A Doll's House by Henrik Isben

1634 Words7 Pages
In the 1900’s women were not granted with similar privileges as men. Economic suppression, limited education, and lack of civil rights were the primary issues for women. In the play A Doll’s House, Henrik Isben creates the realization of female oppression through the creation of the character, Nora. Nora is a woman, whose whole life is ruled by either her father or husband. Nora Helmer, tries hard to perform the roles expected of a woman, which, however, has led to her sacrifice of individual ideals and fulfillment of personal freedom. Ibsen reveals Nora’s grasp of independence through his use of symbolism, irony, and development of characters. Nora’s first impression of the audience is being an obedient, money-loving, childish wife. In the first act, Nora seems to just want money from her husband, she doesn’t delay herself in asking for money. Even when asked what she would like for Christmas, money is her answer. In response Torvald addresses Nora as a little girl, or even a pet; “my little lark mustn’t droop her wings like that. What? Is my squirrel in the sulks?” (Ibsen 1166-1167). Nora’s stressed emphasis of desiring money is very much similar to that of a child. Children have no means of income resulting to ask parents and ever grandparents for money. By Nora being the child means that Torvald is the parent or grandparent. Grandparents are the most common individuals who create pet names for their favorite grandchildren similar to what Torvald does to Nora. All of which makes Nora seem more like a prized possession opposed to an equal partner in marriage. This is how Ibsen first introduces Nora to the audience and creates an image of her life before the start of the play. Ibsen first presents Nora inferiority to her h... ... middle of paper ... ...d ruining his honor. At this point, Nora realizes that everyone’s first and foremost duty is to seek out a space for her own self. It seems that she has changed from the frivolous, child-like dependent plaything at the beginning to the rational, determined spokeswoman for individual freedom at the end. In her awakening, Nora realizes that she has been made a doll that Helmer and her father want her to be. Her decision to leave Helmer shows her intense and determined passion to seek for freedom and an individual self. Her slamming of the door at the end of the play symbolizes the liberation of a woman from social roles, her triumph of individual liberty and a woman’s proper rights to personal freedom in a male chauvinistic society. As she says, ”I believe that first and foremost / I am an individual, just as much as you are or at least I’m going to try to be” (1229).
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