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A Doll's House Misogynist

Decent Essays
The play A Doll’s House tells the story of a middle-class housewife, Nora, living in Norway in 1879 with her children and husband, Torvald. It is brought to the reader's attention that during the family’s financial crisis, Torvald falls ill and in efforts to save her husband Nora takes a loan illegally and forges her father's signature. Nora keeps this secret and is afraid to tell Torvald who had strictly forbidden her to withdraw a loan in his time of need. However, after being manipulated her secret is revealed. Throughout the play Nora's desire for independence grows as she discovers her unhappiness in her marriage with Torvald. Torvald's role in the play is questioned by many and is a controversial subject. Many speculate his role, asking…show more content…
Torvald Helmer develops into a misogynist in his efforts to conform to societal norms. Torvald Helmer develops into a misogynist in his efforts to conform to the family system and assumes a position of dominance in the household. The article "A Very Wild Dance Indeed: Family Systems in Heinrich Ibsen's A Doll's House" suggests that "the default assumptions of power and control of the Helmer family system—has relied upon Torvald’s assuming the role of parent to Nora, who acts like a child and thus helps turn her husband into a kind of parent" (McFarland-Wilson and Knapp 143). In Torvald's hopes to exert control over his family and comply with the norm of family system he takes on a "parental" role to adapt the Helmer family to fit the societal norm of a "normal" and proper middle class family. Torvald's misogynistic belief of women as well as society’s understanding is that women are inexperienced and must be treated in a childish way. His dominance over…show more content…
As explained before, Nora has grown up being treated like a doll child by her father and realized that she was handed off to Torvald who treats her in the same manner. She says, "I was simply transferred from Papa's hand to yours" (Ibsen 66). Torvald, who has been happily married to Nora for eight years, treats her with the same respect as her father without upsetting her. Nora, never having objected to her treatment beforehand, suddenly changes and is troubled with her husband's treatment of her. However, Torvald treated her in the same way as her father, misogyny was prevalent in the traditional male during the time. Misogyny, being a societal norm, led all conforming males to assume a dominant presence in society. This made the misogynistic practice of male dominance in the household common with the doll childlike treatment of girls later influencing the childlike treatment of them as wives for husbands to assert their dominance. The article "A Very Wild Dance Indeed: Family Systems in Heinrich Ibsen's A Doll's House" clearly suggests, "the relationship Nora has shared with her father reveals a powerful intergenerational influence upon the Helmer family system. Nora realizes how her father’s behavior toward her has influenced Torvald’s treatment of her" (McFarland-Wilson and Knapp
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