Henrik Ibsen 's A Doll House Essay

Henrik Ibsen 's A Doll House Essay

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In Henrik Ibsen 's play, “ A Doll House “, Ibsen depicts a female protagonist, Nora Helmer, who dares to defy her husband or forsake her “duties” as a wife and a mother, to seek her individuality. “ A Doll House “ challenges the patriarchal view that most people in Norway during that decade thought to be as true, that a woman 's place was in the home. Like many women Nora felt trapped by her father and when the time came she received the same feeling from her husband, however the rules of the society hindered them from acknowledging their own voice. Through this play Ibsen stresses the importance of individuality. “ A Doll House “ combines realistic characters, fascinating imagery, explicit stage directions, and an influential setting to develop a controversial theme.
Henrik Ibsen’s use of stage directions leads to heavy symbolism, an important stage direction that links to Nora is the CHristmas tree. The presence of the Christmas tree within the play is used by Ibsen as an instrument to symbolically express an intense personal experience, which cannot be expressed directly. Nora’s notion of the Christmas tree to “hide it…the children mustn’t see it till this evening when it has been decorated,” reflects her initial childish-secretive tendencies: she does not allow anyone to see her in her dress until the evening of her tarantella dance. As Nora pointed out ironically, “We shall have a lovely tree -- I’ll do all the things you like, Torvald, I’ll sing and dance,” the idea of the Christmas tree being lovely is corresponds with the idea of Nora obeying Helmer’s instruction & her being the entertainment for the house. Also as Nora instructs the maid to put the tree “in the middle of the room,” she deliberately use the Christmas t...


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... not stand up for her, she finally realized the marriage between them was false and decides to leave her husband, who she claims as a “stranger” and her three children. Both female characters’ sacrifice proves their capability. This is so ironic because the male characters look down on the women while not realizing the fact that those so call “incapable” women saved their lives. Also, it shows the unfair role the society set up for men and women which deprive women from their rights for freedom and independence.
In conclusion, Henrik Ibsen truly embraced feminism and the struggles of women in his play “A Doll House”. Although the patriarchal view in Norway during that time was dominant Ibsen showed that women could take control of their life. The combination of realistic characters, stage directions, and imagery developed the setting creating a controversial theme.

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