Nora Helmer and the other female figures portrayed in A Doll’s House are the best models of the “Second sex” or the ‘Other’ that the French existentialist Simon de Beauvoir discussed in her book The Second Sex. Beauvoir holds that girls are given a doll as an alter ego and in compensation (Abrams 93). A girl is taught to be a woman and her "feminine" destiny is imposed on her by her teachers and society. She has, for example, no innate "maternal instinct”. Judith observes in the same vein that Beauvoir's formulation that "One is not born, but rather becomes, a woman" distinguishes the terms "sex" and "gender"(.
Did you know that there is injustice in the play A Doll’s House by Henrik Ibsen? The men in A Doll’s House treat women differently than how they treat other men. To society at the time men were above women. This idea is supported by the way that Nora is treated like a child by her husband Torvald, the way Nora has to follow all her husband’s decisions, during that time period women didn 't typically have a job or education. When all of the evidence is presented the reader can, therefore, decided whether or not they agree that women are treated very unjustly compared to men.
During the Victorian era, the controversial play was written to highlight a female seeking individuality in an immoral society which stirred up more controversy than any other works. In Ibsen’s writing, “A Doll’s House”, women’s lack to having their own purposes and goals was introduced. Throughout the play, Nora Helmer eventually comes into realization that she has to conclude playing the role of a doll and instead seek out her individuality as a heroine. These occurrences are portrayed through an unstable relationship in which women’s role depends on finance, power, and love. In the nineteenth century, communities had great interest with the changes of social and economic class.
Throughout A Doll’s House, Henrick Ibsen gives emphasis to male-controlled symbolism in order to emphasize the standard family structure of the late nineteenth-century. Torvald, the central male character, perfectly depicts the typical male dominance through his actions of control and dominance in the relationship with Nora Helmer. The names he gives her throughout the play: skylark, little squirrel, little spendthrift, etc. shows his looking down to Nora. He gives her no respect and like all typical marriages in nineteenth-century Denmark, he gives Nora no means to have any control in the marriage.
The 19th Century was a resolute period for human rights as for women’s rights. In A Doll’s House, by Henrik Ibsen, the protagonist Nora is the emblematic Angel in the House, submissive to her husband, Torvald. Nora decides to ostracize herself from the society she’s always been a part of by leaving her children and her husband in the pursuit of a new life. The author, however, doesn’t ever address the events that happen after her exit, which leaves the reader with an ambiguous ending. The ending’s purpose is to have a rupture between Nora’s past and future, but still being realistic and showing that there are hopes for a return.
In Henrik Ibsen’s A Doll’s House, Nora, the protagonist, is awakened from her controlled life by her husband causing her to come out of her shell and examine her domestic married life as a wife. To a greater extent, Nora is presented as a submission to her husband, Torvald Helmer, through the use of devices such as imagery, allegory and symbolism. “Symbolism is the use of symbols to represent ideas or qualities.” The development of Nora’s character relies greatly on Ibsen’s use of symbols such as the use of the Christmas tree and even the title to explore Nora’s role as a woman and a wife. The title A Doll’s house is a strong and the most effective metaphorical symbol used by Ibsen in portraying how Nora is controlled and played with by
Nora is oppressed in such way where she has been treated like a child. Sexism shows us the difference between feelings and actions between all the characters in the novel ‘A Dolls House’. People like Trovald and Krogstad have been always sexist. They have oppressed women in many different ways to satisfy them and the appearance in front of society. Nora is oppressed in such way where she has been preserved like a child.
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.
For the duration of the play, an outward aspect of presentation validates the misleading typical stereotypes of gender roles that cover the reality of the play’s characters and their situations. The most important aspect of this theme is displayed in the underrating of Nora and Torvald. Nora initially seems as silly and childish, as Torvald talks to her in the third person with a patronizing way of referring to Nora as a squirrel and her not minding: “Is that my squirrel rummaging around?” “Yes.” (Henrik 883). By the ending of the play, however, Nora turns from being a foolish woman to an obstinate independent decision maker. In divergence to Nora is the character of Torvald.
In Henrik Ibsen’s A Doll’s House, appearances prove to be deceptive veneers that disguise the reality of situations and characters. Ibsen’s play is set in 19th century Norway, when women’s rights were restricted and social appearance such as financial success and middle class respectability were more important than equality and true identity. Ibsen also uses realism and naturalism, portraying the Helmer’s Marriage through authentic relationships, which are relatable to the audience. In A Doll’s House, Nora represents 19th century women entrapped by society to fulfill wifely and motherly obligations, unable to articulate or express their own feelings and desires. Initially, Nora appears to be a dependent, naïve girl, yet as the play unfolds, we see her as strong, independent woman, willing to make sacrifices for those who she cares about as well as herself.