IN THE NAME OF THE FATHER:
AN ANALYSIS OF NORA, THE MEN IN HER LIFE,
AND HER NAVIGATATION TO INDEPENDENCE
The play, A Doll House, written by Henrik Ibsen in 1879, is considered a landmark in drama for its portrayal of realistic people, places, and situations. Ibsen confines his story to the middle class. He writes of a society that is limited not only by its means of livelihood but also its outlook. Ibsen portrays his characters as preoccupied with work and money, showing a reduction of values in and that lack of quality persons with morals. Ibsen takes this realistic story and invests it with universal significance. Wrapped up in the technique of this well constructed play, Ibsen is masterful in his presentation of not only realism, but he holds a mirror up to the society of his day by using the male figures as catalysts for Nora's ultimate knowledge of self-actualization. He accomplishes this with such precision that the audience might not be aware all the subtleties that are creating their theatrical experience.
In A Doll House, Nora forges the name of her father and risks damaging her husband's good name. Henrik Ibsen offers remarkable insight into the nineteenth century preoccupation with the family and the role of the father, and what role is projected upon those who are subjugated to him. This play takes up the subject of strong women and weak men within the plot. A prominent theme within this drama is the deterioration of the male, who is aware of his role as a "father figure". This decomposition is observed by the female protagonist (Nora). It is this descent that the role of the father figure is shaped, while creating the catalyst for the catharsis or change in Nora. When the female protagonist challenges patriarchal authority, she does so by undermining in one form or another both the dominant male and his family name....