Rights of Women in the Nineteenth Century and in Henrik Ibsen’s A Doll’s House

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Henrik Ibsen, who was born in Norway but made his name internationally, was a painter as well as the one of most famous playwrights during the period of Realism. Ibsen’s plays are well-known by the themes of domestic and political issues and conflict in nineteenth century. Scholars call it “Ibsen’s problems play” (Henrik Ibsen, 650). In addition, in Ibsen’s plays, the general topics that are usually discussed are hypocrisy of the society, restriction of women, and the self-sacrifice.
Under the influence of Industrial Revolution, the conflict between classes and the struggle among workers were becoming more and more intense, especially among women. By responding to French Rvolution, “Liberty” was the key word for nineteenth century (The
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Torvald is a good husband, but he treats Nora merely as a pretty doll. Moreover, Torvald is also the money provider of the family, which gives him even more power and pride. However, Nora’s husband does not expect her to be independent or thoughtful. It seems that Torvald even enjoys Nora is being dependent and childish, so he can keep his pride and control over Nora. Due to Nora’s dependency and Torvald’s domination, an equal relationship does not exist in their marriage. Especially on the act III, during their last intense argue, Torvald even says, “You are out of your mind! I won't allow it! I forbid you!” (Ibsen, Act III, 658). This also reflects on the marriage situations in the society of the nineteenth century. Generally, the women were no more than an accessory, or a doll to the men. Husband nearly listened to their wives’ thoughts and had a deep conversation with them.
Second, Even though the women in the nineteenth century were expected to self-sacrifice to their husbands and children, their sacrifices may not be appreciated. They did not receive the respect and understanding they ought to have. The most difficult time for Helmer’s family was the time when Torvald got a severe disease. Nora had to borrow money from a despicable lawyer Krogstad, Nora imitated her father’s signature. Later on, krogstad uses the fake signature to threat Nora. Even though Nora thinks the society will understand her
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