Ibsen’s Play, a Doll’s House

Topics: 19th century, Woman, Human Pages: 2 (555 words) Published: November 11, 2008
Ibsen’s play, A Doll’s House, examines the roles of a woman in a male dominated society. Middle class, nineteenth century women were required to assume certain role’s. Their duties include dutiful wife, childlike mother, and seductress. Although, at first Nora accepts these roles she eventually rejects them. Nora assumes the restrictive role of a childlike yet dutiful wife. In addition, Nora assumes the restrictive role of a seductress. However, she eventually rejects these roles.

Nora believes she can provide a better way of life for herself rather than the one currently placed upon her. Nora’s rejection occurs when she leaves Helmer. She frees herself from all of the obligations of her marriage. Nora faces the truth in the relationship and Helmer is faced with denial. Nora leaves because she can no longer withstand the life she living and believes she can support herself. Nora realizes she must go out into the world and educate herself, and because Nora renounces Helmer and decides to provide for herself, she successfully rejects the roles society placed on her.

Slowly Nora's character is forced to discontinue her inauthentic role of a doll and seek out her individuality, her new authentic identity. She comes to realize that her whole life has been a lie. She lived her life pretending to be the old Nora, and hid the changed woman she had become. The illusion of the old Nora continues well after she becomes a new person. When she realizes that responsibilities for herself are more important, Nora slams the door on not just Torvald but on everything that happened in her past. It took time to evolve into a new person, but after she did she became a person who could not stand to be oppressed by Torvald any longer. Nora says, "I've been your wife-doll here, just as at home I was Papa's doll-child."

Nora and Torvald's relationship lacks in a way that they do not view each other as equals. Torvald does not allow his wife to think for herself and she lives...
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