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

Length: 909 words (2.6 double-spaced pages)

Rating: Better Essays

Open Document

Essay Preview

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 ...

... middle of paper ...

... 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.

Need Writing Help?

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

Check your paper »

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]

Better Essays
1432 words (4.1 pages)

Essay about A Doll House By Henrik Ibsen

- In the play A Doll House, Henrik Ibsen writes about the typical European marriage in the 19th century with the twist of a metaphorical comparison of the Helmer 's marriage and their home to a doll house. Ibsen also enriches the play with the use of symbolism throughout the story. These symbols include: the macaroons which represent how Nora misleads Torvald, Dr. Rank 's illness and the tarantella dress which represent the things wrong with their marriage. Lastly, another symbol is the Christmas tree which effectively shows that Nora 's place is the house is temporary....   [tags: Henrik Ibsen, A Doll's House, Christmas tree]

Better Essays
1733 words (5 pages)

Essay on Henrik Ibsen 's A Doll House

- Picture this: one day, you are walking down the street early in the evening. You see a sweet, elderly woman walking towards you on the opposite side of the sidewalk, carrying grocery bags in one hand and her purse in the other. She looks over-encumbered, but still when she sees you she smiles cheerfully and continues walking in your direction. But suddenly, a man dressed in black from head to toe runs past you and snatches the old woman’s purse right from her hands, and in her surprise she drops her groceries all over the ground....   [tags: Henrik Ibsen, A Doll's House, Marriage]

Better Essays
1137 words (3.2 pages)

Henrik Ibsen 's A Doll House Essay

- 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....   [tags: Henrik Ibsen, A Doll's House, Norway]

Better Essays
1240 words (3.5 pages)

Essay on Visual Symbols in "A Doll's House" by Henrik Ibsen

- "A Doll's House", written in 1879, is one of the most famous works by playwright Henrik Ibsen, the founder of modern realistic prose drama. It tells the story of a nineteenth century bourgeoisie woman who breaks the chains of society that determine her role in life in order to find herself. The female protagonist Nora lives a perfectly comfortable and seemingly carefree life until her husband Torvald Helmer falls ill. She is forced to forge a signature on a contract that would enable her to borrow enough money from a lawyer named Nils Krogstad to travel to southern Italy to save his life....   [tags: A Doll's House, Henrik Ibsen, ]

Better Essays
1247 words (3.6 pages)

Essay on A Doll 's House By Henrik Ibsen

- "A Doll 's House" is classified under the "second phase" of Henrik Ibsen 's career. It was during this period which he made the transition from mythical and historical dramas to plays dealing with social problems. It was the first in a series investigating the tensions of family life. Written during the Victorian era, the controversial play featuring a female protagonist seeking individuality stirred up more controversy than any of his other works. In contrast to many dramas of Scandinavia in that time which depicted the role of women as the comforter, helper, and supporter of man, "A Doll 's House" introduced woman as having her own purposes and goals....   [tags: A Doll's House, Henrik Ibsen, Norway, Woman]

Better Essays
1295 words (3.7 pages)

Essay on The Role of Realism in Ibsen's, A Doll's House

- Is “A Doll’s House” simply another text in which the composer questions the ideals of his society. Or is it advocating the rights of women as individuals, perhaps a pioneer in feminist literature. One may argue that “A Doll’s House” is nothing more than a product of Henrik Ibsen’s examination of his contemporary society’s values and morals, specifically those of the bourgeois class. But Ibsen does more than simply reflect upon these values and morals, and rather uses the setting of a middleclass household for his social commentary, exploring the moral conflict within his characters and the dangers of deception....   [tags: Henrik Ibsen, Literary Analysis]

Better Essays
727 words (2.1 pages)

Henrik Ibsen's A Doll's House Essay

- A Doll’s House by Henrik Ibsen, is a play about a woman who realizes that she is worth more than she has been given credit. Her whole life she was treated like a little doll; too fragile to do anything serious, too frail to be troubled with real business. She was the wife, mother and homemaker. The only things she was perceived as capable of were running the home, raising the children and looking pretty. This was a common stereotype for women in the 1880’s. Women were treated as possessions, not people....   [tags: Henrik Ibsen Doll's House]

Better Essays
1041 words (3 pages)

Essay on Conflict in A Doll's House by Henrik Ibsen

- Conflict in A Doll's House by Henrik Ibsen In every play, there is always conflict. Without it, the story would simply be dull and boring. There would be no lessons learnt and nothing that keeps the story going. Everyone has different opinions and perceptions about particular things and this is why conflict occurs – everyone is human and that is the reality. The different kinds of conflict include the conflict between individuals, within the individual and conflict with society. In Henrik Ibsen’s play, A Doll’s House, there is evidence that all three of these kinds of conflict exists....   [tags: A Doll's House Henrik Ibsen Essays]

Better Essays
936 words (2.7 pages)

Ibsen's A Doll's House being Dated Essay

- Ibsen's A Doll's House being Dated To answer the above, one needs to be aware of when the drama was first written (1879) and how audiences were shocked at Ibsen's radical perception of the social roles of husband and wife in middle class society at that time. The role of middle class women at that time was simple, they bore children and kept house in a very clear manner, albeit with the aid of a housekeeper or maid. They were subservient to men and were considered accoutrements and playthings....   [tags: A Doll's House Henrik Ibsen Themes Essays]

Better Essays
1106 words (3.2 pages)