In Henrik Ibsen’s A Doll’s House, Nora Helmer is a traditional “angel in the house” she is a human being, but first and foremost a wife and a mother who is devoted to the care of her children, and the happiness of her husband. The play is influenced by the Victorian time period when the division of men and women was evident, and each gender had their own role to conform to. Ibsen’s views on these entrenched values is what lead to the A Doll’s House becoming so controversial as the main overarching theme of A Doll’s House is the fight for independence in an otherwise patriarchal society. This theme draws attention to how women are capable in their own rights, yet do not govern their own lives due to the lack of legal entitlement and
A Doll’s House, by Henrik Ibsen, creates a peephole into the lives of a family in the Victorian Era. The play portrays a female viewpoint in a male-dominated society. The values of the society are described using the actions of a woman, Nora, who rebels against the injustices inflicted upon her gender. Women’s equality with men was not recognized by society in the late 1800’s. Rather, a woman was considered a doll, a child, and a servant. Nora’s alienation reveals society’s assumptions and values about gender.
In A Doll's House, Henrik Ibsen focuses on the importance of women's roles and freedom in society. Widely regarded as a feminist paean, the play features two major female characters; the most prominent of whom, Nora Helmer, shatters her position as a subservient, doll-like female when she walks out on her husband and children with a flagrant "door slam heard round the world." Nora’s evolution, though inspiring, should not overshadow another crucial woman in the play: Mrs. Kristine Linde. Both women attain freedom in a society dominated by the adherence to conservative marital roles, but do it in different ways. While Nora reaches her consciousness and slams the door on her shackling domicile, Mrs.
In Henrik Ibsen’s play A Doll’s House, pointedly captures the reality of the Victorian Era within the play. Nora Helmer, the protagonist of the story, represents the typical women in society during that era. The audience’s first impression of Nora is a money obsessed, childish, obedient house wife to her husband, Torvald Helmer. However, as the play progresses one can see that Nora is far from being that typical ideal trophy wife, she is an impulsive liar who goes against society’s norm to be whom and what she wants. Her husband is illustrated as the stereotypical man during the 19th century, as he is the dominate breadwinner of the family, who too deserts his position as the play reaches its end. A key theme that is brought to light in A
She seems to feel resentment toward the fact that he has not loved and cherished her throughout the course of their marriage. Louise's thoughts continue to build as she thinks to herself "There would be no powerful will bending hers in that blind persistence with which men and women believe they have a right to impose a private will upon a fellow-creature" (23). This statement shows how he has held her back from expressing herself as a person and has forced his strong will upon her with which to obey. Nora has also been forced to conform to her role in society. She has conformed to playing the role of a caring housewife and mother. Her husband Torvald keeps a tight reign on her and makes sure that she behaves only as he pleases. In one instance, he detects that Nora has not been truthful with him. He remarks, "My little song-bird must never do that again. A song-bird must have a clean beak to chirp with?no false notes" (761)! This remark allows the audience to understand how much control he has over Nora. Throughout this story, Mr. Helmer maintains an arrogant attitude and expects Nora to always agree with him. In one instance, Nora remarks to him, "But don't you think it is nice of me too, to do as you wish?" Torvald responds, "Nice??because you do as your husband wishes?" "Well, well, you little rogue, I am sure you did not mean it in that way" (761). Nora's feelings are constantly repressed and regarded as unimportant to Torvald. He admits that he
Nora is treated like a child by Torvald, but she is accustomed to it and believes he loves her dearly. However, an important component of a successful and true marriage is trust, which is lacking in the Helmers’ marriage. Nora keeps a secret from Torvald while he is reluctant to trust her with money, let alone his reputation (Ibsen 2, 3, 13). When Torvald discovers that Nora has kept a secret from him, he is furious and takes away her right to raise the children without a second thought (Ibsen 83). However, while Torvald was throwing a fit, Nora comprehends that he has never loved her and that she was forcing herself to believe she loved him (Ibsen 87). Like Nora, Edna knew that she and her husband, Leonce, never loved each other; she thought he was her ticket out of her old life while he thought of her as his possession (Chopin 8, 29). Both Edna and Nora were raised to be obedient wives, but Edna, after her awakening, felt like marriage was “one of the most lamentable spectacles on earth” and did not try to save her marriage (Chopin 100). Love was sometimes not a factor that determined marriage; money and image was usually more preferred.
“The matter must be hushed up at any cost. And as for you and me, it must appear as if everything between us were just as it were before –but naturally only in the eyes of the world.” Helmer stated. In this very sentence the author highlighted the standing views on marriage and political views. It is clear that Helmer is not happy with his wife after what she has done and to learn of how she has lied. Helmer is not worried about his marriage and his wife’s feelings, he is worried about what others will think. Through this dialogue in the play it become clear to the audience that what is important in society shouldn’t be. The characters were influence by other around them, others views and perceptions of them. It was shamed upon to have a broken marriage and a deceitful wife. Helmer states, “Before all else, you are a wife and a mother.” Nora replies, “I don’t believe in that any longer. I believe that before all else I am a reasonable human being, just as you are-or, at all events, that I must try and become one.” (Page 1390) Henrik did an amazing job at touching on key points of societies views and did it in such a way that empowers women and the feminist movements. In a time when woman are encouraged to be obedient and act as a second citizen, the author wrote this story out differently. Nora realizes her worth as a woman and understands that her feelings are more than just second best
In his play, A Doll's House, Henrik Ibsen depicts a female protagonist, Nora Helmer, who dares to defy her husband and forsake her "duty" as a wife and mother to seek out her individuality. A Doll's House challenges the patriarchal view held by most people at the time that a woman's place was in the home. Many women could relate to Nora's situation. Like Nora, they felt trapped by their husbands and their fathers; however, they believed that the rules of society prevented them from stepping out of the shadows of men. Through this play, Ibsen stresses the importance of women's individuality. A Doll's House combines realistic characters, fascinating imagery, explicit stage directions, and
In Henrik Ibesen's play A Doll House, Nora Helmer struggles with telling her husband, Torvald Helmer, the truth about a loan she receives for them to go to Italy when he was sick. Consequently, when Torvald learns of the news he instantly insults Nora and declares that she has "ruined [his] happiness" (Ibesen 93). However, when Torvald tries to dismiss his insults after receiving a note that her contract was revoked, she does not accept his apologizes and decides to leave Torvald and her children to "make sense of [her]self and everything around [her]" (Ibesen 100). Her selfish decision to leave makes her a bad wife and mother, but she there are a few more characteristics that makes her a bad wife. The characteristics that Nora shows in
childish actions. Helmer grows accustom to being the father figure to Nora and in essence
Later in Act I, her friend Mrs. Linde visits Nora. Even in their conversation Mrs. Linde comments on Nora's childish behavior. "Well my heavens - a little needlework and such - Nora, you're just a child." (Ibsen 1511). Nora quickly defends herself, in some sense to regain her standing within her own ranks. "I've also got something to be proud and happy for. I'm the one who saved Torvald's life." (Ibsen 1511). By doing this Nora is secretly undermining society and providing for her husband. In contrast to society beliefs at the time, shouldn't a wife provide for her husband in his sickness? Thus creating an interesting paradox passed upon wedding vows. Apparently not or Nora would have confided in Torvald sooner. "Mrs. Linde: And you've never confided..." (Ibsen 1512).
Ibsen’s character Nora in A Doll’s House, shows gradual development throughout the play to support his theme that above all else, you are human; even in marriage both parties should be given the equal opportunities, rights and respect. While Nora may at first seem happy with her life inside her “doll house”, she begins to recognize that she must find herself, and stop being a toy in the lives of men.
Nora wanted to protect and do what was best for her family, but when things are done based on lies things usually turn out bad. A marriage should be based on love and trust. If there is no
This drama questions the authority of man over woman. While the Victorian woman did not usually question their husband's entitlement to household authority, they desired trust and intimacy which made them less ready to accept husbands who treated them as inferior being which is reflected in Nora’s reaction in the last scene. Women were less educated which made them vulnerable in the society this also made living alone for the women very difficult as they had no source of income. Even if the woman was educated they were allowed to do low paying jobs only. During the Victorian period men and women’s roles became sharply defined than at any time in history. Men and women had their different spheres which were not allowed to mingle with each other. They didn’t interfere in each other’s matters. As we see in the drama Helmer has his own study where he was undisrupted. Women didn’t had any say in the decisions pertaining to their social well-being. Everything was decided by the male and the female had to follow it. Too many rules and regulations were imposed on women. Women were expected to engage in fragile and simple