“Happily ever after is not a fairy tale, it’s a choice”(Weaver) and in A Doll 's House by Henrik Ibsen you clearly see just how fast Nora 's charmed life comes crashing to the ground when she decides to wake up to a reality call. Ibsen 's play centers around an era where women asserting themselves was frowned upon by societal conventions that chained each person into a roll they were to play. He showed a time where women were to meant to be the perfect housewife, governing the children and take care of their husbands all the while being a dainty decoration uncorrupted by the spoils of society. Gender roles were heavily set between men and women yet Ibsen leaves subtle hints throughout the play of highly unpopular and unconventional views
The best title is definitely "A Doll's House" because Nora is the only character acting in a different manner in order to please her power hungry husband, Torvald. Even if she was conniving it was all in good intentions. It takes a very loving wife to go out of her way in order to make sure that her husband isn't burdened down with the expenses of a trip that saved his life. However, Torvald doesn't really see his Nora as his wife emotionally but as his little sex pet. This is what Nora finally realizes at the end of the play when Torvald is only worried about himself and what everyone else thinks about him.
For example the use of “girlchild,” she is being fairly generalized just stating it is a young girl, but that is her only identity. Much like a housewife, or a mother is often the only identity society wants a female to have. This is also showing that any race, or background female can be affected the same. Marge Piercy also says the dolls were “presented,” emphasizing that they were not just random gifts but almost life instructions. The girl was thought to have not reached her womanly potential by becoming a beautiful flawless woman ready to become a housewife and mother because she was flawed.
However, there were some women, who after realizing their devalued status in the society and the importance of their individuality, dared to challenge the patriarchal societal rules in order to search their self- identity and to live the life of their own. This seems to be the theme of Henrik Ibsen’s “A Doll House” which he has conveyed through characterization, symbolism and settings. Nora, in the play, represents the women of her era. Although she seems to be superficial, carefree, spendthrift and frivolous in the beginning of the play, she is actually a very responsible, intelligent, skillful and courageous woman. She is a real devoted homemaker, a wife and a mother who showers unconditional love to her family including her husband and three children.
“A doll with a human figure is normally found in the hands of children, who makes the doll act according to their wish” (Ganesan and Kumaran). Torvald pets, dresses and provides Nora with money. Nora is not allowed to be herself because Torvald has full control over every aspect of her life. She plays the role of a doll to please her husband and to have a happy marriage. Nora has no identity since she has been playing a role all her life.
Symbols are used universally to arouse interest and to stimulate the mind. Henrik Ibsen's play, A Doll's House, is filled with symbols that represent abstract ideas and concepts. These symbols successfully illustrate the inner conflicts that are going on between the characters. A few of the symbols are the Christmas tree, New year’s day, the title of the book and the nicknames Torvald called Nora emphasizes a theme of comparing perfect marriage relationship to the reality of the relationship, that is an artificial “Doll’s House” relationship. The Christmas tree, a festive object meant to serve a decorative purpose, symbolizes Nora’s position in her household as a plaything who is pleasing to look at.
Nora is unhappy with her life, as though her expressions and actions show otherwise. She grows to realize her problem and settles with the idea that she never will be. Several symbols are made to stand out but four more particularly than others. Nora herself is an obvious symbol. She represents the “doll” of the house as if she is the wife that her husband wants her to be but not so much that on the inside.
Independence Most of us live a life where we do what we want and when we want without anyone telling us how to live our lives. This wasn’t the case in A Doll’s House by Henrik Ibsen, where he illustrates to us how one woman lives a life through her father and husband. Throughout the play we see how a once childish like woman gains her independence and a life of her own. Ibsen shows us a very realistic play that demonstrates how on the outside Nora and Torvald seem to have it all. While in reality their life together is simply empty until Nora stands up for herself and starts to build her own life.
Role play is a big part of “A Doll House” by Henrik Ibsen because all the characters pretend to be someone there not instead of being their selves. The one who stands out the most though is Nora. It’s almost like she lives two different lives because of how differently she acts. Nora is claimed to be Torvald’s childish, loving wife and is unknowingly a strong, independent woman. She was known as the playful, trophy wife by everyone at the beginning of the play, but as the play goes on she is shown as a self-empowering, eager woman.
Trapped in A Doll’s House: Discovering the Freedom of Independence During the nineteenth century, women were suppressed by many expectations set by society. They were expected to take care of domestic work such as cooking, cleaning, raising children, and above all, pleasing their husbands. In her household, Nora, the main character in Ibsen’s “A Doll’s House”, adheres to these expectations. She takes care of her children and dances the tarantella for her husband. She believes that she is happy and that her marriage is successful and fair; however this is not true.