Social Class In A Doll's House

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Ibsen’s play A Doll 's House, written in 1879, examines the importance of social class and the expectations that follow. A Doll’s House tells the story of married couple, Torvald and Nora Helmer who strive to fulfill social expectation. However, the ending is known to be a shock for some, as roles reverse and Nora comes to realize that she has been mistreated like a doll throughout the whole marriage. Throughout A Dolls House by Henrik Ibsen, doll 's and the dolls house are symbolic of how Nora is a submissive wife controlled and dominated by Torvald, and both are repressed by societal standards.
Torvald exhibits patriarchy in his relationship with Nora as he calls her pet names and controls her eating. Nora’s demeanor is ditzy, carefree
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Torvald perpetuates aids to Nora’s doll-like personality, by calling her pet-names: “Come, come, my little skylark must not droop her wings” (Ibsen 5). Nora follows Torvald around in a submissive manner. Calling her “little skylark” and “little squirrel,” Torvald degrades her as both a woman and a human. The word “little” is also frequently used before the pet names to illustrate how Torvald does not see Nora as equal; rather, Nora is his property or possession, similarly to how a child looks after his or hers doll. Not only does Torvald call her pet names, but he also controls what she eats. Nora eats one or two macaroons before she hears Torvald in the other room and hastily puts them away. The stage directions states, “[Nora] puts the bag of macaroons into her pocket and wipes her mouth” (Ibsen 4). Nora is depicted as secretive as she hides the macaroons, demonstrating Torvalds superiority as he tells her what she can and can not do. Torvald explains, “Hasn’t Miss Sweet Tooth been breaking rules in town today?” Nora replies, “No; what makes you think that?” (Ibsen 7). Torvald questions Nora, as a father would, while Nora lies, like a child. Although, Nora and Torvald are married,…show more content…
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
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