Interpretation Of Ibsen's "A Doll's House"



"A Doll's House" is classified under the "second phase" of Henrik Ibsen's career. It was during this period which he made the transition from mythical and historical dramas to plays dealing with social problems. It was the first in a series investigating the tensions of family life. Written during the Victorian era, the controversial play featuring a female protagonist seeking individuality stirred up more controversy than any of his other works. In contrast to many dramas of Scandinavia in that time which depicted the role of women as the comforter, helper, and supporter of man, "A Doll's House" introduced woman as having her own purposes and goals. The heroine, Nora Helmer, ...

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to emphasize the need to reform their role in society.
Definite characteristics of the women's subordinate role in a relationship are emphasized through Nora's contradicting actions. Her infatuation with luxuries such as expensive Christmas gifts contradicts her resourcefulness in scrounging and buying cheap clothing; her defiance of Torvald by eating forbidden Macaroons contradicts the submission of her opinions, including the decision of which dance outfit to wear, to her husband; and Nora's flirtatious nature contradicts her devotion to her husband. These occurrences emphasize the facets of a relationship in which women play a dependent role: finance, power, and love. Ibsen attracts our attention to these examples to highlight the overall subordinate role that a woman plays compared to that of her husband. The two sides of Nora contrast each other greatly and accentuate the fact that she is lacking in independence of will.
The mere fact that Nora's well-intentioned action ...

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evident through her minor acts of disobedience and lack of responsibility compiled with her lack of sophistication further emphasize the subordinate role of woman. By the end of the play this is evident as she eventually sees herself as an ignorant person, and unfit mother, and essentially her husband's wife. Edmond Gosse highlights the point that "Her insipidity, her dollishness, come from the incessant repression of her family life (721)." Nora has been spoonfed everything she has needed in life. Never having to think has caused her to become dependent on others. This dependency has given way to subordinateness, one that has grown into a social standing. Not only a position in ...

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Added: 4/18/2004 06:02:51 PM
Category: Arts
Type: Premium Paper
Words: 1316
Pages: 5

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