Henrik Ibsen's A Doll's House questions the gender roles of women in society through its characters, namely Nora Helmer and Christina Linden, before and after marriage. What are gender roles exactly? Gender roles are the combination is specific gender stereotypes that consist of the perceptions of the society of what an ideal male/female should act like (Lindsey and Christy). This paper aims to question whether the gender roles of Nora Helmer and Christina Linden of Henrik Ibsen's A Doll's House are switched or not. The positions of both women as a daughter, a sister, an employee, a mother, a wife and a partner in the society are questioned. A Doll's House focuses on the relationship of Torvald and Nora Helmer, a husband and wife with three children wherein Nora eventually leaves her family in order to educate herself.
Nora Helmer's role as a mother, a daughter and as a wife are brought into question. Was Nora being a good mother for leaving her children? Was she a good wife to Torvald? How does she accomplish her duties to her husband and children? As a woman, what is her position in society before and after she leaves her family behind?
The play opens with Nora bringing gifts for her family. She has brought toys for her three children. Her children, Ivar, Emmy and Bob acts as her dolls in the play. She plays with them and dresses them up but eventually pushes them aside in order to save them from herself which can be seen when Nora says "Corrupt my children!– poison my home!" (Ibsen 165). Nora as a stereotypical mother is a strong character for she puts others before herself. This is supported through Eagly and Steffen's statement "According to stereotypic beliefs about the sexes, women are more com...
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...use is a three-act play written in prose. It premiered on the 21st of December in 1879 and at that time stirred controversy due to the Nora leaving her family to educate herself.
Amato, Paul R., and Alan Booth. "Changes in Gender Role Attitudes and Perceived Marital Quality."American Sociological Review 60.1 (1995): 58-66. Print.
Eagly, Alice H., and Valerie J. Steffen. "Gender Stereotypes Stem From the Distribution of Women and Men Into Social Roles." Journal of Personality and Social Psychology 46.4 (1984): 735-754. Print.
Ibsen, Henrik (trans. Michael Meyer). A Doll's House (Ibsen Plays: Two). London: Methuen Drama, 2000.
Lindsey, Linda L., and Sandra Christy. Gender roles: a sociological perspective. Englewood Cliffs, N.J.: Prentice Hall, 1990. Print.
Winett, Heather. "Image of "A Doll's House"." The English Journal 58.3 (1969): 385. Print.
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