Ibsen's A Doll's House being Dated

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Ibsen's A Doll's House being Dated To answer the above, one needs to be aware of when the drama was first written (1879) and how audiences were shocked at Ibsen's radical perception of the social roles of husband and wife in middle class society at that time. The role of middle class women at that time was simple, they bore children and kept house in a very clear manner, albeit with the aid of a housekeeper or maid. They were subservient to men and were considered accoutrements and playthings. This comes across very strongly in the manner that Torvald Helmer addresses Nora. The main thrust of the play has a lot to do with gender relations in modern society. It offers us, in the actions of Nora, a strengthening of the view of women struggling to overcome a society governed wholly by men resistant to change. Although this has changed dramatically since, there are still many corners of society nowadays that still cling to this belief and ethic. What was radical the case of this play was that Ibsen chose to bring this into the open. My first impression of Nora was that she was a shallow figure, that she was a selfish, self indulgent manipulative person with not a care in the world. We see as the play progresses that this is not the case and her personality changes to reveal someone very different. The will to 'do right' by her husband becomes evident as the play unfolds. We learn that life then was very much the same as today, in that middle class life was, in the main, affluent and agreeable, but only for those that could operate within it successfully. For those who couldn't life was brutal and unforgiving. We see that the Helmers are looking forward to life being even more comfortable once Torv... ... middle of paper ... ...n truly happy, she had only experienced fun. That she had finally lost her love for him because of his reaction to Krogstadt's letter outlining the dishonesty in obtaining the loan. 'No man can be expected to sacrifice his honour, even for the person he loves' he exclaims. 'Millions of women have' she retorts. She leaves, the play closes. What I gather from the play, the only clue to the age is that of some of the dialogue. I don't think the theme is dated at all. Consider, the need for social standing, still as potent today as then. Consider the political manoeuvrings, surrounding position in the workplace, very much still in place today. Consider the power of seduction and finally, the strength of character a woman needs to stand up for what she feels is right even to her own detriment. Very powerful, very thought provoking and very, very enjoyable.
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