Marriage Without Love in Henrik Ibsen's A Doll's House Essay

Marriage Without Love in Henrik Ibsen's A Doll's House Essay

Length: 1542 words (4.4 double-spaced pages)

Rating: Powerful Essays

Open Document

Essay Preview

Marriage Without Love in Henrik Ibsen's A Doll's House


In his play, 'A Doll?s House,' Henrik Ibsen shows a marriage built only on appearances, and not love. Both Nora the wife, and Torvald the husband, pretend they are in love throughout the story. However, love should be patient and kind, and their love is anything but that. Nora treats her husband as a father figure. Her feelings towards Torvald are more about dependence than love. Torvald treats Nora like a child or a pet. He gets very angry and frustrated with Nora, and he does not truly love her. True love is perfect, not angry, controlling, and dependent as Nora and Torvald are to each other.

Throughout the story, Torvald is constantly angry with Nora. He also tries to control everything she does. At the beginning of the story, Torvald accuses Nora of eating sweets. He says to her, ' Surely my sweet tooth hasn't been running riot in town today has she?'(Ibsen 874). He continues to pester her after she denies it several times. Later on Nora tells Kristine, ??. Torvald had forbidden them. You see, he?s worried they?ll ruin my teeth?(Ibsen 883). If Torvald really loved Nora, he would not care about petty things like that. If he truly loved her, he would not care if her teeth were ruined. He likes Nora for her looks and beauty, not her personality or character. Not only is he controlling of Nora, but also very angry towards her. When he finds out about her taking out a loan to save his life, he explodes on her. Torvald says to her, ? Oh what an awful awakening! In all these eight years- she who was my pride and joy ? a hypocrite, a liar ? Worse, worse ? a criminal?(Ibsen 916). Torvald does not truly love Nora if he can speak to her that way. Even after he say...


... middle of paper ...


...t based on true love.

Bibliography:

Works Cited

Gosse, Edmund. ?Ibsen?s Social Dramas.? The Fortnightly Review (January 1, 1889): 107-21. Rpt. in Twentieth-Century Literary Criticism 37. Eds. Kepos. Detroit: Gale, 1991. 220-221.

Isben, Henrik. ?A Doll?s House.? Making Literature Matter. Eds. John Schilb and John Clifford. Boston: Bedford/ St. Martin?s, 2000. 872-921.

Salome, Lou. ?Ibsen?s Heroines.? Black Swan Books (1985) 42-55 Rpt. in Twentieth-Century Literary Criticism 37. Eds. Kepos. Detroit: Gale, 1991. 226-231.

Scott, Clement. ?Review of a Doll?s House.? The Theater (July 1889): 19-22 Rpt. in Twentieth-Century Literary Criticism 37. Eds. Kepos. Detroit: Gale, 1991. 221-222.

Shaw, Bernard. ?The Quintessence of Ibsenism.? B.R. Tucker (1891): 82-86 Rpt. in Twentieth-Century Literary Criticism 37. Eds. Kepos. Detroit: Gale, 1991. 225-226.

Need Writing Help?

Get feedback on grammar, clarity, concision and logic instantly.

Check your paper »

A Doll 's House By Henrik Ibsen Essay

- In literary works, authors create minor characters to enhance the text by providing the audience with a subplot to accompany the initial narrative. In addition to the main plot, the subplot can also formulate themes from the text. In A Doll’s House, Ibsen utilizes contrasting characteristics between Nora Helmer and Kristine Linde, regarding relationships, employment, and their status in society to emphasize his anticipative progression of women. The perception of relationships differs greatly between Mrs....   [tags: Marriage, Love, A Doll's House, Henrik Ibsen]

Powerful Essays
942 words (2.7 pages)

Analysis Of Henrik Ibsen 's ' A Doll House ' Essay

- A Relationship of Equals “I have loved you above everything else in the world” (Ibsen 717). This sentiment should be felt at the basis of every contemporary relationship between equals. As well as love, any relationship between equals should including feelings of: partnership, trust, and support. First of all, partnership is a key aspect in any contemporary relationship between equals. Without it, a relationship is not truly equal. Such was the case in Henrik Ibsen’s, “A Doll House.” In Ibsen’s play, the husband, Torvald, held the dominant role in the relationship....   [tags: Love, Marriage, Husband, Wife]

Powerful Essays
714 words (2 pages)

A Doll House By Henrik Ibsen Essay

- A Doll House by Henrik Ibsen tells the story of a woman Nora Hemler as she tries to hide her “secret betrayal” from her husband, Torvald Hemler. This story according to Ibsen is based on a true story which he calls a “modern tragedy” and is set in the nineteenth century, in a highly patriarchal and Christian society when women were treated almost as children. They could not vote, nor handle financial matters; a woman’s duty was to marry, take the husband’s name, and like her children; should be seen not heard....   [tags: Henrik Ibsen, A Doll's House, Norway, Marriage]

Powerful Essays
2293 words (6.6 pages)

Essay about A Doll House By Henrik Ibsen

- Nora’s Story; Her Big Click Woman were thought to be nothing more than an accessory to men. However, in the play “A Doll House” by Henrik Ibsen we are introduced to the main character, Nora, who changed the way many women would view themselves not only in their marriage but as well as in society. In many cases, it is clear to see how men might be holding woman back and in this play we see the different obstacles she has to go through that lead her to her final decision. Nora goes to show that woman can be much more than they offer even without men in their life....   [tags: Henrik Ibsen, A Doll's House, Norway]

Powerful Essays
1829 words (5.2 pages)

Henrik Ibsen 's A Doll House Essay

- In 1879, a very controversial piece of literature work was premiered at the Royal Theatre in Copenhagen, Denmark. It was a play named A Doll House by Henrik Ibsen. Ibsen was born in 1828 into a well-off family from Norway that later went bankrupt. After a few years of taking trivial job position, he fled to Italy and Germany, where he produced some of his most famous works, including this one. “A Doll House” illustrates the issues of feminism and marriage institution of the 19th century. The main character, Nora Helmer, starts out as a submissive housewife to her husband, Torvald Helmer, who controls her behavior, finance, and eating habit....   [tags: A Doll's House, Henrik Ibsen, Norway, Marriage]

Powerful Essays
1258 words (3.6 pages)

A Doll 's House By Henrik Ibsen Essay

- The nineteenth century was truly a different time for women and what their assumed roles in life would be. Henrik Ibsen’s play “A Doll’s House” is an examination into those assumed roles and a challenge to them. It was a time of obedience and inequality and in the first act each character is shown to portray these qualities. However, the characters in this play have multiple layers that get peeled back as the story progresses. As each new layer is revealed the audience is shown that even with the nineteenth century ideals, the true nature of each character is not quite what they appeared to be initially....   [tags: Henrik Ibsen, A Doll's House, Marriage, Norway]

Powerful Essays
1078 words (3.1 pages)

A Doll 's House By Henrik Ibsen Essay

- The play, A Doll’s House, by Henrik Ibsen was written during the time where society had a major impact and was reflected on the most. During the 19th century, the role of men and women became sharply defined than at any time in history. The role of a woman was staying at home and tending to her children and her husband. Nora Helmer and Torvald Helmer are introduced to be the main characters and the victims of the social pressures that define the perfect man and the perfect woman. Throughout the play, we see the relationship between Nora and Torvald going from childish, to desperation and finally ending with a sense of reality....   [tags: Henrik Ibsen, A Doll's House]

Powerful Essays
1432 words (4.1 pages)

A Doll 's House By Henrik Ibsen Essay

- According to Henrik Ibsen, the institution of marriage was secure. Women did not even have the thought of leaving their husbands and the roles within the marriage were clearly defined. In the play, A Doll’s House, it questions certain perspectives as it relates to traditional attitudes, which is highly debatable and provokes intense criticism. Furthermore, in order to fully explain, one must understand characterization, theme, and the use of symbols throughout the play. First, there is characterization which is the act of creating or describing characters or people....   [tags: Henrik Ibsen, A Doll's House, Norway, Marriage]

Powerful Essays
798 words (2.3 pages)

Essay about Analysis Of Henrik Ibsen 's ' A Doll 's House '

- Henrik Ibsen’s screenplay A Doll’s House is a tantalizing story between a married couple and their lives during the 19th century; an era which for woman was highly oppressed, period in time where men ruled the household as business, whereas their wife played the docile obedient lady of the home. Therefor they followed their husbands and fathers implicitly until Nora. Nora sets the stage of her life, starting in her father’s home; she is a stage onto herself. According to Ibsen; little secrets told not only to ourselves but to those around us, find a way to resurface....   [tags: Henrik Ibsen, A Doll's House, Marriage]

Powerful Essays
1196 words (3.4 pages)

Essay on Henrik Ibsen's A Doll's House

- Marriage is a forever commitment between two individuals to love one another but marriages don't always have the fairytale happy ending. In Henrik Ibsen's play A Doll House, Nora and Torvald Helmer learn some things about their marriage that they had not realized before. Nora Helmer discovers Torvald, herself, her marriage, as well as her own identity as a woman. Nora Helmer, the wife of Torvald Helmer, throughout the whole play has been keeping a secret from her husband. A few years back when Torvald became ill the doctor recommended that the whole family move south in order for Torvald to fully recover....   [tags: Ibsen Doll's House]

Powerful Essays
1061 words (3 pages)