A Doll ‘s House By Henrik Ibsen Essay

During the late 1800s, gender inequality was one of the common issues that existed in the society. Men and women were often distinguished among themselves. Men were regularly portrayed as the one who had power and strength, whereas women were supposed to do all the household work and they were seen as weak and trivial. Henrick Ibsen shows a prefect illustration of this example in the play A Doll’s House. Ibsen develops a notion of how the existence of gender roles in society affected one’s lives. The protagonist Nora, whose identity is shaped after seeing her husband’s actions, which depicts his beliefs of gender inequality, demonstrates this idea.

The protagonist, Nora and her husband belong to a middle class family, who are looking forward to an amazing opportunity when Torvald becomes the manager of a bank. In the opening scene, Torvald is seen as calling Nora some silly names such as “little squirrel” and a “spendthrift”. In this scene, Ibsen tries to show the readers the affections that Torvald has for his wife; however, later in the play, it is shown that Torvald calls his wife silly names to show his dominance over her. He proves that he considers himself to be more empowering than Nora. However, Nora does not take it an insult, she feel like this is how her husband shows her love. Nora is gullible and does not realize Torvalds’s behavior. She does not realize at she is being distinguished from her husband just because she is a woman. She ignores the gender discrimination and buys guns for her sons and dolls for her daughters. The dolls that Nora is getting her daughters are parallel to her own image as it foreshadows that she has been a doll all her life. Her husband treats her like a doll, more specifically a child, and…

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… her desires fulfilled even though she works. She is busy saving up for the loan that she never spends much on herself. She always wears the simplest and cheapest things, but makes sure that her children are always well dressed. Torvald also does not get to go out for vacations and holidays like other young women, but she takes Torvald to the south for his betterment. This shows that Nora cares more for Torvalds’s happiness and his needs than Torvald cares about her. At one point in time of the pay, Nora talks about an old man leaving his property under Nora’s name when he dies. This demonstrates that Nora knows that Torvald would not leave anything for her after his death.

Torvald makes it clear to Nora that a mother has more influence on the children than the father; however, if the mother and father ever separate, the children will be leaving with their father.

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