A Dollhouse

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Kerri Smith
December 7, 2012
Drama Paper

In the story “A Doll’s House” written by Henrik Ibsen, the author uses many different references including dolls, puppets, and play things to show his ideas about gender and societal roles in the 19th century. Ibsen’s ideas on these gender and societal role demonstrate that he believes that women are inferior to men during this time frame. This story illustrates that men are completely superior to women in this point in history. Women do not nearly have the same responsibilities or duties as men. The gender roles that are presented to men and women are based off of what society believes their roles are. Ibsen is able to show through his characters in the story the gender roles and the societal roles that both women and men play.

The gender roles that are presented in the story clearly show that men are the superior gender that to women. Ibsen presents his ideas through the main characters; a married couple named Torvald and Nora. This married couple is able to thoroughly demonstrate what the men and women’s roles were during this time. Torvald is the one that seems to possess all of the power in the relationship and is often talking down to Nora without even realizing it. “Torvald: Come, come, my little skylark must not droop her wings. What is this! Is my little squirrel out of temper? Nora, what do you think I have got here?” “Nora: Money!” (1.1.24-25). Torvald is constantly referring to Nora as “little” throughout the story and is showing the power he possesses over his wife. Being referred to as “little” is repeatedly showing the superiority of the husband over the wife. This is also somewhat dehumanizing Nora, making it as though she does not have any rights. With men having control over the women, it also meant having control of the money. Men during this time were the ones that held all of the money and possessions. During this time, women could not have jobs or even possess money of their own....
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