Rights of Women in the Nineteenth Century and in Henrik Ibsen’s A Doll’s House

Rights of Women in the Nineteenth Century and in Henrik Ibsen’s A Doll’s House

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Henrik Ibsen, who was born in Norway but made his name internationally, was a painter as well as the one of most famous playwrights during the period of Realism. Ibsen’s plays are well-known by the themes of domestic and political issues and conflict in nineteenth century. Scholars call it “Ibsen’s problems play” (Henrik Ibsen, 650). In addition, in Ibsen’s plays, the general topics that are usually discussed are hypocrisy of the society, restriction of women, and the self-sacrifice.
Under the influence of Industrial Revolution, the conflict between classes and the struggle among workers were becoming more and more intense, especially among women. By responding to French Rvolution, “Liberty” was the key word for nineteenth century (The Nineteenth Century, 509). Henrik Ibsen wrote a famous play called A Doll’s House in 1879. Ibsen illustrates the status and confinement of the women at the time, but his play does not attempt to solve the problems. However, A Doll’s House does express the need and desire for the women to escape from the restriction in the nineteenth-century society.
In the play A Doll’s House, Nora Helmer is the major character as well as a symbol of the majority of house wives in the middle class of the nineteenth century. Also, Nora’s husband, Torvald Helmer, is another symbol represents the majority of men at the time. Through their marriage and relationship, we can clearly see the recreation of the realistic role and characteristic of the suffering women in the nineteenth century.
First of all, The nineteenth-century society was a male dominated society. The most women in nineteenth century were perceived as nonsense and dependent. In the opening act of the play, Torvald talks to Nora, “Is it my little squi...


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...tatus in a happy marriage. Nora’s realization in the end of the play expresses the desire and need for the women who are also suffering from their marriages to fight for their equal rights, mutual respect and being themselves again.



Works Cited

Ibsen, Henrik. “ A doll’s House.” SparkNotes LLC. Sparknotes.com. n.d. Web. 19 Mar. 2012.
“Henrik Ibsen.” The Norton Anthology of World Literature, shorter 2nd edition, vol.2. Eds. Petter Simon and Conor Sullivan. New York, London: W. W Norton& Company, inc., 2009. 649-653. Print.
SparkNotes Editors. “SparkNote on A Doll’s House.” SparkNotes.com. SparkNotes LLC. n.d. 2002. Web. 20 Mar. 2012
“The Nineteenth Century: Realism and Symbolism.” The Norton Anthology of World Literature, shorter 2nd edition, vol.2. Eds. Petter Simon and Conor Sullivan. New York, London: W. W Norton& Company, inc., 2009. 509-515. Print.

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