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Torvald And Nora's Inequality

Decent Essays
Nineteenth century Europe is significant for the incorporation of philosophical thinking from the Enlightenment in politics. In the early nineteenth century, Norway was experiencing a large economic boom from advancements in technology and exports. Liberalization began within the economic and political systems, sparking social and cultural reform. Also, the rights of women, specifically unmarried women were strengthened to improve their social status. In years prior, it was believed that in order to have a successful Christian marriage men and women were expected to follow prescribed marriage roles. A husband was responsible for providing financial and protective security, while a wife was responsible for household duties and childcare. A…show more content…
Nora is outwardly submissive and always eager to please Torvald. By contrast, Torvald is a dominant figure that takes control over Nora’s life similar to the way a father would with his daughter. For most of the play, Torvald rarely calls Nora by her name, using pet names instead. For example, “my little lark,” “my squirrel,” and “little spendthrift” are used to describe Nora in the scene of the play (1251). The use of the word “my” emphasizes the control and ownership Torvald feels like he has over Nora’s life. Additionally, their relationship is characterized by a giving and receiving roles. However, the give and take is not shared equally enough. Nora remarks on this when she says, “But don't you think it is nice of me, too, to do as you wish?’ Torvald: ‘Nice?—because you do as your husband wishes? Well, well, you little rogue, I am sure you did not mean it in that way’” (1279). Nora is recognizing the inequality in her marriage when she tells Torvald that she is being “nice” when she follows his directions and cares for their family. This is crucial because Torvald disregards Nora by belittling her role in their marriage and making it seem as though she contributes nothing to their relationship. The interactions between Torvald and Nora emphasize the inequality in their
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