ENGL 2337 April 15, 2010 Symbolism and Sexism in Ibsen’s “A Doll’s House” Henrik Ibsen, the author of the controversial play “A Doll’s House” said, “There are two kinds of moral laws, two kinds of conscience, one for men and one, quite different, for women. They don’t understand each other; but in practical life, woman is judged by masculine law, as though she weren’t a woman but a man…A woman cannot be herself in modern society.” Isben created the plot of “A Doll’s House” from those ideas. Ibsen was viewed by his contemporaries as a moral and social revolutionary who advocated female emancipation and intellectual freedom. He believed that freedom must come
If you read Henrik Ibsen’s “A Doll House” from a literary perspective, you will see a story about this “perfect” family, but if you just dig a little deeper you will see there is a whole lot more to this play than the eye first sees. You soon find out that this perfect family is not so perfect after all. From a symbolic perspective “A Doll House” is about marriage, respect, feminism, and how Torvald’s family is like a doll house. Nora’s actions are very shocking to the general public that this book was first written for. This story was written in 1879, therefor women played the role as a house wife with no voice. The women were treated more as property, than significant others. Women had little to no rights which is a reason why many older
We also see his demeaning behavior when he underestimates her ability to handle money. Herman Weigand points out that "Torvald tells her in money matters she has inherited her father 's disposition" (Weigand 27). So Torvald 's condescending language and names keep Nora in her place as a doll where he likes her to be. James Huneker put it best when he said
Nora's second, and strongest, break from society's rules was shown by her decision to leave Torvald and her children. Society demanded that she take a place under her husband. This is shown in the way Torvald spoke down to her saying things like "worries that you couldn't possibly help me with" (Ibsen Page #), and "Nora, Nora, just like a woman" (Ibsen page #). She is almost considered to be property of his: "Mayn't I look at my dearest treasure? At all the beauty that belongs to no one but me - that's all my very own" (Ibsen page #)? By walking out she takes a position equal to her husband and destroys the very foundation of society's expectations of a wife and mother. Nora also breaks society's expectations of staying in a marriage since divorce was frowned upon during that era. Her decision represented a break from all expectations placed upon a woman by society. Throughout the play Nora is looked down upon and treated as a possession by her husband. She is
Ibsen’s ‘A Doll’s House’ is a play that speaks greatly to the societal roles that were expected for each gender during this time. These societal roles damaged many people because of the huge pressures that came along with the expectations of being a man or a woman. These pressures are
Nora plays the part of a slave in her subservience to her husband, for she is supposed to
Ibsen 's play A Doll 's House centers on a stereotypical and comfortable family in the nineteenth century which, outwardly, has the appearance of respectability to which any audience can relate. There are many indicators that reveal that this family upholds a false image, such as the symbolic title “A
Though Siddhartha and “A Doll’s House’ share a completely different storyline, they are very much similar because of the development of the main characters throughout the two stories. Nora, from the play “A Doll’s House,” changes her image after recognizing what kind of life she was living. Siddhartha, from
When Torvald finds her hairpin stuck in the keyhole of the letter box, Nora tells him it must have been their children trying to get into it, not willing to admit that she had tried to break into his things. Although the truth about her is about to be discovered, Nora wants to preserve the last bits of dignity that she has left, finally worrying about herself before anyone else. This last lie however, leads up to her finally speaking the truth and expressing that she no longer feels that she loves Torvald. Her husband is furious at her, insulting her, and fails to see that every lie that she told was for his sake. Realizing that Torvald can’t see her side of things and will only find fault in what she did, she comes to her decision to leave her family. Nora states that she is not happy and never really was, her marriage to Torvald was as fakes as a doll house according to her. Rather than lie, she is completely honest now and states that she wants to become her own person and learn that which she doesn’t know despite what society might think.
A Doll 's House by Henrik Ibsen, is a play that has been written to withstand all time. In this play Ibsen highlights the importance of women’s rights. During the time period of the play these rights were neglected. Ibsen depicts the role of the woman was to stay at home, raise the children and attend to her husband during the 19th century. Nora is the woman in A Doll House who plays is portrayed as a victim. Michael Meyers said of Henrik Ibsen 's plays: "The common denominator in many of Ibsen 's dramas is his interest in individuals struggling for and authentic identity in the face of social conventions. This conflict often results in his characters ' being divided between a sense of duty to themselves and their responsibility to others." All of the aspects of this quote can be applied to the play A Doll House, in Nora Helmer 's character, who throughout much of the play is oppressed, presents an inauthentic identity to the audience and throughout the play attempts to discovery her authentic identity.
“Is Torvald a controlling chauvinist who must keep his wife powerless at any cost or is he merely a man trying to live within the context of his society? Does he act unreasonably in the play or is he merely trying to keep his family and life together?” Torvald Helmer is
In most societies, the person who holds the most money is considered to hold the most power. In the case of the household, the person who holds the most power is the person who handles the money, and in our man-centric world, it is usually the man who holds both money and power. In Henrik Ibsen's play A Doll’s House, the theme of money is used to establish power roles between the characters of the play, and how the theme contributes to typical gender roles in the 19th century.
She is a woman who is devoted to her husband and family. The play shows a sad, yet hopeful world for women, one in which social progress is already under way, and Nora Helmer is just an example of a modern-minded, independent woman that wanted to cast off her chains and become her own woman. She succeeds, although she ends up hurting her children and family in the process.
Her first instinct is to feel pity for Mrs. Linde’s lack of children or husband, classifying her “utterly alone” state as “terribly sad” and inferior to the life she has with Torvald (Ibsen 8). This all changes, however, once Nora agrees to help Mrs. Linde. By binding herself to a woman instead of a man for the first time, she reaches a further state of awareness. When Mrs. Linde mentions Nora’s “lack of trouble and hardship” and calls her a child, Nora becomes defensive, alluding to her displeasure with her position in society (Ibsen 12). “You’re just like the rest of them,” she claims, “you all think I’m useless when it comes to anything really serious...” (Ibsen 12). The “them” and “you all” in Nora’s pivotal statement refers to the men who have bound Nora to the state of a useless doll in a dollhouse: dependent, incapable, and unenlightened—merely nice to play with and pretty to look at.
Here, Nora pulls together the tragic circumstances. She sees that she was never truly happy in the house, just content. Her father kept her as a child would a doll, and Torvald continued this when they were married. They formed her opinions for her, set expectations to which she was supposed to adhere, and wrote a vague script of how she was supposed to act. She was like a puppet, with no thoughts or actions of her own. When she finally realizes the injustice being done to her, she decides to free herself.