A Doll’s house is a realistic three act play that focuses on the nineteenth century life in middle class Scandinavian household life, where the wife is expected to be inferior and passive whereas the husband is superior and paternally protective. It was written by Henrik Ibsen. The play criticised the marriage norms that existed in the 19th century. It aroused many controversies as it concludes with Nora, the main protagonists leaving her husband and children in order to discover her identity. It created a lot of controversies and was heavily criticised as it questioned the traditional roles of men and women among Europeans who believed that the covenant of marriage was holy. Most critics around the world believe the play led to increase awareness on the need for women’s rights in all continents, on the other hand some critics opine that the play depicted women as inferior creatures and dolls who have no personality of their own.
Torvald tells her that Nora has a duty as a mother and a wife but Nora tells him that “she is an individual”, showing that she is finally putting herself on par with Torvald, and no longer allowing Torvald to control her, but instead she is trying to gain independence and liberation from social norms in order to break free from the “Doll’s House.” She tells him that she must leave him, because “for eight years [she’d] been living with a stranger”, emphasising how there was never any proper communication and mutual understanding between them, and hence no proper marriage, as she didn’t actually know what his true character was like up until that night, as she was convinced all along that Torvald would be the man to take everything upon
The play “A Doll’s House” by Henrik Ibsen, portrays many different characters with different sides to themselves. A quote by Kurt Vonnegut writes “We are what we pretend to be, so we must be careful what we pretend to be;” this shows us that everyone pretends to be someone, which means the characters in the play have a good chance of pretending to be someone else whom they are not. mInevitably, not every character can show each one of their sides, but rather, it has to be interpreted. Nora, to be specific, has a completely contradictory side to herself that we later discover in the play. Nora masks her mature-self underneath her childlike personality in order to appear as the positive,
During act III, Nora asked to speak to Torvald after her performance of the tarantella dance. The following conversation demonstrated her quest for autonomy and freedom, as well as Torvald’s inadequate responses to her arguments and demands; it also showed how deeply connected her unhappy situation is with society’s regulation of the relationship between the sexes. She asserts that she is “...first and foremost a human being”, and her strong conviction that her womanhood, and the expectations associated with it, are secondary, strengthens her resolve to make a radical choice: A break with both husband and, with necessity due to her legal position, her children (Ibsen, 184). During her conversation with Torvald, she proclaims, “I have other sacred duties...The duties to myself (Ibsen, 184).” Her existential choice seems to be forced upon her by society, but in adopting her husband‘s and society’s language, so often used to contain in control women, she now speaks of her duties towards herself, even sacred ones. In a radical refusal to stick to inherited notions of women’s role in family and society, Nora rejects the other identities available to her, both as a doll and as self-sacrificing wife and mother, and of her husband’s pet names for
What does it mean to be in complete control of your life, without fearing disapproval from your own husband? Nora Helmer sure would not know what that feels like. In the literary work credited to Henrik Ibsen, A Doll’s House, a clear distinction between the gender roles of Torvald and Nora Helmer was established through symbols. Through Ibsen’s use of symbols such as macaroons, pet names, and the Tarantella, such symbols help convey and compare the roles of men and women within the nineteenth century. Not only were the gender roles distincted through their character, but they exemplified the actual feminine and masculine roles of typical nineteenth century society. Nora is portrayed as powerless and confines herself through patriarchal expectations,
The reader becomes very aware of the situation Nora is faced with as Ibsen challenges us to think about the societal times women were a part of during the late 1800’s. As Unni Langas states in her article describing gender within the play, “..this drama is not so much about Nora’s struggle to find herself as a human being, as it is about her shocking experience of being treated as a woman..” (Langas, 2005). This gives the reader an insight into Nora Helmer’s character. She is evidently perceived as the Doll trapped in the Doll house, as she is viewed as an entertainer rather than her own person in the eyes of her husband and children. The representation of the doll is symbolically significant as Nora is compared to a beautiful feminine figure, being the doll, but also someone who is treated as a toy and as someone who is disrespected. An example of Torvald’s thoughts about Nora is clear in Act three as a conversation between the pair highlights his true feelings towards his wife, “Torvald: It's shocking. This is how you would neglect your most sacred duties. Nora: What do you consider my most sacred duties? Torvald: Do I need to tell you that? Are they not your duties to your husband and your children? Nora: I have other duties just as sacred. Torvald: That you have not. What duties could those be?” (Ibsen, Act three). This exemplifies the degrading
Torvald and Nora’s relationship and home can be compared to as a “doll house” because of its perfect characteristics, however it is quite the opposite, with its foundation based on lies and pretend happiness. The stage directions read “A room furnished comfortably and tastefully, but not extravagantly. At the back, a door to the right leads to the entrance-hall, another to the left leads to Helmer’s study. Near the window is a round table, arm-chairs and a small sofa. Engravings on the walls; a cabinet with china and other small objects; a small bookcase with well-bound books” (Ibsen 4). Similar to a dolls house, everything is neatly placed and rooms are divided into separate areas. Although, the house seems to be a perfect one, Nora and Torvald put on facades and appear as everything is normal between them. In fact, Nora continues to lie to Torvald for example, her forgery. Mrs Linde tries to get Krogstad to not reveal the letter to Helmer. Mrs Linde states: “Helmer must know all about it. This unhappy secret must be disclosed; they must have a couple understanding between them, which is impossible with all this concealment and falsehood going on,” (Ibsen 52). Mrs. Linde is well aware of Nora’s secret and the consequences that would follow if Torvald found out. When Torvald finds out about the letter, he is only worried about his reputation and his appearance. Torvald says, “From this moment happiness is not the question; all that concerns us it to save the remains, the
The play ‘A Doll’s house’ is a three act play written by Henrik Ibsen. - BLABLA BLA-. The story, however could be interpreted differently by different readers greatly depending on their cultural context. In this essay will be discussed how a Freudian and a Feminist reader might interpret the plot, the character relations and the ending differently.
Her pain stems from her fantasy falling apart. As Maurice Valency writes, “A Doll’s House ...describes in a very convincing manner the process of falling out of love. It's force, however lies not in the superficial action, which in any case lacks suspense, but in the psychological undercurrent which it generates. The man Nora loves is a creature of fantasy…” [Valency 155]. As Valency argues, the life that Nora lives is one of sheltered fiction. Valency continues, describing Nora as a “rebellious daughter” and Torvald as the “archetype father.” [Valency 155]. This is the exact reason that Nora is so happy in her voiceless marriage: she has never been able to experience independence. Sigmund Freud argues that women look to marry a man like their fathers, in his developing theory called the “Electra Complex.” Although the Electra Complex states that young girls feel jealousy for their own mothers, Freud’s theory on this topic shows that one cannot develop if they are fixated at this stage [Myers]. It is this fixation that causes Nora’s contemptment in life. It is the pain of her husband calling her a hypocrite and disowning her that pushes her past this phase, causing final development into an independent woman. Without this pain, Nora would not be pushed past this fixation. Maurice Valency writes, “She throws off her servitude; she is emancipated and
Nora is a character that will do everything that somebody tells her, she is kind of submissive regarding what Torvald says. She has to mention him at least once while she’s talking about anything, but she does have some petty forms of rebellion, like the macaroons. A larger way of her rebelling would be when she pays for the trip so that Torvald can get better. She is viewed as a child by Mrs. Linde, Christine, and is treated like one by Torvald and it seems almost like they look down on her because she is a woman and she is completely dependent on her husband. Her character, at this point, has no backbone; she is completely captivated by this life in which she perceives as
First, Nora is treated like a child by her husband Torvald. Torvald had nicknames for Nora like squirrel or skylark that was often accompanied by demenors like sweet or little. At the end of the play, Nora tells her husband that he treated her like a weak, fragile doll just like her father. Nora’s feelings about Torvald’s attitude is evident in the quote from Nora and Torvald’s conversation ”I was your little songbird just as before- your doll whom henceforth you would take particular care to protect from the world because she was so weak and fragile.”(Pg. 102). The literary element is Personification since Nora is being compared to a type of bird as though Nora isn 't human. Nora’s husband also got really mad at Nora for getting money on her own through a loan with Torvalds signature forged by Nora. The childish feeling that Nora is experiencing is also supported by the fact that she can’t have her
Nora realizes she and the life she has been living has been a complete construct of the way society expects her to be. Nora is Torvald’s doll and her life has not amounted to anything more than making sure he and the world around her is happy. The result of the inequalities she is faced with results in Nora being completely unhappy. Torvald fails to recognize everything that Nora does to ensure his happiness. While, Nora
Nora carries herself as a childish, and naive person who has not had many life experiences, while Kristine prides herself on being down-to-Earth, and reasonable person. This shows in Act I, Scene I as Nora discusses Torvald’s new position at the bank and Kristine congratulates her, and states that “...it would be delightful to have what one needs” (pg. 761). Nora replies with “No, not only what one needs, but heaps and heaps of money.” (pg. 761) This exchange displays Nora’s materialistic mindset, while shining a light on Kristine’s maturity as she places necessities as a priority above personal
A Doll’s House written by the famous playwright Henrik Ibsen, tells the story of a failing marriage and a woman’s realisation to her role in society. Despite the play being written in a realistic fashion, Ibsen chose to incorporate both metaphors and symbolisms within the play, with symbolisms illustrating the inner conflicts of the main character Nora, and the less prominent metaphors depicting the state in which the characters are in. The use of both symbols and metaphors aide in developing the characters in the play, allowing the audience to further sympathize with the characters created by Henrik Ibsen.
The play begins with Nora being portrayed as a self-indulgent and whimsical woman with childlike qualities. After the porter asks Nora for “a shilling”, (Ibsen, p.23) she tips him over-generously with a pound, directing him to “keep it,” (p.23) giving the audience the impression that Nora does not know the value of money, much like a child would not. Her immature extravagance is recognized through her desire to spend Torvald’s higher salary right away, even though it will not be received for another three months. His