’s “A Doll House” Essay, Research Paper
Henrick Ibsen is a writer that uses literature to channel entertainment and express himself throughout the play, ?A Doll?s House?. He wrote the play during the transition from mythical and historical dramas to plays dealing with social problems. At the time that Ibsen wrote ?A Doll?s House?, the later 1800?s, society has created a niche for the woman as a housewife and social partner, lacking emphasis on love. This controversial play features a female protagonist seeking her individuality through realizations and challenging her comfort zone. Isben, through Nora and her personality, depicts the role of women not as the usual comforter, helper, and supporter of man, but introduced woman as having her own purposes and goals. The heroine, Nora, progresses during the course of the play eventually to realize that she must discontinue the role of a doll and seek out her individuality.
Definite characteristics of woman?s subordinate role in a relationship are emphasized through Nora’s contradicting actions. As a person, she enjoys making Torvald happy, but will not follow his guidelines. Her infatuation with luxuries like expensive Christmas gifts contradicts her resourcefulness in scrounging and buying cheap clothing. Also, 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. This sheds light to the characteristics of a dependent woman. It seems at this time women marry for tradition, money, safety, and love. Ibsen attracts the reader?s attention to these examples to show the general subordinate role that a woman plays compared to that of her husband. . It can be suggested that women have the power to choose which rules to follow at home, but not in the business world, thus again indicating her willingness to be subservient. Nora does not at first realize that the rules outside the household apply to her. This is evident in Nora’s meeting with Krogstad regarding her borrowed money. In her opinion it was no crime for a woman to do everything possible to save her husband’s life. She also believes that her act will be overlooked because she is used to dealing with a flexible and predictable Torvald, rather than the law. She doesn?t see that the law does not take into account the motivation behind her forgery. Ibsen uses Nora?s traits to bluntly portray the women in society as in a position of needed change. Her first encounter with rules outside of her “doll’s house” results in the realization of her inexperience with the real world due to her subordinate role in society and Ibsen sparks the thought of change.
“A Doll’s House” is also a prediction of change from this subordinate roll. Ibsen foreshadows as well as promotes the change women will eventually make to progress and understand their position. She needs to be more of a rolemodel for her children. It was seen that Nora didn?t think she was fit to mother them. From this point, when Torvald is making a speech about the effects of a deceitful mother, until the final scene, Nora progressively confronts the realities of the real world and realizes her subordinate position. From this point, progressively understanding this position, she still clings to the hope that her husband will come to her protection and defend her from the outside world once her crime is out in the open. After she reveals the “dastardly deed” to her husband, he becomes understandably agitated; in his frustration he shares the outside world with her, the ignorance of the serious business world, and destroys her innocence and self-esteem. This disillusion marks the final destructive blow to her doll’s house. Their ideal home including their marriage and parenting has been a product of society. Nora’s decision to leave this false life behind and discover for herself what is real is directly symbolic of woman’s ultimate realization. Although she becomes aware of her supposed way of being subservient is not because of this that she has the desire to take action. Nora is utterly confused and anxious as seen in, ?She is groping sadly in a maze of confused feeling toward a way of life and a destiny of which she is most uncertain (256).” The one thing she is aware of is her ignorance, and her desire to go out into the world is not to “prove herself” but to discover and educate herself. Isben wants her to strive to find her individuality. This gives her more struggles to face and over come to gain wisdom.
Ibsen, through this controversial play, has an impact upon society’s view of the subordinate position of women. By describing this role of woman, discussing its effects, and predicting a change in contemporary views, he stressed the importance of woman’s realization of this believed inferiority. Woman should no longer be seen as the shadow of man, but a person in herself, with her own triumphs and tragedies. The exploration of Nora reveals that she is dependant upon her husband and displays no independent standing. Her progression of understanding suggests woman’s future ability to comprehend their plight. Her state of shocked awareness at the end of the play is like the awakening of society to the changing view of the role of woman. Through, “A Doll’s House” Isben magnificently illustrates the need for and a prediction of this change.