A Doll’s House
Written by a Norwegian playwright Henrik Ibsen in 1879, A Doll's House is a three act play written in prose about a seemingly typical housewife, Nora Helmer. The story revolves around a committed forgery in order to save the life of her authoritarian husband Torvald whose career is in jeopardy due to blackmail from Nora’s previous lawyer. In the novel, Ibsen conveys a bleak picture of the sacrificial role held by women of all economic classes in his society and through the protagonist’s gradual development of independence, challenges the typical ideology held within the Victorian period. It is arguable the play's theme is not centralized around women's rights, but rather "the need of every individual to find out the kind of person he or she really is and to strive to become that person."
A Doll’s House, written in the 19th century became infamous for its representation of society’s constraints. When the play was first presented to the public, it enraged audience members as the thought of a woman seeking freedom from her husband and children was outrageous. Ibsen challenges the conventional ways of thinking in regards to women’s rights and roles through this play, reflected through the protagonist’s extreme individuality. In the opening stage of the play, Nora is susceptible to societal expectations as she fulfills the role of an ordinary housewife. The man dominance within the marriage is expressed through husband’s manner his patronizing tone, calling her a “featherbrain,” “Squirrel” and a “lark.” Her acceptance of this treatment further emphasizes herself as a subordinate to her husband. These names symbolize creatures that will eventually break free through societal constraints and escape and it can be said that Ibsen uses this imagery and symbolism to challenge the traditional ways of thinking during the Victorian era. The quote “whatever happens, I’ll be strong enough, brave enough. I’m a man, I’ll carry the burden alone,”...
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