Nora is perceived as a helpless women, who goes out and wastes money that was earned by her husband. To Torvald, Nora is merely a plaything, which could be what the title of the play, "A Doll House", was hinting at. He found her helplessness to be attractive, because he was the one that was in control. For instance, when they received the Bond from Krogstad, Torvolld said, "I wouldn't be a man if this feminine helplessness didn't make you twice as attractive to me" followed by "It's as if she belongs to him in two ways now: in a sense he's given her fresh ...
For various reasons, the role of women in society has been analyzed and frequently debated throughout history. Henrik Ibsen’s A Doll’s House is no exception to the rule. In Norway, and during the Victorian period in history, women’s responsibilities were simply to keep house or do small jobs on the side such as sewing or light secretarial work. Henrik Ibsen may have had several intentions when writing his play A Doll’s House, but the one that stands out so clearly is the role of women in the time period from which the play takes place and just how doll-like they were treated in Victorian society. Women during this period were by no means the decision-makers of their households. Husbands or fathers were the heads of the household and many times women didn’t even know what state their financial affairs were in. It was often times only when something drastic happened that a woman would become aware of these things. For instance, if a husband should fall sick or even pass away and there were no male relatives to help take care of things, often times the woman would have to step up and distinguish what needed to be done in order to take care of things. We see a variation of this situation in Ibsen’s play. We meet a woman, Nora, and her husband Torvald and in it we witness the deterioration of their life together through Nora’s eyes. Throughout this analysis of A Doll’s House, I will address several things concerning Ibsen’s play. I will give a synopsis of the play, an analysis of three major characters: a.) Nora, b.) Torvald, and c.) Krogstad. I will discuss the language of the play and themes. I will give an in-depth look at the playwright himself as well as information on his creation of the play. I will give an idea of ...
The play A Doll’s House, written by Henrik Ibsen in 1879, recounts a story of a woman who is struggling to exist within the life she has accustomed herself to. The main character Nora is depicted as a woman that has accepted the way things were being held in her household without questioning the fairness or morals of the situation. Ibsen addresses the roles of woman in society and shines a new light on the concept of feminism in the time period. Nora represents the new light on feminism that was not quite popular during the time period in which Ibsen wrote the play. Nora’s character illustrates a concept that was foreign to most women during the time, and allowed for women to realize that they should be living to their full potential. Ibsen portrays Nora as childlike, tolerant, and loyal throughout the play, defining her true essence and eventually leading her to make a decision that would change the course of her life.
Henrik Ibsen published A Doll House in 1879, which was a time period of intense debate over women’s rights. Ibsen believed in the equality of people; consequently, the play displays the unjust inequality between men and women during the 19th century. Women were expected to fulfill the roles of a daughter, wife, and mother. However, to conform to the standards of the time women would repeatedly sacrifice their own happiness for the sake of men (Shahbaz). Nora attempted to fulfill the roles society expected of her, but she could not. Henrik Ibsen demonstrated how a woman has a duty to herself first by showing the negative effects of restricting women to the subservient roles of a daughter, wife, and mother in A Doll House.
After reading “The Doll House” and “Trifles”, the idea of females being inferior to men is portrayed. Both plays, are in a much older time period. But from a feminist view, females are still sometimes given the doubtful role in today’s society. Both plays, are very different, but much alike in the ways the females are treated, never taken seriously, nor are they appreciated.
The first act starts off by telling us that Torvald has gotten a new job as the manager of a bank by where they live. When he accepts the job him and Nora are happy because they will not have to worry about their money problems anymore. This shows us that the couple is a middle class married couple who has problems with money, just like the rest of us. His wife Nora is very supportive of him getting this job so that their money problems will become better.
In order to explore the theme of feminism in Henrik Ibsen’s play, A Doll’s House, the following must be considered: the roles men and women are expected to have, what feminism is, the different ways that feminism can be shown in the play, and finally how feminism effects marriage. The roles that men and women are expected to have is a major contributor to the different ways that feminism is shown in the play, as well as how feminism effects marriage. Therefore, there must be a clear understanding as to what these expectations are so that the effects of following or rejecting these roles can be seen. In addition, there has to be knowledge of how following or rejecting these roles influences feminism in this play. Another thing that must be understood in order for there to be a clear viewpoint on what is being analyzed in Ibsen's work is what feminism is.
Nora, Torvalds wife, plays a unique role in the play as she is put into a very serious situation where she has to choose to make a huge sacrifice. One day Torvald and Nora found out that Torvald was dying. It just so happens that her father was also on his deathbed. Nora was faced with a very complicated situation in which she is going to have to make a sacrifice to save one or the other. Nora did not have much money due to how back then women could not borrow money or take out a loan with out a man’s signature. Nora decides she needs to take out a loan in order to try and prolong her husband’s life, after all they did have three lovely children together and she couldn’t take care of them on her own.
Torvald expects Nora to agree with what he says and thinks, and commit her life to keeping the family happy by being a housewife. But Nora defies the roles that she is expected to have as being a wife, a woman, and a friend. As a wife, Nora spends Torvald’s money on macarons which are forbidden and attempts to earn her own money while going against what her husband tells her, because she wants to be an independent person with her own opinions. The trip to the south and borrowing money was all done by her, and in the end of the play Nora ultimately goes against the expectations set upon her by leaving the house to live on her own to gain knowledge and experience, but leaves behind her husband and children who she is responsible for taking care of. As a woman, she does not have the authority to disagree with her husband or try to influence his actions. Torvald says, “If it ever got around that the new manager had been talked over by his wife…” (Ibsen 42) showing that it would be a laughing matter if a woman had an idea, but Nora still makes many attempts to persuade her husband. As a friend, Nora is expected to know her role which is a listener and supporter for Mrs. Linde and just an acquaintance to Dr. Rank, but the relationship with Dr. Rank goes beyond what is acceptable. When Dr. Rank confesses his feelings for Nora she is very upset because they can no longer flirt with each other now that the feelings are real. Her role is to be a loyal wife to her husband, which she is, but Ibsen uses the flirtatious dialect between the two to show that there are mutual feelings and that confessing them brings the relationship beyond what is allowed. As Nora challenges all of these roles, she is gradually becoming more stressed and eventually breaks down and leaves her husband, which demonstrates the effect of the unrealistic expectations to uphold the roles of
The reason that Nora had to do this was because “a wife cannot borrow without her husband’s consent” (Ibsen and Archer). During the time that the play was written women were seen as not being capable of having or obtaining money. Therefore, it was their husband’s job to provide for them. Women were also not able to take out loans without a man’s signature. In order to obtain a loan Nora forged her father’s signature. Nora also does not want Torvald to know about what she has done for him because he would seem weak for not being able to keep his wife in line, which she reveals when she says “how painful and humiliating it would be for Torvald, with his manly independence, to know that he owned me anything!” (Ibsen and Archer). The reason for this is that men are expected to be overtly masculine. This means that they not only act as the provider for the family, they are also the strict disciplinarian, and the person who makes all of the decisions within the household. So if it was discovered that he wife was the one who had actually procured the money for their move, it would emasculate him and ruin his reputation in the
Many men do not see women as equal to them especially Nora’s husband rather like a possession. Torvald says to Nora “Can’t I look at my richest treasure” (Ibsen 1487)? If Nora needed money she has to get it from Torvald, showing masculinity in the financial affairs Nora said, “Money” (Ibsen 1449)! Torvald was not only dominant in the financial area but also with Nora’s emotions. Nora plays the role of a woman who wants admiration and attention during the play to emasculate a male dominated world. She eventually begins being passive putting on the dress he wants her to wear anything that would make Torvald happy. Torvald asks “Is that the dressmaker? No, that was Kristine. She’s helping me fix up my costume. You know it’s going to be quite attractive” (Ibsen 1470). She goes on and talks about how submissive she is to him “Yes wasn’t that a brilliant idea I had? Brilliant! But wasn’t I good as well to give in to you? Good because you give into your husband’s judgment” (Ibsen 1470). This shows that Nora understood her role as being Torvalds
However, Nora, wife of Torvald, proves otherwise. She clearly portrays her ability to handle the finance of her household even when Torvald was sick. She manipulates Torvald to successfully pay off her loan that she borrowed to cure his sickness as well as successfully maintaining household chores. She claims that “she [worked] and [earned] money [that made her feel like] a man.” She, however, refuses to tell Torvald the truth because she fears that the truth will taint his pride. When Nora finally confesses the truth, Torvald yells at her for ruining his reputation, yet he does not bother to ask how she managed to do it or state his gratitude for saving his life. Instead, Torvald worries about his image in front of the society. The society compels men like Torvald to bear the financial burden. If, women handled the finance then this idea of women taking the role as a bread winner, tarnishes the men 's image. The society will, therefore, taunt their inability to provide necessity items for his family and the household. Torvald claims that "[he] will change" to accommodate to Nora 's realization of her worth which is more than just a trophy wife; however, Nora refuses this offer because Torvald confesses that “ no man [is able] to sacrifice his honor for ones he loves”. Nora understands that men are never able to “stoop” low to level with the woman because if a person whether
A Doll’s House was prodigious of intimation (remarkably great in extent of an indication) to common society in the 1800’s and today. Henrik Ibsen was able to reflect on society through his vivid characters and their roles in the play. A Doll’s House is a symbol of sexism in society because Kristine plays the role of a common “gold-digger”, Torvald plays the role of the common male provider, and Nora plays the role of a dependent woman. All of these traits displayed by Kristine, Torvald, and Nora are stereotypical of male and female roles today and in the past.
In the book A Doll’s House by Henrik Ibsen, the women in the play were portrayed as vulnerable, simple minded and dependent on men for basic needs. Although North America is thousand miles away from Europe, both countries treats the gender differences are similar. The book A Doll’s House and American society shows both genders have to follow stereotypes and the expectations of society at the time. The women are thought as the subordinate gender and they needs to be obedient to men, family is the most sacred duty for women, and men are expected to protect and support the family.
In a world in which patriarchy had - and still does have- firm roots, Henrik Ibsen released his play A Doll’s House. Received with scathing criticism, Henrik Ibsen challenged societal norms and promoted feminism, or at least equal rights, through the play. Henrik Ibsen uses Nora and Torvald as synecdoches for greater social ideologies, and through the conflict between them, he establishes a social critique of patriarchy and promotes equality.