Essay about Henrik Ibsen’s “a Doll’s House” - Feminism

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“Feminism” Henrik Ibsen’s “A Doll’s House” is a play about a young wife and her husband. Nora and Helmer seem to be madly in love with one another and very happy with their lives together. Yet the conflict comes into this show when Nora brags to her friend Ms. Linde about how she had forged her father’s name to borrow money to save her husband’s life and how she had been secretly paying off this debt. Helmer finds out about this crime and is furious, until he finds that no one will ever know about it. This entire conflict is written to bring to light the ridiculous social expectations demanded of both women and men. Ibsen expertly leads the audience into accepting that these social expectations are foolish and wrong. The audience…show more content…
She cleverly manipulates the men around her while, to them, she seems to be staying in her subordinate role. In all three acts of the play Nora controls many situations and yields the most power. The character of Nora goes through the dramatic transformation of a kind and loving housewife, to a desperate and bewildered woman, whom will ultimately leave her husband and everything she has known. Ibsen uses both the characters of Torvald and Nora to represent the tones and beliefs of 19th century society. By doing this, Ibsen effectively creates a dramatic argument that continues to this day; that of feminism. The old saying that “A woman’s place is in the home” has always been defined by the fact of motherhood. According to traditions a girl belonging to a middle class westernized family, learned from her mother that washing, cooking and the other household chores were the expected behavior when they grew older and entered into marriage stages. Educations for girls have always been secondary to boys in the past. Higher education for girls was only possible during the summers when the boys were working. This trend however, has changed since the end of the 19th century, with the opening of many women colleges and the right of their admission to regular colleges. The legal status of women was greatly influenced by the inferiority of women. An unmarried woman could make contracts, sue or be sued. As soon as a woman got
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