A Play about Humanism
What is Humanism? According to Merriam-Webster, humanism is a philosophy that usually rejects supernaturalism and stresses an individual’s dignity and worth and capacity for self-realization through reason. Humanism is not just about males or just about females; its about humans living as one. In Henrik Ibsen’s A Doll’s House, humanism is shown through every single word and every single detail. A Doll’s House centers on humanism because it demonstrates the search for identity, living up to societal standards, and believing that men and women are equal.
Throughout the entire play, each character searches for their true identity. First by her father then by Torvald, Nora is treated like a doll her entire life. She does not know how to live any other way. All the men in her life treat her as a porcelain figurine as if she did not know any better. On page 181, Nora quotes, “When I lived with Papa, he used to tell me what he thought about everything, so I never had any opinions but his. And if I did have any of my own, I kept them quiet, because he wouldn’t have liked them. He called me his little doll, and he played with me just the way I played with my dolls. Then I came here to the live in your house--” In this quote, Nora describes to Torvald how she never had no say in her life; she always was someone’s shadow. Once she decides to leave Torvald, she has found her true identity. She decides to become an independent women and try to figure life out on her own. Nora isn’t the only character that is on a search for their true identity though. Krogstad is decried as morally corrupt by many of the characters. On page 157, “…And yet this fellow Krogstad has been sitting at home all these years poisoning his children with his lies and pretenses…” Krogstad, a single father, forged a document and got caught in his act. At the end of the play, the readers find out that Mrs. Linde and Krogstad had a relationship a while back in the life. Mrs. Linde...
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