A Doll House And Hedda Gabler Analysis

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Two of the most popular, and most widely performed plays in history, are Henrcik Ibsen 's A Doll House and Hedda Gabler. The plays were popular, and created a scandal when first performed, and have remained popular ever since. One reason for the enduring popularity and power of the plays is the deep and powerful portrayal of the female protagonist of each play. Ibsen intended that his plays be interpreted alongside each other, and often remarked that a series of plays was a cycle of the development of an idea. One such cycle “called nutidsdrama in Norwegian, began with A Doll House and ended with Hedda Gabler”(Mori 139). Many readers have notices the connection between the two memorable female characters. As Mori notes, “Nora and Hedda…show more content…
At the center of each play is a relationship between a wife and husband, in one play Nora with Torvald, and the other Hedda and Ejlert. The relationships portray a woman 's attempt to establish herself in a society that only recognizes her as an attachment to a husband. Nora Helmer begins the play as an example of female submission and compliance to gender roles, “while in the last act she rebels...and assets her claim to full humanity...her transformation from submissive, self sacrificing woman...into a self-assertive person who rejects responsibility to her husband and children in the name of her duty to herself”(Paris 39-40). In Act Three, Nora yells at her husband, “You 've prevented me from becoming a real person”(A Doll House, Act III). Nora 's father also demonstrates the patriarchal society she is trapped in, as the father wishes for her to remain a “doll-child”(Doll House Act III). Nora 's husband Torvald has the same beliefs about the role of women as the father, as Torvald finds “something very endearing about a woman 's helplessness”(A Doll House, Act…show more content…
He does not understand her, or even try to protective her, but instead he embodies the response of a patriarchal society. He says, “What a horrible awakening! All these eight years—she who was my joy and pride a hypocrite, a liar, worse-a criminal” (Doll House Act III). His reaction serves two purposes. First, it reveals how the patriarchy responds to Nora 's action—the true crime she committed was not financial fraud but the greater crime of impersonating a man. Second, it demonstrates that her husband is not playing the gender role Nora expected. He his not acting like a loving husband, but as a victim of fraud. The farud he feels he is the victim of is Nora 's femininity. Once she commits the crime, Torvald no longer sees her as feminine. The gender roles assigned to each character by society is a fiction. AS Torvald says, “from now on, happiness doesn 't matter. All that matters is the appearance”(A Doll House, Act III). His reaction helps Nora further awaken to her captivity and the need to express herself, as she declares, “Before all else, I 'm a human being”(A Doll House Act

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