Breaking Away From Society: A Doll’s House by Henrik Ibsen

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Modern interpretations of “A Doll’s House” and “Trifles” portray that these dramas are solely works of feminism, when in fact they address a more important issue of the time: marriage ideals. During this time, marriages were nothing but a masquerade. Husbands and wives hid behind their commitment, and were overly focused on the appearances and opinions of society. Society played a key role in the formation of the attitudes and opinions of marriage in the late 1800’s and early 1900’s. “A Doll’s House” by Ibsen was written in 1879 and focuses on the problems within the traditional marriage of the time. “Trifles” was written several years later in 1916 by Susan Glaspell and was also a story that brought the issues with marriage ideals to the forefront. Both of these plays were meant to convince people to start questioning society and to bring forth issues that were being ignored. “A Doll’s House” was written by Ibsen not only to bring attention to the suppression of women, but to bring attention to the other problematic aspects of marriage in the late 1800’s. Since the play was first performed in 1879 in Copenhagen, there was debate about the way that Ibsen portrayed the nature of the Helmer’s marriage (McFarland-Wilson, Knapp 140). Throughout the entire Western World in the 20th Century, the position of not only women, but the nature of marriage was up in the air. Ibsen was not a feminist; he was a realist, who loved to point out the injustices in society (Kashdan). Ibsen’s character clearly explains why he chose to center his writing on the overall picture of marriage, not just the neglect and unfair treatment that the women received. Throughout “A Doll’s House”, we the readers get a glimpse into the reality of Torvald and Nora’... ... middle of paper ... ...1650. Print. Ibsen, Henrik. “A Doll’s House”. Literature: An Introduction to Fiction, Poetry, Drama and Writing. Kennedy, Dana Gioia. 12th ed. Vol. 3: Pearson, 2013. 1598-1650. Print. Kashdan, Joanne G. "A Doll’s House." Masterplots, Fourth Edition (2010): 1-3. Literary Reference Center Plus. Web. 23 Feb. 2014. Kennedy, X.J, and Dana Gioia. Literature: An Introduction to Fiction, Poetry, Drama, and Writing. 12th ed. Vol. 3. New York: Pearson, 2013. Print. McDaniel, L. Bailey. "Literary Contexts In Plays: Susan Glaspell's "Trifles." Literary Contexts In Plays: Susan Glaspell's 'Trifles' (2006): 1. Literary Reference Center Plus. Web. 16 Feb. 2014. McFarland-Wilson, Beth, and John V. Knapp. "A Very Wild Dance Indeed: Family Systems In Heinrich Ibsen's A Doll's House." Critical Insights: Family (2012): 140-159. Literary Reference Center Plus. Web. 16 Feb. 2014.
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