A Doll’s House A) 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. ” B/C) 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,” further distinguishes the dominance of men within the contextual social structure. The relationship between Nora and her husband Torvald represents the significant dominance of men.Nora is defined by her “sacred obligations” as a mother and wife, and her relationship with Torvald strips her of any independence.
The power women had during the Victorian era was intensely inhibited by their husbands; this is reflected within the play as Torvald restricts Nora’s sovereignty by controlling her supply of money. It can be said that Ibsen wrote this play commenting on the arrogance of men and the notion that they need to be a “savior. This is asserted within the play through Torvald’s desire to protect her and fluctuates in the power of being able to rescue Nora from “some deadly danger” in order to “give my heart’s blood, my life, for you.
” This further insinuates the belief that women were essentially weaker, and required to be looked after, which in turn creates inequality within the social structure of the Victorian era. A Doll’s House provides us an insight to the contextual issues within society at the time.Torvald is represented as a shallow man who acts repressively towards his wife. He creates rules of behavior for Nora restraining her from eating certain foods and only wearing certain dresses, as if Nora was a doll, “always merry, never happy. ” Through the play, it conveys an image of a society where females were confined in almost every way possible. A society where everything they did was to please their husband and were not allowed independence as it was met with harsh repercussions.In essence, the paradigms of a wife within the Victorian era were expected to be seen, but never heard.
“From this moment happiness is not the question; all that concerns us is to save the remains, the fragments, the appearance – ” (Act Three) Through this quote, a comment on the contextual priorities of men can be established. Torvald, having found out about Nora’s debt, he does not appreciate her sacrifice and takes her for granted.He does not consider her perspective or feelings and abruptly rejects her as a wife and refuses her as a mother for their children yet he demands to remain living together. This act provides a perception into the contextual concepts within the time period. That men were concerned only with the preservation of appearance and respectability.
A Doll’s House is a play which follows the gradual development of individual sovereignty for a Victorian woman. In doing so, it challenges accepted Victorian ways of thinking in relation to women.Ibsen has mostly achieved this through the exploration of the relationship between Nora and Torvald as Nora lives a doll like existence, symbolic for conformity to societal expectations and her inferior role to her husband. D) Ibsen wrote the play in the form of a realist drama, which meant the characters all used a basic, everyday vocabulary, consisting of colloquial expressions and jargon. Only the poetic language was used by respected members of society such as the doctor and lawyer, representing the difference of sophistication within the class structures whilst also creating more depth and refinement.Ibsen uses poetic language to allow the audience to make assumptions of what the characters trying to say, for example, a character describes being left by a women through a melodramatic quote; “now I am shipwrecked man clinging to a spar.
” This technique further creates a sense of distinction and composure within the higher classes of the social structure. Bibliography http://en. wikipedia. org/wiki/A_Doll’s_House http://www.
gradesaver. com/a-dolls-house/study-guide/short-summary/ http://www. bookrags. com/notes/dh/QUO. html http://www. novelguide. com/ADoll’sHouse/toptenquotes.