Women´s Role in A Doll´s House by Henrik Ibsen

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Works in Translation Essay: A doll’s house

How does the society in “A Doll’s House” depict the female character’s roles.

In “A Doll’s House”, Torvald and Nora each have a unique role in their marriage. Torvald treats Nora as his little doll, or plaything, while Nora treats him as the man of the house who has the authority to do anything he wants. These ideas form because the society within the play does not allow much freedom for women. According to this society and culture, a women’s role is depicted by the man she is with, the female character’s all exemplify Nora’s assertion that women have to sacrifice a lot more than men. In this play, Nora, Mrs. Linde, and the maid all hold sacrificial roles depicted by the society they are in.

In the beginning of the play, Torvald calls Nora by little names such as “my little wastrel” or “my little lark” and he makes her dance for him.1 Nora does not reply or deny him because in this culture, a woman had to listen to his man even at the expense of her dignity. Another instance where Nora displays a sacrificial role in her marriage is when she had to sneak around his back in order to obtain a loan to save her husband’s life. This shows that a woman’s marital role in “A Doll’s House” is less dominant than the man’s role. In act 3 of “A Doll’s House”, during the Helmer’s fight, Nora reveals that she was going to kill herself to save Torvalds honor and when she expected him to, he declares that “nobody sacrifices his honor for his love.” This symbolizes the fact that in 1879, a woman would go to the lengths of killing herself, when a man would not even think about it.

Another female character that possesses a sacrificial role is Mrs. Linde. The statement “Do you think it was easy ...

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...b and not leave her daughter.

In conclusion, Henrik Ibsen captures the role that women have to go through in “A Doll’s House.” He shows that in this society, all women have to go through sacrifices, no matter what economic status they hold.2 Nora, Mrs. Linde, and Anne-Marie all make sacrifices because of the men they are with. Nora has to give up her identity because the men in her life, such as her dad and Torvald, chose what she likes, what she thinks, and what she does. Mrs. Linde has to give up her true lover, in order to marry a man that will take care of her and her family. Lastly, Anne-Marie had to abandon her daughter, to support herself financially.

Works Cited

"A Doll's House." SparkNotes. SparkNotes, n.d. Web. 11 May 2014.

Ibsen, Henrik. A Doll's House. New York: Dover Publications, 1992. Print.

Works Cited
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