Theme Of Individualism In A Doll's House

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“Little squirrel”, “ little Sky-lark”, “little sweet-tooth” and “My poor little Nora”. Words that Torvald, the dominant, superior male character in “A Doll’s House”, utilizes to describe his seemingly “inferior” wife, Nora. Words that possess the power to hold total dominance and control on a seemingly “dependent” individual, Nora. Words that reinforce a woman’s traditional gender role as a diminutive and powerless figure in the household. And most importantly, words that completely strip away Nora’s sense of individuality and self-belief. In Henrik Ibsen’s play, “A Doll’s House”, Ibsen effectively utilizes the dialogue and actions of the characters in order to criticize the constricting role of 19th century society on human equality and to illustrate the play’s central theme of individualism. In “A Doll’s House”, Ibsen strives to convey a message about about an individual’s struggle for an authentic identity when faced with tyrannical social conventions. Through the main characters, particularly through Nora and Mrs. Linde, the audience is able to grasp and understand this central message through the specific actions and dialogues that the characters commit, which hold a great significance to the theme of individualism. It is imperative to note that Ibsen’s play was not based on a feministic perspective, but on an individualistic perspective. Henrik Ibsen intended the play to portray “the need of every individual to find out the kind of person he or she really is and to strive to become that person.” (Meyer, 446). In “A Doll’s House”, the characters’ actions drive the play forward and emphasize the individualistic theme that Ibsen conveys. Ibsen places Nora in a constricting society where she has no way out. She must pic... ... middle of paper ... ...logue. They have never had one serious conversation, suggesting the shallowness of their marriage. At the end of act three, she realizes that after years, “this is the first time” they “have had a serious talk together”. She realizes that Torvald “never loved” her but “only thought how nice it was to be in love” with her. The dialogue through the end of the third act demonstrate her understanding of a need of individuality. She states that: “I believe that before all else I am a reasonable human being, just as you are…” She realizes that “she must think things out for myself and try to understand them.” and that it was was up to her to “make up my mind which is right-society or I.”. The dialogue in this act portrays the theme of individualism as Nora is finally able to grasp the shortcomings and restraints of traditionalist society and transform to be self-serving.

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