A Doll’s House by Henrik Ibsen

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A Doll’s House

“Men are taught to apologize for their weaknesses, women for their strengths” (Louis Wyse).

In Henrik Ibsen’s “A Doll’s House”, Nora Helmer portrays the Victorian English archetype of the “angel in the house”, otherwise known as the “doll” metaphor. In the Victorian age, the social construction of gender roles was much more traditional than contemporary gender roles; women had a clear role in society of which they could not escape. A major focus of social construction is to uncover the ways in which individuals and groups participate in the construction of their perceived social reality. As society is revolutionized, people individualize, freeing themselves from the constraints imposed by traditional societies. Nora Helmer represents an antecedaneous model of a feministic viewpoint in an oppressed position. Trapped in her role of the “doll”, Nora struggles to break free, her actions precipitated by her husband, Torvald’s, actions. Weintraub, in his ““Doll’s House” Metaphor Foreshadowed in Victorian Fiction” critical essay, depicts Shaw’s work and proposes the idea that the male protagonist has an immense impact on the female protagonist’s automorphism as “the doll” and the decisions she makes. In Ibsen’s “A Doll’s House,” Nora’s characterization and ultimate decision to leave can be seen as a struggle against the combination of Torvald and Society’s pressure to conform.

In his novel “A Doll’s House,” Ibsen explores a marriage in which love and happiness has clearly been confused. In the play, a seemingly amorous husband calls out to his wife with countless pet names, “Is that my little lark twittering out there? [he asks,] is that my little squirrel bustling about?” (Act 1 Scene 1). It appears to be a happy m...

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...y the social convention, gives Nora the strength to abandon her’s. As Pythagorous once said, “Decisions are the hinges of destiny,” and with the help from her husband and society, Nora opened her door.

Works Cited

"Men Quotes, Famous Men Quotes, Sayings about Man." Famous Quotes at AllGreatQuotes. Web. 22 Mar. 2011. .

Pearce, Richard. "The Limits of Realism." College English 31.4: 335-43. Web. 6 Jan. 2011.

"Quotes about Decision Making, Sayings about Choices." The Quote Garden - Quotes, Sayings, Quotations, Verses. Web. 22 Mar. 2011. .

Unwin, Stephen. Ibsen's A Doll's House. London: Nick Hern, 2006. Print.

Weintraub, Stanley. ""Doll's House" Metaphor Foreshadowed in Victorian Fiction." Nineteenth-Century Fiction 13: 67-69. Web. 6 Jan. 2011.

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