A Doll's House By Henrik Ibsen Essay

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Henrik Ibsen’s A Doll’s House depicts life as it is in Norway in the late 19th century to highlight a problem in society. Through the characters, a modern tragedy of a woman fleeing her family to escape from the laws of society and gain independence is shown. Ibsen criticizes the patriarchal society by exposing the oppressive institution of marriage and the inferior and sacrificial role that women are confined to.
Ibsen shatters the illusion of the covenant of marriage by showing it as an unequal relationship with the husband dominant over the wife. Nora and Torvald’s marriage is built upon Nora’s obvious submissiveness to her husband who takes pleasure in her “woman helplessness”. Torvald wields so much power that Nora doesn’t want to hurt
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Linde sacrificed what she really wanted in order to support her family as Nora sacrificed her individuality to comply with society’s standards. a. Mrs. Linde questions the idea of duty and self-sacrifice by stating how although she needed to marry a man whom she did not love to support her family, she now knows she has the right to her own happiness. Rather than sacrifice her individuality once again, she chooses to be with her true love because “…a woman who has sold herself for another’s sake doesn’t do it a second time” (54). At the end of the play, Ibsen displays society’s reaction to the idea of a woman leaving her family through Torvald. Torvald believes that a woman’s purpose for living is to serve her husband and children rather than be her own person. Her life has thus been revolved around men, adapting to the “needs” of men, being conditioned by her father and then her husband. He is most shocked that she would put herself above her family, a societal standard that woman must sacrifice themselves for others: “It’s shocking. This is how you would neglect your most sacred duties… your duties to your husband and children” (68).
A Doll’s House is a scathing criticism of the roles women are expected to play as the submissive spouse, inferior sex, and a conformist. This controversial play presents female rights also as human rights to expose the tyrannical face of social
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