The Importance Of Feminism In A Doll's House

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Feminism is defined as the theory of the political, economic, and social equality of the sexes. Chosen as 2017’s “Word of the Year” by Merriam-Webster, feminism is a topic that has sparked many debates and discussions. Women, in particular, have been fighting for equality for centuries. Until recently, women were viewed as men’s property and were denied certain rights and freedoms. Feminists around the world turned to literature to advance their perspectives. One play commonly cited as a feminist text is A Doll’s House by Henrik Ibsen. Written in the nineteenth century, Ibsen’s play describes the struggles of a woman who desires to step outside society’s conventions. Although Ibsen argued that his work was exclusively about the human condition,…show more content…
However, humanism and feminism are both centered around people and their values. Women were disregarded as human beings at the time of A Doll’s House publication. “Ibsen has been resoundingly saved from feminism, or, as it was called in his day, “the woman question”” (Templeton). Social equality within a piece of literature gave it the potential to turn into pro-women propaganda. To Ibsen, his work was more than propaganda. This is why many critics state that Ibsen had to be saved from “the woman question” to avoid those who wanted to simplify the complex plot of A Doll’s House. But why would Ibsen need to be saved from feminism? Additionally, if Ibsen believed that women were people, then his ideas were aligned with those rooted in feminism. Nora’s dramatic exit represented gender equality to those who were denied it. “I must try to educate myself - you are not the man to help me in that. I must do that for myself. And that is why I am going to leave you now” (Ibsen 77). She left her suppressed role of a housewife in pursuit of her own purpose, opposing the restraints of a marriage with a domineering husband. Often, the service of a woman came before a woman themselves. Nora’s self-liberation signifies the transition of women from possessions to…show more content…
The true meaning of A Doll’s House is intertwined in the dramatization of Ibsen’s two main female protagonists. Like Krogstad, Nora’s friend Mrs. Linde pursued a life within society’s boundaries. She took on a predominantly male role as a provider when she chose to enter the workforce. As a woman who had no other option but to marry when she was younger, Mrs. Linde was able to make a living for herself after the death of her spouse. Then, as a widow, she was granted more chances to become self-supporting. Alternatively, Mrs. Linde could have remarried and continued a cycle of dependency, but decided to work for the benefit of herself and those around her. Consequently, Mrs. Linde’s introduction into working is feminist because she was given the opportunity to provide for herself. Her actions were atypical of women in the nineteenth century, and portrayed a future where both genders are able to work equally. Also, Mrs. Linde was a reflection for Nora; she symbolized a version of Nora that was capable and self-reliant. Likewise, Torvald, Nora’s husband, exemplified the epitome of his gender. He unabashedly believed in societal roles and applied those rules to his own marriage accordingly. Torvald restricted Nora from reaching her full potential as a wife and a human being. Nora was his doll, a manipulatable plaything stuck in a home she was not allowed to leave. Above all, Torvald

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