A Doll's House View on Gender Status

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The play A Doll’s House is a play that was written in 1879. This play is about how the roles of men and women differ, where the husbands are seen as the sole providers for their family while the wife takes care of the children. Although this play was written in the 1800’s, the themes of this play are still relevant to our society today. The unbalanced roles, where one gender is deemed more superior than the other, is the issue I would raise to my audience.

In 2.505-642, Nora is being threatened by Krogstad by saying he will tell her husband about her loan to him. This is an example of a man having great power over a woman, as Krogstad is able to blackmail Nora with something that she’s desperate to keep from her spouse. If I were directing this play, I would make specific costume choices for these characters. I would use the costume choices to further display the harsh division of status between the two genders. I would have Nora dressed in a long white dress suitable for the 1800s. The dress would be simple, plain, but frilly at the bottom. It would be white to display the innocence that her husband sees in her thus far, and the frills would further accentuate her feminine qualities (such as dancing and serving her husband). The dress would also display her feminine curves, but in a subtle way. Krogstad would be dressed in formal attire; he will be wearing a dress shirt and tie with dress pants to show his position at the bank that he wants to keep. However, I would also have him dressed in a large and dark fur coat. This not only accentuates his status in wealth, but also shows a “manly” demeanor; the fur coat contrasts with Nora’s thin, lightly coloured dress. It gives off the visual impression of Krogstad’s power over Nora as well as a “beauty and the beast” essence. Costume design is one way in which I would display the issue of gender status in our society through this play.
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