A Doll 's House By Henrik Ibsen

1323 Words6 Pages
It is well-known that throughout history women and men have not always been treated as equals; it was not until the early twentieth century that women could vote in most countries. In the Victorian era, when A Doll’s House took place, women held a less than equitable sociopolitical and domestic standing. Socially, marriage and motherhood where no longer just emotional fulfillment for a woman; they had now become a responsibility and a full-time job that hardly allowed for leisure or external work. Since a woman’s life was centered on domesticity she had even fewer political rights outside the house than she did inside. A woman was not to vote, she could not form contracts without consent from a man, she was not deemed as a person under the…show more content…
Furthermore, whenever Torvald does refer to Nora by name, it is always preceded by the word little. Perhaps not physically, but to him mentally and emotionally, Nora is little and incapable of comprehending life; thus, she needs his protection and his wisdom to guide her. His belief in the emotional and mental inferiority of Nora is shown in the line, “[…] only lean on me; I will advise and direct you” (64). This dynamic between Nora and Torvald symbolises very much the reality of life for a woman at the time. At this point in history the belief was that it was a man’s job to guide his woman seemed to be the general consensus, between woman and men alike. A young girl would grow up with her father dictating her life choices up until she was married— more likely than not, he even chose whom she would marry. From that point on the woman became her husband’s “property,” meaning that the husband would then dictate the rest of the woman’s life. The usage of pet names by Torvald is highly important in relating to the theme of gender inequality the play brings up. Another way Torvald exercises his power over Nora, is by constantly scolding and lecturing her. Torvald treats Nora in such a way that it seems he truly believes her to be an incompetent fool, perhaps even a child, who cannot do anything for herself. It was very
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