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The Story of Feminist Issues

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The Story of Feminist Issues

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Book Review

Set in the 1870s, A Dollhouse was among the first to present a three-act play with quite a different tone and theme, addressing feminist issues that have been never before seen acted out on stage. With the intriguing dialogue and the mystery of the plot, rest assured this play-turned-book could be very much considered, a great read. With even just the title hinting on the message of the play, readers would be surprised at how unpredictable and in-depth the characters and events would turn out to be.

Taking place during Christmas time at the home of Torvald and Nora Helmer, the story starts off with the couple affectionately and playfully engaging in a conversation. Torvald tells his wife he has recently obtained a new position at the bank where he works that will afford them a more comfortable lifestyle. Despite the image of a happy and healthy marriage, Torvald is already seen quite paternalistic and dominant over his wife, insulting her ability to be responsible with money, calling her a “featherhead” and following with demeaning pet names such as “sweet little skylark” and “little squirrel. He is controlling, dictating what she can and cannot eat, and what she should wear to a party. Initially going along with all of this, Nora appears to be subordinate and obedient to her husband, but as the play progresses, her character is revealed as a woman much stronger-willed, intelligent and dignified than what she first seems to be.

As the conflict of the play begins to unfold, Nora is seen to have done something, which could seriously damage her relationship with her husband, so she decides to keep this from him. But since complications arise and blackmail comes to the equation, her husband soon finds out and is truly outraged. But with the arrival of a letter, he completely forgets his past insults and just instantly forgives her. Nora, wanting nothing but to have a happy home initially, realizes the reality of her situation; Torvald...