During the nineteenth century, women were suppressed by many expectations set by society. They were expected to take care of domestic work such as cooking, cleaning, raising children, and above all, pleasing their husbands. In her household, Nora, the main character in Ibsen’s “A Doll’s House”, adheres to these expectations. She takes care of her children and dances the tarantella for her husband. She believes that she is happy and that her marriage is successful and fair; however this is not true. There are many characters who would like for her to remain in this oppressive role, including Mr. Krogstad, Mrs. Lindie, and even her own husband, Torvald. These characters care more about the standards, that “restricted women’s choices” (Ernst 6), than Nora’s well-being. As the play progresses, the author, Henrik Ibsen, shows the transformation that Nora experiences when she realizes she has lived her life doing what others wanted, instead of looking within herself to understand her own desires. Ultimately, she decides to break away from her husband and children to leave behind the society that has oppressed her. She feels compelled to learn more about herself and what she wants in life. In the play, A Doll’s House, Henrik Ibsen highlights the negative treatment that women received during the late 1800s and uses Nora to rebel against society’s expectations for the role of women.
In the Helmer household, Torvald as the male, is superior, and is in charge of making money and running the household. While his role is considered “important” to the family, Torvald expects Norato take the submissive role and raise their three children, dance the tarantella, and do as he asks....
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..., by mentioning that she does not fully realize her lack of freedom until her husband discovers the forgery. After the situation passes, and her worst fears are brought to light, she realizes that she does not enjoy the life that she lives, and so, leaves it behind. Ibsen highlights the negative treatment that women received during the late 1800s and uses the character of Nora to deviate from the cultural norm. Ibsen’s presentation of a woman rebelling against society shocked many during the time period, but became a model for women seeking independence later on. Ibsen did not initially write the play for female equality, but rather for the “description of humanity” (Bloom 139). Though it was not written for women exclusively, Ibsen’s play was taken up by feminist movements and was used to inspire many women to think for themselves and fight for their own liberation.
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