A Doll’s House As A Realistic Play
Realism is a literary movement (1865 -1915), aimed to reflect the reality in literature, most of writers in this period were not romantics or transcendentalists, they are realists. This period was very cruel and unforgiving anyone because of the influence of the civil war. Thus, people were pessimist about their future, so the idealism of the romantics and philosophy of transcendentalists became old and unrelated to many readers. Henrik Ibsen was one of the realist writers, he referred to the social demands in most of his literary works, and supported the most arisen issues, such as feminism and classifying. He seeks to mention details such as dates, characters’ qualities, feelings, and the finer details of events, making his work appear more realistic. This essay is going to clarify the way in which Ibsen apply realism in his play A Doll’s House.
The play of the doll’s house challenged the stereotypes of society about the family and the roles of women and men in relationships, because in the 19th century stereotypes made the role of women is limited in the domestic sphere. They considered woman aa a small thing unable to make difficult decisions. But Nora’s character broke this role in this play because she made a completely masculine decision to get a loan in secret and without her husband’s knowledge. But it was a surprise when Torvald knew this secret and he did not respect her help. At this moment, Nora suddenly realized that she was not actually happy in her life, decided to leave everything and live for herself. This step was threatening to many contemporary men because when woman abandoning her husband and children is reference to the breakdown of the family.
The main themes in a doll’s house play are money, respect and reputation, women and feminist, lies and deceit. These themes make the play more realistic because all of them are arose in the society and became common issues during realism movement. Money appeared in many times because all characters spend a a long time talking about their finances. Also, Reputation shows in most of men as if they are obsessed with their reputations and will do anything to keep it. Feminist appeared in Nora who has often been painted as one of the feminist heroines in modern drama because she breaks away herself from the domination of his husband Torvald, and decided to live her own life. Finally, deceit, the essential cause for tension throughout A Doll’s House is Nora’s fear of her secret, which led her to tell lie after lie, the persistence of lies makes Nora a deceptive figure even though she is not.
In George Bernard Shaw’s Pygmalion some similarities with Henrik Ibsen’s, A Doll’s House. Both Nora and Eliza go through a major transformation, which led to changes the two women. In comparison, both women are treated with little or no respect by the men in their lives. Nora has the responsibilities as any a wife; Eliza has the responsibilities to learn phonetics, and to take care for Higgins and the home, women find themselves have to be changed according to the circumstances of life. If we compare their transformation, after growth each one of them make her own decision, Nora is convinced that she can no longer live with her husband. On the other hand, Eliza improves her sense of self, making her more demanding of Higgins’ respect. The most important, the two plays shed light on the realization of women to be free and choose her way by herself.
One of the scenes which reflect realism in many themes, when Torvald called Nora a spendthrift, becuase she uses much money to buys a lot of things. Helmer: “What are little people called? They’re always wasting money?” Nora: “Spendthrifts–I know’ (pg 3). This scene reflects different themes such as money; money fuels their emotions, their actions, and how to behave around one another. Torvald considered money a valuable item and reproves Nora as child because she spends a lot. Also, it reflects theme of gender, because Torvald considered Nora as child and less than him because she is woman. The last theme is deception, Nora was deceiving her husband and taking a lot of money to buy Christmas gifts, but in fact she paid a loan to Krogstad. Ibsen used these themes to confer the play more realistic.
I think that A Doll’s House is a play explores aspects of social commentary because it sheds light on many issues in the socitey and aims to change the stereotype imposed by society in these issues, such as: marriage which is judged men and women by certain roles in their relation. Also, the importance of self-realization, the writer here because Ibsen urges everyone (male and female) to search for themselves and achieve their being. There are a lot of social issues that are mentioned in the play.
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