Inequality which Led to A Break Up
Hearing the word “family” we should not only picture a husband and a wife raising their children, but also a mutual behavior within the couple. Henrik Ibsen's play, written in 1879, called “A Doll House” is written particularly about a couple, a banker, Torvald, and a housewife, Nora. The story takes place during a period of time, when the status of women is not equal and suppressed comparing to men within the marriage. As the play progresses, it seems that Nora loves her husband, nevertheless being treated as a child. Torvald does not trust anything to Nora, especially his money. He thinks that Nora is too foolish to handle neither money nor any business. Obviously Nora does not like the fact that her husband thinks she is foolish, but because of her love towards her husband, the situation in the society and risk of losing her husband, she pretends that everything is fine. She realizes that the only way to stay in a relationship with Torvald is to become his puppet; a puppet which would do everything to satisfy his owner. Even at time when she is not agree with Torvald, she would lie and say that he was reasonable; she would pretend that she cannot make any step without his help. At the end of the play Nora seems to be fed being treated like a child, and decides to leave.
“A Doll House” is a classical play which illustrates the gender roles of the nineteenth century. The happening in the relationship of Torvald and Nora is typical for that society. Most of the families would not mind to live according to the law of the society, where women rights are suppressed. However, it is not the case in this particular play. Being unable to reconcile with Torvald's mistreatment, Nora leaves the “doll house” created by her husband.
Torvald's nature of his feeling towards his wife is not traditional. Torvald treats Nora neither as woman, nor as a mother of his children, but as a doll. He treats her as a property that he owns. For Torvald, Nora is a beautiful looking doll and nothing else. Torvald is fond of only Nora's physical appearance. It is very important for Torvald to have a high social status within the society, since he is a banker. Guo Yuehua, an associate professor of School of Foreign Languages in Zhongnan University of Economics and Law, in his article “Gender Struggle over Ideological Power in Ibsen’s A Doll’s House” gives a description to the ideology of male protagonist of the play, “His [Torvald's] ideology is conditioned by social standards and his conception of manliness is based on man’s social values.” (81) To have a beautiful and young wife provides Torvald a social satisfaction. It is a pleasure for Torvald to show up in a public with his beautiful Nora. He walks with her as if he was carrying a victorious trophy, awakening everybody's jealousy. Many might think that Torvald brings Nora with him because he loves her. Unfortunately, it is the biggest misconception. In one of the conversations Torvald says, “And I couldn't wish you anything but just what you are, my sweet little lark. But wait; it seems to me you have a very – what should I call it? – a very suspicious look today – ” (Ibsen 891) Calling his wife using animal names such as, “squirrel”, “lark” nad “spendthrift”, illustrates Torvald's disrespectful and senseless treatment towards his wife. Torvalds’s lack of love can be seen in his behavior within the house. Coming home, he would never walk into the house with a bunch of flowers or gifts that would make his wife happy. He is too concerned about his job and his social status that he does not really care about his wife. Nora is a doll, who lives in a doll house; a doll which Torvald plays with whenever he wants to; a doll which satisfies her master.
Moreover, Torvald is so attracted to her sexuality that he just wants Nora to be a woman who could give him a physical pleasure. Right after tarantella, Torvald brings Nora to their room and tell her how much...