Women's Role in Society Analyzed and Debated in Henrik Ibsen’s A Doll’s House

Women's Role in Society Analyzed and Debated in Henrik Ibsen’s A Doll’s House

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For various reasons, the role of women in society has been analyzed and frequently debated throughout history. Henrik Ibsen’s A Doll’s House is no exception to the rule. In Norway, and during the Victorian period in history, women’s responsibilities were simply to keep house or do small jobs on the side such as sewing or light secretarial work. Henrik Ibsen may have had several intentions when writing his play A Doll’s House, but the one that stands out so clearly is the role of women in the time period from which the play takes place and just how doll-like they were treated in Victorian society. Women during this period were by no means the decision-makers of their households. Husbands or fathers were the heads of the household and many times women didn’t even know what state their financial affairs were in. It was often times only when something drastic happened that a woman would become aware of these things. For instance, if a husband should fall sick or even pass away and there were no male relatives to help take care of things, often times the woman would have to step up and distinguish what needed to be done in order to take care of things. We see a variation of this situation in Ibsen’s play. We meet a woman, Nora, and her husband Torvald and in it we witness the deterioration of their life together through Nora’s eyes. Throughout this analysis of A Doll’s House, I will address several things concerning Ibsen’s play. I will give a synopsis of the play, an analysis of three major characters: a.) Nora, b.) Torvald, and c.) Krogstad. I will discuss the language of the play and themes. I will give an in-depth look at the playwright himself as well as information on his creation of the play. I will give an idea of ...


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... how she saved her husband’s life previously when he became ill. Doctors had advised her to take him south for fear that he was in danger of losing his life. Wanting for him to survive, Nora acquired money, claiming it was from her father and took them to Italy. Before Torvald could find out where the money really came from, Nora’s father died. Torvald is still unaware of where the money actually came from. We soon learn that the money Torvald has been giving her as an allowance is going towards paying off the debt she accrued from borrowing the money for the trip. Kristine tries to get Nora to tell her where she got the money, but Nora refuses. Soon after this discussion we meet Krogstad, one of Torvald’s bank employees. It is obvious at his entrance that Nora dislikes him. We also see that Mrs. Linde acts peculiar towards Krogstad for some unknown reason.

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