Henrik Ibsen's play "A Dolls House" is a play about a woman who is living a stereotypical life and she doesn't realize it. Nora has been forced into believing that she is happy acting as a child for Torvald until she realizes the men around her stunted her growth as a person. Nora's husband was all about keeping up appearances and Nora fit right into his idea of what a wife should be. Nora soon realized that she wasn't an individual living with Torvald and she wanted more. She wanted to find out who she was.
Women were supposed to be a good wife and mother by keeping the house clean, keeping the children happy and of course pleasing the husband as well. If a woman leaves her husband and children for any reason she will be an outcast because as a woman it is her duty to make her husband and children happy or at least to keep pretending that they are. It was a masculine world and women didn't have much say in anything. Whatever her husband believed in she had no choice but to believe in it too.
Torvald believed women were helpless and in some ways they were children. The way Torvald speaks to Nora shows hoe he feels about her. "Is that my little lark twittering out there?" or he'll say "Is that my squirrel rummaging around?"(1.1.4-6) this is they way he talks to her throughout the whole play. At first the names can be seen as playful and loving but after a while it can get a little insulting. She is a grown woman but he keeps calling her little as if she is not his equal. Also the names he calls her are not even human their animal's small animals that rummage and fly around. He is also possessive. Always saying "my" when referring to her as if she was just made for him to please him and to act just the way he wants her to almost like a puppet.
Torvald and Kristine refer to Nora as a child. At the beginning of the play we see Nora acting childish by begging for money and hiding macaroons. She seems selfish and silly but Torvald seems amused by this behavior...
Cited: Ibsen, Henrik. "A Doll 's House."
Responding To literature. 5th ed.
Ed. Judith A Stanford. New York:
Magraw-Hill, 2006. 608-65.
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