A Doll's House by Henrik Ibsen

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Henrik Ibsen was the first to introduce a new realistic mode in theater when he wrote the play A Doll’s House. The ending of the third act of this play was not accepted due to the controversy that it caused during the nineteenth century, because in this era women were not allowed to act the way Nora did, but through women’s movements society slowly started to accept it. During the Victorian era, in which this play was written, women were predestined to the role of being mothers and wives, nothing more and nothing less. It was believed religiously by society that it was God’s will for women to have these roles, which were unarguable. Women were only allowed to hold a small role represented by feminine qualities. By law, a woman was the property of her father, brother, and even her husband. These women thought of marriage as a method of subsistence, yet it provided nothing more than a new home with increasing responsibilities and no real benefits or haven. Any property or money made, regardless of where it came from, belonged to the husband. He was also the absolute guardian of the children. Right at the core of the value system of the Victorian era was the feminine inferiority. You can see how men had absolute guardianship over their children when Torvald reads the first letter from Krogstad where he notifies him that he will damage his reputation because of Nora’s crime. He tells Nora that, “Of course, you will continue to live here. But the children cannot be left in your care. I dare not trust them to you” (Doll act 3). An example of how women were considered property in this era is how Torvald reacted towards Nora when the letter from Krogstad arrives to him notifying him that he pardoned Nora’s crime. Torvald says, “There is... ... middle of paper ... ...l version of the play was accepted, but by 1997 it was already accepted by many. The reason that I say 1997 is because in an interview of Janet Mcteer, whom played Nora’s character, was done during this year where she talks about the play in its original version. Mcteer gives her perspective on Nora’s character by embracing and justifying it. Many people perceived the play as she did, in which today women portray Nora’s courageous figure and speak out when treated unfairly. Society today encourages women to follow in Nora’s footsteps in advocating their equality as a woman. In conclusion, we can see that the ending of the third act of this play was not accepted due to the controversy that it caused during the 19th century. Through time society has began to accept the play in its original version due to the many movements created by women who were seeking equality.

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