What Is Gender Roles In A Doll's House

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Henrik Ibsen’s play A Doll’s House was far ahead of its time in its examination of the socio culturally enforced and psychologically re-enforced roles of men and women in the late 19th century. Ibsen utilizes his trademark realistic prose in order to develop the characters in such a way that the reader or viewer can easily identify the social stereotypes prevalent at that time. Rather than conforming to these stereotypes, however, Ibsen uses his play as a vehicle for social change, shedding light on the caging effects these predetermined gender roles had by allowing the characters to challenge them. Though the play mainly focuses on Nora Helmer’s growing self awareness, Ibsen also explores the restrictive roles of men in this time period through her husband Torvald. Both characters provide insight into the…show more content…
The late 1800’s were a turning point in Norwegian policy concerning gender equality. In 1878, the Norwegian Gender Equality Act was passed, aiming to equalize the treatment of women and men. This step forward in the Norwegian feminist movement brought gender to the forefront of politics and discussion (Equality). It was in this atmosphere that Ibsen published A Doll’s House, a play that acknowledged and then promptly subverted gender roles. Around this time, Ibsen also became part of Det moderne Gjennembruds Mænd, or Men of the Modern Transition. This was a group of authors and scholars created by Georg Brands - a forward thinking critic and scholar who advocated realism and progressive views in literature. Even as Norway was moving towards increasing openness towards gender equality, the issue still remained controversial in the country and in other parts of the world. Ibsen’s contentious manuscript was translated and distributed widely throughout Europe - its realism and controversy attracting droves of viewers and readers (A Doll’s House
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