No Longer a Doll

Satisfactory Essays
Throughout history, women have struggled under the oppression of men and society. Equality was inexistent for females; they were denied power and autonomy. A woman was nothing more than a pretty face who lived for the sole purpose of serving her husband. Nora, the protagonist in Henrik Isben’s A Doll’s House, confronts similar restrictions from her chauvinist husband, Torvald Helmer. She is a conventional housewife who eventually rejects her stifling marriage and her domineering husband. Despite the oppression of a traditional patriarchal society, Nora’s evolving attitude and language portray her transition from
Torvald’s doll to a cognizant, independent woman.
The beliefs of the modern society oppress Nora and the other women in the play. While Nora is limited by the ingrained social beliefs of the time, she fails to recognize her inferior social position. She is unaware that she, along with Torvald, is bound by these unspoken beliefs. According to Solden, women during the late nineteenth century grew interested in other spheres besides the house, including government, medicine, education, and law (156). The movement for increased education for women challenged the accepted belief in separate gender spheres (157). Men challenged the intellectual and physical abilities of women because they feared competition. The controlling males did not want to lose power over their helpless wives (157). Nora deals with her husband’s strict adherence to social norms as he attempts to keep her under his influence.
Originally, Nora accepts the social standards and does not question her frivolous life as Torvald’s pretty doll. Torvald refers to Nora as his “little squirrel,” his “little skylark,” and his “sweet little spendthrift” ...

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...ce is by leaving the dollhouse that has imprisoned her, so she leaves Torvald and her family in order to gain a sense of equality.
In Ibsen’s A Doll’s House, Nora deals with the oppression of a nineteenth century, male-dominated society. She struggles to break free from the confinement of her restricting marriage and controlling husband Torvald. Her evolving attitude towards Torvald results in her newfound independence as a woman. Nora’s transformation suggests there may be hope for other women in society to break the bonds that oppress them and defy their chauvinist husbands.

Works Cited

Ibsen, Henrik. A Doll’s House. New York: Dover Publications, 1992. Print.
Meehan, Kieran. Cartoon. CartoonStock. Web. 30 March 2014.
Solden, Norbert C. Albion: A Quarterly Journal Concerned with British Studies 13.2 (1981): 157-158. JSTOR. Web. 30 March 2014.
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