Marxism in A Doll´s House by Henrik Ibsen

1678 Words7 Pages
A remarkable trait in which literature embodies is the ability to capture and preserve cultural and societal beliefs. One may read a literary work published in the 1800’s and observe how society has evolved since then, or in contrast observe how society has digressed since then. Regardless of the genre and content, one may still infer when the piece was produced based on the diction and syntax of said piece. This is possible because literature is essentially written picture- it is a time machine for your conscience, a window to the past. This beautiful quality can be exemplified through analyzing “A Doll’s House,” a play written by Henrik Ibsen in 1879 that portrays a Marxist view of society and oppresses women unreadily seen today.

One of the key principles of Marxism is the belief that human thought is the result of a person’s financial and social conditions, their associations with others are regularly undermined by said conditions, and that the less-fortunate are constantly abused by the wealthier bourgeoisie (Woods). A reoccurring theme within the play is the exploitation of the poor and weak by the rich, and the fixation on material goods. All the characters within the play are affected by the need or procurement of money, and their whole lives revolve around their mindset of obtaining it. Consequently, a Marxist theme is prevalent through a majority of the play and is observable through the perspectives of the main characters.

Nora, our protagonist, has become intoxicated with money ever since Torvald, her husband, announced he was receiving a promotion with a salary raise in three months. She begins the play returning from a shopping trip with an “armload of packages” (785) accompanied by a boy holding a Christmas tr...

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...ppreciated workers of the world overthrowing the capitalists who took them for granted. Ibsen’s play was one of the greatest of its time, reaching all the way to our own just as Borges does through his stories, both with relevancies that will always be valid and true.

Works Cited

Ibsen, Henrik. "A Doll's House." The Norton Introduction to Literature. 11th ed. N.p.: W. W. Norton &, 2013. 784-843. Print.

Borges, Jorge L. "Tlön, Uqbar, Orbis Tertius." Collected Fictions. N.p.: Penguin, 1999. 68-81. Print.

Templeton, Joan. “Ibsen’s Women.” Cambridge: Cambridge University Press, 1997.

Woods, Alan. "Women and the Struggle for Socialism." In Defence of Marxism. N.p., 18 July 2001. Web. 24 Mar. 2014.

Frisch, Mark F. You Might Be Able to Get There from Here: Reconsidering Borges and the Postmodern. Madison, NJ: Fairleigh Dickinson UP, 2004. Print.
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