This stereotype is relevant in the lives of Torvald and Nora Helmer in A Doll House by Henrik Ibsen during the Victorian Era. The major characters are Nora Helmer, Mrs. Linde, Anne-Marie, Torvald Helmer, Dr. Rank, and Krogstad. It is evident that there are three main female roles and three main men roles, giving balance to the play. The three women in the play illustrate strength and pursue in what they believe in, whereas the men have times where weakness is portrayed, but vigor is always illustrated. Women during the time expressed kindness, compassion, and loyalty towards their husbands. On the other hand, men expressed audacity, respectability, and solemnity towards their spouse. Throughout the play, Nora and Torvald express their ideals as a married couple which causes complications and misdemeanors throughout their marriage and is ironic because their personalities express their real ethics at the end of the
The first act starts off by telling us that Torvald has gotten a new job as the manager of a bank by where they live. When he accepts the job him and Nora are happy because they will not have to worry about their money problems anymore. This shows us that the couple is a middle class married couple who has problems with money, just like the rest of us. His wife Nora is very supportive of him getting this job so that their money problems will become better.
Nora’s very first impression to her readers would of a responsible, obedient, money loving and a very childish wife. In the first act of the play audience would realize that all Nora wants is money from her husband Torvald. A act was describe when the two characters finally meets in the play and there was time when Nora was showing what she got for her kids for Christmas and when she was asked what she wants for Christmas all she answered was money. It was hard to eliminate the way Torvald especially addressed Nora it seemed as if though she was a little girl or even his pet. “My little lark mustn’t droop her wings like that. What? Is my squirrel in the sulks?” (Ibsen 842).
From Henrik Ibsen’s play, “A Doll’s House”, The lives of Nora, Torvald, and their three children seem to be normal in the beginning until Torvald begins to talk to Nora. Since Torvald believes that as the man in his own home, he has the advantage of doing whatever he wants such as teasing and ordering his wife around as if she was a useless toy (perhaps a doll?). I began to feel sympathetic towards Nora for her character is vulnerable to Torvald. He would call her strange pet names such as “squirrel” or “songbird”, and even order her around to do ridiculous things such as practicing the “tarantella” so she can perform for guests. One part that came to my attention was the scene where Torvald blames Nora’s actions on her own father. He tells Nora, “Ah well, one takes you as you are. It runs in the blood. It’s
...the tensions which lied within the Helmer household. After living within Torvald’s world and not being able to participate in activities in which she pleased, Nora walked out on her family and said “now it is all over” (Ibsen 129). She began to refer to Torvald as a “stranger” (Ibsen129), because she was leaving his misogynistic ways behind and pursued to commence a better life for herself. Seeing that the play defines the perceived gender roles of the time, Ibsen wrote A Doll’s House to support his ostracized view of a woman being the equivalent of a man.
Specific roles and traits have been stereotyped with genders by society for many years. While being strong and vocal is often associated with masculinity and men, women are characterized to be weaker and soft-spoken. Males are conventionally in occupations or roles, that involve leadership. Conversely, the social normalization of females involves no work, but rather their main role is to look after the children at home. In A Doll’s House, Henrik Ibsen depicts a society rich in gender norms and stereotyping. The protagonist of the play, Nora, lives in the shadow of her white-collar working husband, Torvald, who often refers to her as his doll. As the plot progresses, the reader discovers Nora previously received a confidential loan in order to assist in her husband’s efforts to heal from a serious illness. By the end of the story, Nora is exposed to Torvald for taking out the loan, resulting in an argument that leads to the demise of their eight-year marriage, but ultimately the separation was brought forth by Nora. The standard gender roles illustrated throughout the entire play, are swiftly reciprocated, to justify that sexes are not defined by social stereotyping, but all genders are capable of the same roles and traits as each other.
During the Victorian era, in which this play was written, women were predestined to the role of being mothers and wives, nothing more and nothing less. It was believed religiously by society that it was God’s will for women to have these roles, which were unarguable. Women were only allowed to hold a small role represented by feminine qualities. By law, a woman was the property of her father, brother, and even her husband. These women thought of marriage as a method of subsistence, yet it provided nothing more than a new home with increasing responsibilities and no real benefits or haven. Any property or money made, regardless of where it came from, belonged to the husband. He was also the absolute guardian of the children. Right at the core of the value system of the Victorian era was the feminine inferiority. You can see how men had absolute guardianship over their children when Torvald reads the first letter from Krogstad where he notifies him that he will damage his reputation because of Nora’s crime. He tells Nora that, “Of course, you will continue to live here. But the children cannot be left in your care. I dare not trust them to you” (Doll act 3). An example of how women were considered property in this era is how Torvald reacted towards Nora when the letter from Krogstad arrives to him notifying him that he pardoned Nora’s crime. Torvald says, “There is...
Even when Torvald would show authority over her, she would constantly show herself as beneath him. “His wife, though supreme arbiter of household affairs, was subservient to him, a devoted (and submissive) wife and mother of often all too many children” (Altick 53). This portrayed the role of woman and the struggles they dealt with throughout the time their husband was out working. Women were often told to be a devoted housewife, however some women (for example Nora) are far more capable of working jobs of higher positions just like Torvald and should not be restricted from doing so. It was unusual to see women do anything but to work indoors packing lunches and taking care of their children. According to the article “Gender Roles in the 19th Century,” Kathryn Hughes discussed the challenges women faced as they were left alone with their children. “Men increasingly commuted to their place of work – the factory, shop or office. Wives, daughters and sisters were left at home all day to oversee the domestic duties.” In other words, men were distant from their wife and children as they worked long hours and provided for their family. Women were to reproduce and stay indoors whereas men did all the outside work. Gender roles played a huge part in their lives as they were to stick with the norms and do what society thought was acceptable. This also showed the way Torvald was overprotective of Nora. He would call her names like “little bird” and his “skylark” and would ask her questions like “When did my squirrel come home?” (Ibsen 12). This signifies that Nora is not a human being but an object. Another important thing to note is Torvald would always compare her to smaller objects nothing too extreme. It also showed how Torvald was making her seem very little compared to him and she was not
During this time period, there was the stereotypical opinion that women should only be homemakers because they do not have the intellectual capacity to do anything more. The struggle for dominance between Torvald and Krogstad also brings to light Nora’s venture to have purpose. Ibsen uses her to comment on society’s gender roles. For the majority of the play, Nora plays her part as the ideal wife well. However, at times she portrays herself as being more than just a trophy wife. Her conflict with Krogstad reveals how innovative and unselfish she actually is. For instance, she does not spend all the allowance money Torvald gives her. In addition to saving a little of her allowance, she also does odd jobs to earn money. She does all of this in secret to pay off the loan to Krogstad. At first, Nora gives off the impression that she is a “spendthrift” and an airhead, but she proves herself to be a woman of perseverance and determination. The men’s struggle for dominance also reveals her marriage’s flaw. Torvald treats her like a doll he needs to take care of and show off to others. He underestimates her ability, similar to how society doubts that women can do more than just sit still and look pretty. His condescending demeanor towards her ultimately allows her to realize that she needs to leave him in order to be truly independent and live up to her potential. Like all women in society eventually realize,
Nora is a captivating character in Ibsen's A Doll's House. She swings between extremes: she is either very happy or immensely depressed, prosperous or completely desperate, wise or naive, impotent or purposeful. You can understand this range in Nora, because she staggers between the person she pretends to be and the one she someday hopes to become. Throughout the play, Nora is portrayed as subordinate to her male counterpart, Torvald. As most other men during this time, Torvald believed that women were not capable of making difficult decisions, or thinking for themselves. As the play progresses, Nora faces a life changing decision to abandon her duty as a wife and mother to find her own individuality. Even though Torvald is responsible for partial deterioration in their marriage, it is Nora's feministic beliefs, passion for life, thoughtlessness, and spontaneity that stimulate her ultimate plan to break away and shatter all that remained pleasant in Torvald's “perfect little dollhouse”.
The first character that we will look at is Nora. In the Doll’s House we are introduced to Nora who is happily married to Torvald. She responds affectionately to Torvald’s patronizing and teasing and doesn’t seem to object to her doll-like treatment. However we come to learn that Nora isn’t just the silly girl or childish woman Torvald calls her. Although Nora is well off financially, her issue lies with the way she is treated. The society at that time deems that Torvald is the dominant marriage partner, and as h...
In the late eighteen hundreds the roles of genders were specific. Men were to work and provide for his family. While woman were to stay home and care for their household, children, and ultimately to satisfy their husbands desires. In the play A Doll House by Henrik Ibsen we see the character of Nora Helmer escape from this age’s common gender role by leaving her husband and children behind in search for her own happiness. While many could criticize Nora’s abandonment of her children and husband a cowardly and wrong thing to do. Nora could also be seen as heroic for challenging the power of a man during this time and escaping her unhappy life. We see Nora transform from her husband Torvald’s puppet to what seems like a happy, strong, and independent woman by the end of the play. Ultimately becoming a hero for woman at the time of this play, and to woman who feel trapped by men still in the present day. Joan Templeton, author of the book Ibsen’s Women, states “Nora’s doll house and exit from it have long been principal international symbols for women’s issues” (p111). This further shows the positive impact that Nora Helmer’s character has had on readers throughout history. It also shows the significance of the title A Doll House and how the title helps to glorify Nora’s heroic traits.
The inferior role of Nora is extremely important to her character. Nora is oppressed by a variety of "tyrannical social conventions." Ibsen in his "A Doll's House" depicts the role of women as subordinate in order to emphasize their role in society. Nora is oppressed by the manipulation from Torvald. Torvald has a very typical relationship with society. He is a smug bank manager. With his job arrive many responsibilities. He often treats his wife as if she is one of these responsibilities. Torvald is very authoritative and puts his appearance, both social and physical, ahead of his wife that he supposedly loves. Torvald is a man that is worried about his reputation, and cares little about his wife's feelings.
The problem in "A Doll's House" does not lie with Torvald alone. Though he does not help the situation, he is a product of his society. In his society, females were confined in every way imaginable.
To start, Torvald’s definition of “human being” is someone who does what they are told and are submissive to authority. During the 1800’s, men were the primary leader of a household, and this book demonstrates this well. Torvald is very fixated with keeping up an image of class and sophistication, and he runs his family to be “human beings” under his definition by only allowing certain things. At the beginning of the story, Nora is secretly eating macaroons because if Torvald knew, he would discard them immediately. He desires a wife who is “perfect” in looks and mannerisms because that portrays the image of the quintessential family. He also avoids providing h...