she also disagrees with the law saying that women have no rights. This rebellion Nora expresses still shows hidden personality.

Dr Rank another character of the play is imprisoned in his own world too because of genetic inheritance and congenital disease giving rise to his health problems, but also due to moral corruption and parental influence. On her side, Kristine is imprisoned because of her sick mother and her brothers for whose sake she has to work in order to keep the family going. In the beginning of the play, her poverty is also a sign of imprisonment. The society she is living in, is a non-respectable one towards a person without a job, especially women if they were considered as being &#8220; the columns of society';.

Another character who appears being victim of imprisonment is Krogstad. He is not imprisoned as much as Nora but still is because of his earlier actions. He &#8220;apparently'; misconducted himself at the bank as Helmer claims and is thereafter fired. For him and from his point of view the solution is to gain back the respect he used to have &#8220; I must try to win back as much respect as I can in the town.';


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