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Henrik Ibsen A Doll's House

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Henrik Ibsen A Doll's House

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How Society is Portrayed in "A Doll's House" In "A Doll's House", Ibsen illustrates how society dictates our attitudes and behaviors. Yet he also subtly gives the reader insight to the fact that we cannot fully blame society for our attitudes and behaviors, as we are a part of society, and can control our own attitudes and behaviors and can change them as Nora decides to do. Most readers and critics of "A Doll's House" assume that the point that Ibsen was trying to get across was that women should have equal rights and be treated equally. However, according to Ibsen's Women, Ibsen had no intention of being a feminist writer in any sense and vehemently denied it up until his death. The goal of Ibsen was to show that people let society manipulate how they live their lives and bar them from finding out who they really are. (Templeton, 110) In "A Doll's House" Nora's situation is not only a fault of her own but that of her father's and of her husbands. However the fault is mainly that of society's. It is not until Nora unconsciously tries to break the rules of society and to take a minute amount of power for herself that disaster ensues in her life and she must realize that she needs to find out the person she really is and strive to become that person.

The view of society or rather, that of Nora's peers and herself is that the role of a woman in marriage is to be the role of the submissive, attentive wife. Her role mainly comprises of living for her husband and her children. In this light, at the beginning of the play Nora is characterized to be the common stereotype of the Victorian woman. She is made out to be submissive, sneaky, an "irrational and frivolous narcissist", unintelligent yet beautiful, and "scatterbrained" as illustrated when Torvald repeatedly calls Nora little pet names which are in reality insulting. (Templeton, 112) Women of the Victorian age were not supposed to make more money than their husbands, or to really make money at all if they were...