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.
Nora is a married woman and has children to take care of. She really has little freedom because of the way Torvald treats her. She is not even I feel as if deep down she knows she is not free and wants something more in her life then to be a entertaining puppet for Torvald. She realizes at the end of the story that Torvald is not good to her because of the way he acted when she told him about forging the signature. When Torvald called her a criminal and other harsh words she realized that she had no true love from Torvald and wanted to be free from him. Henrik Ibsen shows that Nora is basically trapped in this house with Torvald with no freedom if she does not leave him.
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
Doll’s House by Henrik Ibsen was highly criticized for undeniably demonstrating woman’s issues in the 19th century. While the play doesn’t change setting much at all, Ibsen clearly focuses in on the characterization of three insightful characters: Mrs. Linde, Nora, and Helmer. Mrs. Linde is a minor character; however, that doesn’t alter her effect on the play. She provides the mold for the perfect, idealized wife. Nora, the main character, develops rapidly in the play, and her character is a stark contrast to Mrs. Linde. Nora on the surface seems to be the epitome of a 19th-century wife, but the audience quickly realizes that she defies gender expectations with the forged loan and eventually with her separation from Helmer. Helmer not only fits perfectly into his masculine role but blindly
Nora begins the play as a childlike character who is always happy and grateful; only afterwards we find out that she has a big secret that adds more maturity to the character. In a way, she shows us the span of life; you begin as a child and mature, as secrets get heavier which then causes you to figure out your personality. Nora has been manipulated, has manipulated throughout the play. The whole play was about her actions and consequences. This book shows the readers what it means to grow
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,
Nora 's epiphany occurs when the truth is finally revealed. As Torvald unleashes his revulsion against Nora and her crime of forgery, the protagonist realizes that her husband is not who she thought he was at all. Torvald has no intention of taking the blame for Nora 's crime. She thought for certain that he would selflessly give up everything for her, like she given up so much for him. When he fails to do this, she accepts the fact that their marriage has been an illusion. In this moment Nora’s eyes and mind finally become clear of any delusions she once possessed. Nora was dominated and controlled by her father before marriage and afterwards it was her husband dominating her. Torvald never treated her as an equal. She had existed for her husband and she had always expected that her husband would come to her aid when she was trouble. She had been waiting for miracles to happen. Nora feared that Krogstad would expose everything and that their family would come undone. Contrary to her expectation, Torvald behaved like a hypocrite concerned more with societies idea of morality and a notion of social prestige, not with his wife 's welfare and care. He came out in his true colors. Nora realized that her husband didn 't see her as an individual. She wanted to dissolve her ties with him by abandoning him and the children. She thought her duty toward herself was above her duty as a mother and wife. Her status was someone who was a non—entity. She wanted to educate herself and establish her own identity. Slamming the door is the explosion of her energies against societal standards. It 's a bold act of revolt against domination. The crux of the whole play hinges on this single incident. It is an individual 's search for freedom. It signifies that a person who realizes the necessity to cultivate their full identity must be ready to sacrifice even an atom of care and concern
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
At the beginning of their marriage Nora did everything on her power to save his husband health including going against her husband beliefs by lying about how she obtained a large amount of money (money that she told her husband that was borrowed from her father and not by doing business with Krogstad) Nora told Mrs. Linde that she has been using her allowance to pay the debt. She was looking forward to New Year, because she will have paid off her debt completely and then will be “free” to fulfill her responsibilities as a wife and mother without impediment. At this point we can notice the fact that Nora doesn’t feel “free” and realizes in her wife and mother
In the story, Nora is discussing with Dr. Rank about how passionately her husband was in love with her. When Nora’s husband read the letter that Krogstad left in the box she realizes that her husband is the total opposite of who she thought he was with his response: “Don’t come to me with a lot of paltry excuses!” She then understands that who she thought she married is not the same person anymore or never was. This then makes her question of where she belonged in the “doll
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
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.