Essay on A Doll ‘s House By Henrik Ibsen

Gender norms have always been an issue in society. When the colonists first arrived in America, men viewed women as inferior. At this point in time, women were viewed as property, which meant that they possessed no rights or freedoms. In addition, women were often forced to stay in their homes and work specific jobs. Colonial women washed clothes, took care of their children, and cooked food. Women also began to be viewed as inferior, childish, and unintelligent. Over time, these beliefs became the gender norms. To this day, most women remain to be viewed in this way. In the play A Doll’s House, Henrik Ibsen brings these gender norms to the reader’s attention. Through various literary devices, Ibsen displays a woman’s lack of freedom, necessary domestic chores, inferiority, immaturity, and unintelligence. As a result, readers are able to realize the immorality of the unequal treatment of women.

First of all, the setting demonstrates gender norms at the time the play was written. Throughout the play, Nora spends most of her time confined within the walls of her home. This explains one of the gender norms associated with women. Females have been considered responsible for domestic chores ever since the colonists arrived. As a result, they lack the freedom of venturing outside of their home freely. Later in A Doll’s House, “Helmer brings Nora almost by force into the hall” (3.1 162). The fact that Nora’s husband forces her into a certain setting displays his opinion that women are inferior. His control over her is revealed, akin to that of a slaveholder over a slave. This control takes away any freedom that she possesses, which creates a tension in their relationship. Because of Ibsen’s clever use of setting, these gender norms are …

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…r argues that “‘Before all else, [she is] a wife and a mother’” (3.1 679). Although her children are half of her responsibility, her husband must take half of the responsibility as well. Parenting is not only a woman’s job, regardless of gender norms. As a result of this clever dialogue, Ibsen is able to portray the gender norms of his time.

In closing, these literary devices bring the gender norms of Ibsen’s time to the reader’s attention. The readers are forced to make a decision on whether or not the way Nora is treated is morally correct. Not only did these gender norms create a lack of equality for Nora, but they created a conflict in their marriage that ultimately led to them splitting up. As a result, readers will most likely develop the idea that gender norms are a plague to society. Because of this, some individuals will begin to view men and women equally.

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