A Doll 's House By Henrik Ibsen

1639 Words7 Pages
In the play A Doll’s House, Henrik Ibsen examines the roles of a woman during the nineteenth century in a male dominated Victorian society. The play is a well-played out journey of the main character, Nora, self-discovery and struggles against the oppression of her husband Torvald and the society he represents. Nora, who is the wife of Torvald Helmer, is the heroine of the play in the end. At the beginning of Act I, the scene is a clear picture of the lifestyle of the Helmer’s household. The Helmer’s are prominent members of the Victorian society. Nora purpose in life is to be happy for her husband and children. Torvald appears to be a loving, devoted, and generous husband. (3). Nora has taken drastic measures to save her husband’s…show more content…
Torvald is constantly treating Nora like a child by calling her childlike names and not regarding her as an adult. In Act III, Nora goes from being Torvald’s “little singing-bird” (132) to being a “miserable creature” (133) when Torvald feels his reputation is in jeopardy and begins to berate and verbally abuse Nora by name calling. He is more worried about what people will think of him that he wants to cover up Nora’s mess at any cost. Torvald does not care about what Nora is going through, but she did it all for the appearance of her husband. Torvalds’s role as her husband is understood to the reader as the masculine role of the bread winner as both a lawyer and banker. Ibsen makes it clear that Torvald has a physical and emotional control over his wife as he treats her like a child, a plaything, and his personal doll. He constantly uses degrading pet names such as “little squirrel,” “little lark,” “little spendthrift,” and “little featherhead.” (I.4-5). As Torvald treats Nora like a child, she continues to follow her husband’s conception of her.
Nora’s actions conveys the many compromises women make in order to fit into society and marriage. Ibsen has set the tone for Nora’s character as one who is a helpless damsel as she asks for money for Christmas from Trovald. He continues to show her that he is in control by telling her “still, you know, we can’t spend money recklessly.” (I.5). Acting as a spoil child, Nora replies to
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