Henrik Ibsen’s A Doll’s House: A Realistic Drama

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Societal problems prevail throughout the history of the world and exist within all countries, regions, and cultures. The controversial aspects in societies are based on a large variety of subjects, and have to be identified in order to cause societal change. Therefore, Realism is the portrayal of difficulties in societies that are depicted in everyday life, which includes common situations and actions. Realism allows authors to describe and emphasize the incompetence of some aspects within communities, while enabling writers to call for societal reform. Henrik Ibsen portrays and addresses the concepts of Norway’s society in the 19th century in A Doll House, which is a tragic play translated by Rolf Fjelde. Ibsen desires to challenge assumptions as well as rules of Norwegian life, and most importantly wants to depict society accurately, as he meticulously incorporates everyday life. Therefore, A Doll House represents a Realistic drama due to the issues involving women, illnesses, and laws within the play, while conveying Ibsen’s desire of controversy and change in Norway’s society.
A common woman in Norway, such as Nora, experiences a daily life of oppression, fear, and unjust authority, which exposes societal mistreatment. Society and Torvald Helmer force Nora to look pretty and happy, although “she laughs softly to herself while taking off her street things. Drawing a bag of macaroons from her pocket, she eats a couple, then steals over and listens at her husband’s door” (Ibsen I. 43), which portrays oppression. Nora has to secretly eat the macaroons while ensuring that her husband does not see the action, as Torvald forbids them and desires her to please him at all cost. Therefore, Nora possesses no liberty of action and symbo...

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...sen’s societal problems and present themselves as a major component of A Doll House.
Although Ibsen portrays A Doll House as a Realistic play due to the societal problems, which include women, illnesses, and laws; he attempts to address society and cause change within the Norwegian society without openly talking about these issues. The actions of characters, such as Nora, represent the fact that an individual can make progress in societal reform. Therefore, Ibsen’s identification and attempt to change society symbolizes a Realistic desire of finding solutions to problems. The ultimate goal of Realism is to better everyday life for the majority of people, while trying to deepen the understanding of society’s problems.

Works Cited
Ibsen, Henrik. "A Doll House." Ibsen : Four Major Plays - Volume 1. Trans. Rolf Fjelde. New York: Signet Classics, 1992. 43-114. Print.
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