Women's Identity in the Early 1900's

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Ibsen wrote this play in 1879. It is a three-act play with prose dialogue. The play takes place in the 19th century in Europe. It is a play about a woman, who struggles to find her own identity. The main point is women need treated as humans and not dolls. Women need to know their place and that they have rights. They also have duties as a wife and mother. As a wife, they need to be trustworthy and as a mother, they need to be role models. As do husbands need to respect their wife and know that, they have their own opinions and titled to them. Women cannot be good wives and role models to their children, if they do not know who they are and what their roles are in life. Ibsen uses the symbolism in his setting to show various aspects of Nora's character and reveal the theme of women's identity in the early 1900's.

Symbolism, is used before the play even begins. The title A Doll's House is a symbol of tendencies for characters to play roles. The setting is in Helmers' apartment; the set is set up to furnish the thought it is his home and not hers (obj. 3). Nora returns with a Christmas tree setting the mood for the play (obj. 3). She also brings presents for the children. The presents signify pushing roles onto the children (obj. 3). Helmer proceeds to call Nora his "little lark" and "little squirrel" (pg. 1559). She answers "yes" (pg. 1559) right away leaving the impression that she is inferior compared to Helmer. He treats her in a demeaning way that she tolerates because she really knows no different. This also sets the tone that Helmer is superior over Nora throughout the play (obj. 3). He shows us his superiority over her with the macaroons that he forbids her to have. Yet she has them anyway and hide...

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...he image of man; therefore, women have the same capabilities as do men (obj. 1). Every human being in life is equal and needs treated with respect and dignity (obj. 1). Ibsen is aware that women need to know who they are in order to be productive in society. He does a good job of bringing out the overall theme in A Doll's House of women's identity (obj. 2).

In the theme, we are able to see his view of women and their need to be independent. Ibsen used symbolism to define the characters and the role of women's identity in society. This is not a typical structure of a home in 19th century, which left the ending causing immense controversies. Ibsen was taking a stand when he wrote this play (obj. 1). In the way, he wrote the play using Nora as the protagonist and Torvald as the antagonist, made this one of the best-constructed plays of the 19th century.

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