A Doll’s House, by Henrik Ibsen

Topics: Henrik Ibsen, Woman, Wife Pages: 2 (405 words) Published: April 28, 2013
A Doll’s House

A Doll’s House, by Henrik Ibsen, was first performed in 1879 in Denmark at the Royal Theatre. It is a play that goes against the social norms of the 19th century and exemplifies women in a questionable way. The play would not be what it is today without the unique theatrical components that made it a provocative and realistic drama. A few of these realistic components include its feminism point of view, Christmas setting, New Years, the living room environment and the rebellious attitude of one the main characters, Nora.

Feminism today is very different from what it was in 1879. Throughout the play, the female characters exemplify feministic characteristics that made the play controversial for its time. The first example of feminism is when Nora’s husband, Tovald, treats her as if she isn’t human. He calls her pet names and dehumanizes her. Torvald says, “Come, come; my little lark mustn’t droop her wings like that. What? Is my squirrel in the sulks?” (Ibsen 2358). There is no excuse for the way Torvald treats Nora. This phrase sets up the character and his relationship with his wife. While some suggest it is the structure of the home itself that plays into the doll house effect, most critics will argue that Torvald's demeaning nature taken with Nora is the reason she leaves her family at the end of the play. Another feministic characteristic seen in the play is when Torvald tells Nora that her only duty is to take care of her husband and children… “Nora: "What do you consider my most sacred duties?" Torvald: “your duties to your husband and your children.” Nora: "I have other duties just as sacred. […] Duties to myself” Torvald: “Before all else you are a wife and mother” (Ibsen 2402). During Ibsen’s time, the idea that a woman may have more worth other than homemaking and being a mother was outrageous and looked down upon. Men did not see women as anything more than a maid and caretaker of men and children and therefore Torvald...
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