A Dolls House

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Gender Conflict in “A Doll’s House”

February 11, 2021 by Essay Writer

Throughout the novel A Doll’s House by Henrik Ibsen, an apparent issue that is portrayed is gender conflict. In the children comic strip we have created we have aimed to highlight numerous concept including the inequitable problem of gender conflict. Nora Helmer represents a feministic viewpoint in an oppressed position. Trapped in her role of the “doll”, Nora struggles to break free. A Doll’s house reveals the constricted role of women during the Victorian age and the dilemmas that will arise from the unjust imbalance of power between men and women.

The gender difference approach analyzes how society treats men and women differently. Women are typically placed in roles that do no enable women the chance to become, Nora self-aware or independent. Women’s “role” in this time period was commonly to play the role of the stay at home mother whom takes care of the children, cooks, cleans, maintaining a well kept appearance, and most importantly never defying their husband. Whereas men are expected to sustain a well respectable, distinguished status while going to work to provide for their family. This is demonstrated throughout the relationship of others in the novel including Nora and Torvald; living the true stereotypes of men and women. Torvald calls Nora juvenile names such as “my songbird, my sweet little lark.”(Ibsen 16) This implies that Torvald does not respect her as a women or his wife but rather as a child or a doll; a significant metaphor in this play.

Torvald also implies that Nora is not intelligent or responsible degrading her significantly. When Nora suggests financial advice he responds by saying “Nora, Nora! Just like a woman! I am serious.” (Ibsen 12) This suggests that not only Nora is foolish but on top of that women in general as well. In act one Torvald does not allow Nora to consume macaroons because Nora says, “the fact is he is afraid of them ruining my teeth.”(Ibsen 34) While this treatment does seem to mildly frustrate Nora, she plays along with it, calling herself “little Nora” and promising that she would never fantasize of ever rebelling against her husband. Despite this there are clues that she is not entirely happy with the restricted position she has as a woman. When revealing the secret of how she borrowed money to pay the trip to Italy, she refers to it as her “pride” and says it was fun to be in control of money, explaining, “it was so much fun sitting there, working, earning money. It almost felt like being a man.”(Ibsen 29)

In addition to women fulfilling the said stereotype, men are also expected to play a particular role; shown throughout Torvald and Krogstad. They are both very ambitious men driven not only by the need to provide for their families but also by a desire to achieve higher status. When Krogstad finds out there is a possibility of Torvald firing him he goes to great lengths in attempts to secure his position. Thus being blackmailing Nora by threatening to expose her secret to Toravld of borrowing money from him. He intimidates her by saying “Now you listen to me Mrs. Helmer. If necessary I am ready to fight for my little job at the bank as if I were fighting for my life.”(Ibsen 41)

On the other hand, Torvald was more concerned of his reputation. Throughout the play Torvald always claimed how much he loves and would do anything for Nora however, this completely changes when his reputation is at stake. When Nora’s secret is finally revealed to him his attitude towards her changes entirely and he does this by saying “All there is now is saying what’s left of our shattered lives, keeping up appearances”(Ibsen 106) The actions of these men demonstrates the extent men were willing to go to achieve what they wanted, being power and respect from society and how crucial their reputation was to them.

In conclusion, Henrik Ibsen’s play “The Doll House,” emphasizes the conflicts women face in a male dominant world. The stereotypes and assumptions made in A Doll’s House are revealed in the way Torvald Helmer treats his wife. These assumptions deal with the way in which the male characters see the female characters, on an absolutely stereotypical, gender-related level. Masculine power is lost as a result of female’s ideological awakening, which suggests a new structure of society.

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288

A Review of Henrik Ibsen’s Play, a Doll’s House in View Of a Woman’s Societal Role

February 11, 2021 by Essay Writer

In the play, A Doll’s House, written by Henrik Ibesen, the interaction of characters exposes the ideas such as women in society for the audience to think about. For example, from the interaction between Nora and her husband, Torvald, we see that the position of a woman in society at the time is a lot lower than a man and not as capable. Torvald believes that before everything else, Nora is a wife and mother and has control over her. From the last scene where Nora finally learns to stand up for herself, we can clearly see this idea.

A Doll’s House is about a woman, Nora, who suffers from a marriage and deals with things she doesn’t know but thought “a miracle will come true” and everything will be fine after all. Nora had no idea about law but in order to go to Italy for her husband, Torval’s health, she forged a signature and borrowed money from Krogstad behind Torvald’s back. Torvald works at a bank as a manager but he had concerned about Krogsatd so he fires him. Krogstad wants his job back at the bank so he threaten Nora that he will reveal the truth to her husband. Nora believes that Torvald will stand by her side and well understand her sacrifice when he finds out everything. However, Torvald only cares about his own reputation and blame Nora that she does not have the right to raise the children. That’s when Nora realizes how foolish and ignorant she has been and has been treated like a doll for all her life so she decided to leave the house to explore the world herself.

Interaction of Nora and Torvald brings up the idea that women’s function in the society were to be wives and mothers. “Shouldn’t you first understand your place in your own home? … Isn’t it your duty to your husband and children?” Torvald questioned Nora when she decided to leave. He believes that “Before everything else, you’re a wife and a mother.” We as the audience clearly see that back in 1879, women were not considered independent or as capable. Torvald calls Nora by “little scatterbrain” and “little skylark” and refer Nora as small, subservient animals. The animal imagery used again shows women’s role in the society. Women were considered as useless and always need protection. They also needed someone, usually a man, to guide them. Otherwise they will be lost and have no idea what to do. They must rely on someone else. “Yes, do take me in hands, Torvald… show me where I’m wrong, the way you always do.” Nora is worry about the blackmail letter that Krogsatd placed in their letterbox so she asked Torvald anxiously to guide her and practice the dance together. “You see how much I need. You must coach me up to the last minute.”. Torvald also constantly refers to “a little squirrel” shows that women were considered as no real use or silliness. But Nora plays up to it by answering “If only you knew what expenses we skylarks and squirrels have, Torvald.” The audience gets a feeling that Nora is so ignorant and has been treated unfairly by her husband. Even though she might be living a wealthy live and her marriage seems wonderful with three adorable kids and a husband who has a decent job but she is actually suffering under Torald’s control.

Another idea that the audience gets from the interaction between two main characters, Torvold and Nora shows the idea women were not expected to think differently from their fathers and husbands. They were also not expected to be at an equal position as men in the society. We can see this when Nora tells Kristina, her friend, about borrowing money behind Torvald’s back so they could go on a trip for Torvald’s health. “Besides, Torvald has his pride – most men have – he’d be terribly hurt and humiliated if he thought he owned anything to me.” Nora is right and sure that Torvald will be hurt and humiliated if he finds out he is actually the one who had needed help and protection. When Torvald reads the first letter from Krogstad which was about Nora’s crime of forgery, he was really mad about what Nora had done. He believes that all her actions were ungrateful and ruined his reputation. “What a terrible awakening! … now I find that you’re a liar, a hypocrite – even worse – a criminal!” Torvald does not believe that the only reason why Nora has done it is because of love

and is for his health. “You’ve completely wrecked my happiness, you’ve ruined my whole future! … And I’m brought so pitifully low all because of a shiftless woman!” This again, indicates the idea that a woman’s position in a society is lower than a man and is not allowed to think differently or do things that are not under the male authority figures’ control. After reading the second letter from Krogstad, he found out that Krogstad had retracted his blackmail threat and returned Nora’s note. He tried to return to their previous life. “Nora! I’m saved! … These three days must have been terrible for you.” But Nora recognized that miracles she believed in will never happen and she no longer wants to participate in this fake marriage. “I’ve never seen things so clearly and certainly as I do tonight.” The contemporary audience was shocked by Nora’s action because it was rare for a woman to stand up for herself back in those days. But to the modern audience, Nora is just like another ordinary person who tried to seek the truth and their authentic selves.

Through Nora and Kristina’s conversation, we can again see the idea that women’s function in society is to be wives and mothers unless in unusual cases – when no husband or father are around to support – that was the only time when a woman was expected to work. Nora couldn’t understand Kristina’s situation and why she had to work so hard to live. “He didn’t leave you anything to live on? And no children? … Oh, but Kristina, that can’t be true.” Nora is like a little kid comparing to Kristina who has learn a lot through her experience and journey. But Nora hasn’t learnt or experienced any. “My mother was bedridden and I had three younger brothers to look after.” Kristina explains to her and tells her the reason why she had to marry someone for money. “Nora, Nora! Haven’t you learned sense yet? Even at school you were a terrible spendthrift.” Kristina’s mature tone and point of view again emphasizes Nora’s childishness and ignorant. “I just had to struggle along… I haven’t a father to pay for my fare, Nora.” The viewers realize how hard living must have been for Kristina under society’s pressure and prejudice of women. She had to marry for money and worked hard after her husband’s death because no one is there to support her like Nora has.

In conclusion, I strongly agree that in the play, A Doll’s House, written by Henrik Ibesen, the interaction of characters exposes ideas for the audience to think about. Through the interactions between Torvald and Nora, also among Nora and Kristina, the audience clearly sees one of the main themes in the play – Women in Society – how they were limited from seeking the truth and learning from the real world and suffer under a male authority figure’s control.

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264

Evaluation of Nora’s Life Purpose as Described in Henrik Ibsen’s Play, a Doll’s House

February 11, 2021 by Essay Writer

“Who She Wants to Be”

In the end of the “A Doll’s House”, Nora realizes that her father and husband has been controlling her all her life. A quote from a poem that I have read before really reminded me of the situation Nora is entrapped in. The quote read, “She is stuck between who she is, who she wants to be, and who she should be”. It struck me that Nora had a huge decision to make during their conversation. She did not know if she should leave behind her duties as a wife and mother, “who she should be”, as during that time period, women’s main focus was to take care of her family. Or abandon “who she is”, someone who has let others control who she is and someone who does not know who she is anymore. The third option, “who she wants to be”, is a fresh opportunity. Leaving her family would allow her to rediscover herself. During her conversation with Torvald, she is trapped between “who she is, who she wants to be and who she should be”. In the ending of “A Doll’s House”, Nora reveals how all her life, she has been a puppet to her father and husband as they played with her, pulling on her strings, making her act how they want her to act. After a series of eye-opening events, Nora quickly realizes how much she has let others dominant and take control over her. She finds out that even she does not know who she is anymore as her voice being drowned out by her husband and father. She realizes that she needs to focus more on figuring out who she is in order to make sure she has not yet lost her true self. She finally decides to leave everything behind to focus more on figuring out who she is as a person. Trapped between the different option, Nora ultimately decides that she needs to work on finding her true purposes in life and who she wants to be.

In the play, Nora falsified her father’s signature in order to loan money for a trip to Italy that would help cure her husband’s sickness. Many years later, the information on the forgery was written in a letter and delivered to her. After reading the letter Torvald, becomes filled with rage that his wife that he controlled so much did something against his will. Nora’s husband had always been in control of what Nora wears, does and buys also not liking her doing certain things, like eating macaroons. Torvald nearly burst out of anger that Nora did something that, although have been against the law, saved his life. After witnessing his reaction, she realizes that she “…acquired the same taste as [her husband]; or [she] only pretended to …” (182). An example of her doing something that her husband likes that she might not like to do is dancing. Before Torvald opens the letter, she danced the Tarantella in an extravagant dress for a crowd of people. It is not known if Nora actually enjoys doing it but it is clear that dancing is something Torvald enjoys. Nora may not actually like dancing in front of crowds but due to her being controlled by her husband and what she likes forced to match that of her husband, she dances for everyone at the party. Torvald’s response towards the letter revealing her forgery also reminds her of how when her father was still alive, “he told me all his opinions, and then I had the same opinions; and if I had others, I hid them; because he wouldn’t have liked it” (182). Her father forced her to believe what he thought was right, her voice and opinions only echoes of her father because if she spoke her true feelings aloud, her father would not like it. After doing that all her life, her true thoughts were unknown as all of her beliefs are what others forced onto her.

She always goes along with how others want her to behave and her husband forcing her to like the same things that he did. They played her as if she was a doll as they controlled her every aspect. Nora was not allowed to feel a certain way because it would upset her father and was not allowed to like a certain food or object because it would upset her husband. Because she was not allowed to think for herself, she lost her voice as every opinion she held was forced away into the dark. Nora figures out that all her life she has been hiding behind her father and husband’s shadows, sucking her into void where she no longer really knew who she was. This is so significant because Nora finally understands how much everyone has been taking control over her. She knows she has other duties, being a mother and a wife, but now understands that her duty as a human comes first. She finally realizes how much she was a doll to her father and husband and knows that is not who she wants to be. In the search for searching deeper within herself to figure out what her purpose and personality is, she makes the decision to leave her family for a while and to seek her inner self and “who she wants to be”.

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283

An Assessment of Henrik Ibsen’s Play, a Doll’s House Vs. the Film Adaptation

February 11, 2021 by Essay Writer

Throughout the realm of literature, detail is most prominent in written works such as play script, novels, etc. Often times, much of the intricacy of written language vanishes when converting text into a film. In Henrik Ibsen’s play, A Doll’s House, extreme detail showcases aspects of character personalities as well as subtle physical actions that are more difficult for an individual to notice when the features are not written out. Ibsen’s play was converted into a movie in the early 1970’s, resulting in a loss of detail and alterations in events, dialogue, and various other qualities; however, both the play and the film share a few key similarities.

In the first scene of A Doll’s House, differences occur when comparing the play to the film adaptation. The play begins with a somewhat lengthy description of the setting as well as the first character introduced, Nora, entering her home from the back door. In contrast, the movie begins with Nora riding in a horse-drawn sled. Another notable difference can be observed when the character Ellen is introduced. The initial words spoken in the play are from Nora to Ellen; however, in the film, Ellen remains unspoken to for quite some time. Some similarities combine with differences to create semi-separate versions of the story; for example, the play describes Torvald leaving his office to speak with Nora as well as Nora hiding macaroons in her pocket. Conversely, Nora enters Torvald’s office in the film and she hides the macaroons in their grand piano.

Exclusions of dialogue present themselves in the first scene of the movie when Torvald completely skips explaining why Nora spends a plethora of money. The play describes Torvald offering Nora an in-depth explanation for her spending habits; he believes it is simply heredity or “in the blood”. Another rather large dialogue alteration occurs when Nora, in the play, vaguely speaks of purchasing presents. In the film, however, Nora highlights the amazing qualities of the gifts she has bought for the children. Furthermore, slight to major alterations dialogue alterations can be noted throughout the entire first scene; for instance, in the play, Torvald refers to Nora as his “twittering lark” whereas the film displays an altered version- “little skylark”.

In addition to changes in events as well as dialogue, similarities arise between the play and the movie. Torvald and Nora, in both the play and film, argue over money, discuss macaroons, and highlight the greediness of Nora and the quality of appeasement displayed by Torvald. Also, keywords such as “lark”, “squirrel”, and “New Year’s” are emphasized in both versions of the story due to their significance. Essential parts of dialogue remain present, such as Torvald accusing Nora of “enjoying confections”, Nora distinctly telling Torvald he is “not allowed to see [the presents] until this evening”, and Mrs. Linden stating “I see you don’t recognize me” when first encountering Nora.

Overall, the similarities and differences showcased in the play and film allow the story to be told in two separately unique ways. The majority of significant details in events and discussions between characters were conveyed identically in the play and film. Nora’s obsession with money, Torvald’s ignorance towards Nora’s monetary affairs, and the importance of Christmas to the characters all are portrayed very clearly in the play and movie. Although alterations from the play to the film force the story to lose some of its depth as well as intricacy, the ultimate result of the translation from text to visual adaptation proves to be a successful literary journey.

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259

A Doll House By Henrik Ibsen: an Issue Of The Relationship Between Men And Women

February 11, 2021 by Essay Writer

Henrik Ibsen’s A Doll House focuses on a Norwegian middle-class family whose very survival is threatened by long-held secrets revolving around family dynamics. The characters portray the complexities underlying the relationships between men and women. Some aspects of the play mirror certain elements in Susan Glaspell’s Trifles. This analysis focuses on the theme of the relationship between men and women as portrayed in Ibsen’s A Doll House.

A common thread that runs through all the relationships between the male and female characters is the power dynamics between the genders, which generally work against the women. Therefore, both plays can be conceived to be treatises in feminist thought. The thematic analysis undertaken herein will focus on four areas of concern: sexism, economic disparity, the role of love in marriage, and identity.Instances of sexism in which women are viewed unfavorably by the men on the basis of their gender are common in A Doll House. For instance, throughout the play, it is clear that the dominant men in Norah’s life expect her to conform to their perceived standards of femininity. Her father and her husband have certain expectations in regard to how she ought to behave herself and what she is capable of doing with her life. Torvald, Nora’s husband, asserts that it is costly to keep a woman such as her as he has to keep spending money on her. This implies that Nora is unable to properly manage her finances simply because she is a woman. During the final confrontation with her husband, Nora also makes it clear that her own father viewed her as nothing more than a toy with which he could amuse himself.

All these instances illustrate that some of the men in A Doll House maintain an archaic view of women that reeks of blatant sexism.Another instance of blatant sexism appears when Krogstad is appealing to Nora to save his job at the bank by convincing her husband not to fire him. The logic of his request is that as a woman, Nora has an inexplicable influence over her husband that can make him do her bidding.

Krogstad. Mrs. Helmer, will you have the kindness to employ your influence on my behalf?

Nora. What? How do you mean?

This conversation speaks to a prevailing notion at the time that women can get what they want from the men with whom they are romantically engaged by employing their ‘feminine charm.’ The idea recurs when Krogstad suspects for a moment that the only reason Mrs. Linde wants to get back together with him is to help her friend Nora out of her fix. It is worth noting that this depiction of women is humiliating, as it casts them as purely manipulative individuals who exploit their sexuality to get their way in life.

Trifles contain scenarios that echo the sexism in A Doll House. In several instances, Henderson, the County Attorney, muses that the women helping them to scour for evidence in the Wrights’ residence are preoccupied with mundane issues that only women can be obsessed with. These sentiments are supported by Mr. Hale who asserts that “women are used to worrying over trifles”. Throughout the play, the men’s attitude towards their female counterparts is condescending and patronizing. This stems from the worldview that permeated much of the 20th century regarding a woman’s place supposedly being in the kitchen. In both Trifles and A Doll House, the assessment of women’s worth by men and society at large is based on their ability to effortlessly keep a home. Sexism is, therefore, one of the main factors connecting the two texts.

The relationship between men and women in A Doll House is marked by a glaring economic disparity between the genders. For instance, the Helmers’ relationship is shown to be sustained by Nora’s dependence on her husband’s financial ability. This makes her eager to please him even in instances where they disagree on financial matters. The economic disparity between the couple therefore radically alters the power dynamics in favor of Torvald. Similarly, Mrs. Linde leaves her true love to marry a rich man so that she can be able to support her ailing mother and take care of her two brothers. The experiences of Nora and Mrs. Linde show that women have to sacrifice personal interest and integrity just to survive in their patriarchal society, while the men leverage their financial to compel women to submit to their will.Both Trifles and A Doll House illustrate that love plays a fundamental role in the success of a marriage or the romantic relationship between men and women. Relationships that lack this crucial ingredient appear to be unsustainable over the long term, often occasioning misery to the unloved party. In A Doll House, Mrs. Linde makes it clear that her marriage to her rich suitor was a loveless union as her true love was Krogstad. It is, therefore, unsurprising that she was emotionally unfulfilled and unhappy after her husband’s death. These feelings eventually push her to reconnect with Krogstad and re-establish their relationship. Similarly, the Helmers’ marriage eventually crumbles because Torvald is more obsessed with the mere appearance of happiness rather than happiness itself; causing him to be selfish towards Nora. The implication here is that marriages of convenience cannot last long because they are founded on falsehoods.

A more tragic outcome of a loveless union is portrayed in Trifles when Mrs. Wright is revealed to have murdered her husband after years of emotional neglect. Ultimately, the lack of love in a marriage is shown to be the primary cause of the marital collapse and emotional unfulfillment between men and women.A key theme regarding the relationship between men and women in both plays is identity or a conceptualization of the self. Oftentimes, one’s sense of identity is impacted by close romantic engagement, such as is in the case of marriage. Owing to the intimacy shared between two romantic partners, one can lose themselves in the union by allowing it to define who they are. For example, in Nora’s moment of epiphany after speaking her mind to her husband, it is clear that the marriage caused her to maintain a façade over such a long period of time that she eventually convinced herself that her identity revolved around pleasing Torvald. Alternatively, adverse emotional events in marriage, such as emotional neglect and abuse, can also negatively impact how one view themselves. This is illustrated in Trifles by Mrs. Wright’s transformation from a happy and lively young lady to a sad loner after her marriage. The implication here is that it is important for both men and women to establish a strong sense of self before getting into a romantic union with each other if the union is to survive the vicissitudes of life.The relationship between men and women has informed many literary works for decades.

Trifles and A Doll House are part of this literary tradition as they contain the vividly illustrate the factors that influence this relationship and the dynamics that underlie them. Common trends that emerge in the portrayal of the relationship between men and women in both plays include sexism, economic disparity between the two genders, the impact of love or its absence in the sustenance of romantic engagements, and development of identity within the context of marriage. Each trend has been analyzed exhaustively. Ultimately, Ibsen and Glaspell skillfully weave narratives that shed light on the exploitative dynamics underlying the relationship between men and women in a patriarchal society.

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Significance Of The Female Characters in Othello By William Shakespeare And a Doll’s House By Henrik Ibsen

February 11, 2021 by Essay Writer

Overtime, the role of the woman has changed significantly and has allowed for many more opportunities for them. Men have always been seen as more powerful and dominant over women however, women have developed the abilities and strengths to prove that they are capable of things just as the man is. The female characters are extremely significant in both William Shakespeare’s “Othello” and Henrik Ibsen’s “A Doll’s House”. They aid in developing plot as well as develop the other characters throughout the play. The importance of the female characters in both plays is represented by their strengths and/or powers being underestimated, their ability to express innocence in the play and be peace keepers, and their determination to prove their independence. As women are seen as less powerful than men, their strengths and abilities are often underestimated.

In the play Othello, Iago tends to misjudge Emilia’s capabilities. He believes that she cannot complete certain tasks that could help him in ensuring his plan runs smoothly. Emilia is not informed of Iago’s evil plan when she receives possession of the handkerchief for him. Previous to this incident, Iago has told Emilia that he wants the handkerchief that Othello gave to Desdemona. Desdemona accidentally drops the handkerchief in her room and Emilia later finds it and gives it to Iago as he has desired it for so long. When she brings it to him he says, “Do not you chide; I have a thing for you… you have a thing for me? It is a common thing-… To have a foolish wife”. Iago pushes Emilia away because at first he thinks she is trying to pleasure him. He thinks this way because it was very stereotypical for women to behave in that way towards their husbands in that time era. Also he would not expect much more from his wife as he has yet to realize her potential. The stereotypes of women being less powerful than men are also illustrated in Othello when Iago expresses his true beliefs and intentions of women. He reveals how he sees women when he says, “… Wild-cats in your kitchens, saints in your injuries, devils being offended, players in your housewifery, and housewives in your beds”. Iago shares this thought he endures of what a women’s purpose is to Desdemona and Emilia. He claims that women are only good for cooking, cleaning, and sleeping with. This proves how all women are underestimated and labeled with specific tasks, and do not get much of a say when trying to defend themselves of this.

In similar ways, Nora Helmer in A Doll’s House is the main female character in which is looked down on. Her husband, Torvald Helmer, treats her like a child and believe she lacks the ability to do things on her own. Torvald puts limits on how much she is allowed to spend, what she eats (being strict about the macaroons), and calls her very childish names including “Squirrel” and “Little Songbird”. Torvald constantly calls her these names including when he says, “And I wish you to be only as you are, my songbird, my sweet little lark”. By calling her these names it is indicating that he does not take his own wife seriously and treats her as if she were his daughter. It also demonstrates the dominance and control Torvald has over her because he is un-informed of her true abilities and does not have much trust in her. Nora also demonstrates a lack of power and strength when she realizes for herself that not many people can take her seriously. When she talks to Mrs. Linde, she notices that she seems to be doubting her. Nora strongly dislikes this and begins to get upset, she says “you’re like everybody else. You all think I’m incapable of doing anything serious”. This verifies that Nora is immature and not trusted by many. The fact that she is a female makes it much more difficult for her because she is already not taken seriously because of her personality and is continuously doubted of her strengths for being a woman.

Women are challenged with the ability to show innocence in the play and act as peacemakers. In Othello, Emilia assists Desdemona in proving she is innocent when Othello begins to accuse her of cheating. Desdemona is very honest and caring so, when Othello gets angry at her she says, “Something sure of state, … Emilia, I was- unhandsome warrior as I am- arranging his unkindness with my soul; but now I find I had suborn’d the witness And he’s indicated falsely”. Although Othello is being manipulated into thinking Desdemona is cheating on him, Desdemona remains calm and blames his anger on stress from the state. She is oblivious to the fact that her husband is accusing her of cheating and continues to act calm, as she has done no wrong. Emilia tried to reassure Desdemona by explaining how Othello may be jealous, but Desdemona continues to believe it is stress from work that he is taking out on her. She is keeping peace by refraining from any more arguments. Emilia successfully portrays innocence when she explains the true story of what happened with the handkerchief. She did not have anything to do with Iago’s evil plan and explains, “O thou dull Moor, that handkerchief thou speak’s of I found by fortune and did give my husband… He begg’d of me to steal it. Emilia is not guilty because she is simply trying to please her husband’s wishes by performing a caring gesture towards him. She did not know of any consequences that would have come by doing this for Iago. Her actions were to express love and kindness to her husband and were not intended to do any harm, thus making her innocent.

The same idea of innocence and peacemaking occurs by Nora in A Doll’s House when she tries to reassure Dr. Rank and distract him from the news he has received. After Dr. Rank tells Nora that he may die soon, she tries to comfort him and says, “You are talking non-sense. I wanted you to be so happy today”. She tries to show him the positive side of the situation, thus showing how she is spreading peace and innocence within the story. Nora also demonstrates peace and innocence through the forging of she father’s signatures. When Torvald was sick and was told he must travel to Italy to heal, the Helmer’s realized they did not have enough money to go. Nora pretended to be her father and signed his name on a contract t get the money to pay for the trip. When she is questioned about the signatures by Krogstead she says, “Is a daughter not allowed to protect her dying father from worry and care? Is a wife not allowed to save her husband’s life? I don’t know much about the law. But I’m pretty sure there must be laws that allow things like that”. Nora did this in order to save her husband’s life and not make her father have any worries before he died. She was being considerate of others and was not thinking of consequences because she did not know of any, therefore proving how she is naive and innocent.

Independence and the ability for one to speak their opinion is demonstrated in various instances throughout each of the plays. The first indicator of this is in Othello when Emilia speaks to Desdemona about her true feelings and thoughts on men. She explains to Desdemona, “But I do think it is their husband’s faults if wives do fall. Say that they slack their duties…” This quote proves that Emilia is an independent woman because she goes against her husband’s beliefs. In this time period, women were supposed to agree wit and support their husbands. By Expressing her own opinion Emilia is proving her independence. Emilia once again shows courage and independence when she tells Othello the real story of what happened with Iago and goes against/disobeys Iago. Once Desdemona is killed, Emilia speaks in order to defend her and says, “ ‘Twill out, ‘twill out. I peace! No, I will speak as liberal as the North; Let heaven, and men, and the devils, let them all, All, all cry shame against me, yet I’ll speak”. In this quote, Emilia stands up to Iago and betrays him. Once he demands her to stop talking Emilia refuses to listen and continues on to speak on behalf of Desdemona. She says she does not care who cried shame against her because she knows she needs to be brave and stand up for herself. Emilia is showing great courage and determination proving how she continues to become more independent.

In contrast to this suggestion of independence, in the play A Doll’s House, Nora begins to prove to people that she is able to do things on her own. When speaking to Kristine Linde, Nora explains to her that she was the one who got the money to be able to go on the trip and save Torvald. She says, “Come over here. Oh yes, I’ve got something to be proud of. It was I who saved Torvalds’s life”. Nora figured out a way to get the money on her own with no help from anyone and kept it a secret. This shows significant maturity in her as well as independence because she has always been seen as childish and never been taken seriously. The final factor if proving independence is when Nora stands up for herself to Torvald. She takes lead and forces hum to look at their relationship from a different perspective. She says, “No. you mustn’t interrupt me. I want you to just listen to what I have to say”. Nora finally gained enough nerve to tell Torvald how she really feels about their relationship. This is the first time in the play that her own opinion is heard and she expresses independence in doing so. She proves that she is capable of doing things on her own and does not need to depend on Torvald anymore. By returning the ring and leaving him, she shows significant maturity and is the final way she proves that she is independent.

In conclusion, the female characters in each play are extremely significant. Men and Women have grown and will continue to grow and change. Equality is very important for both genders. Everyone should be treated equally no matter what age, race, gender, etc. Throughout the year’s women have become more powerful and motivated to do things that people believed they were incapable of. Women have created a very strong impact on society and will continue to do so.

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“A Doll’s House” – a Play By Henrik Ibsen

February 11, 2021 by Essay Writer

A Doll’s House is a controversial play penned by Henrick Ibsen and published in 1979. It features Nora Helmer who leads a superficial life and appears to be a delicate, helpless and silly woman to her chauvinistic husband, Torvalds Helmer. In reality, she is an individual who craves independence and has struggled to protect her husband. She commits an illegal act, one concerning the antagonist Krogstad, for her husband. Her internal conflicts enclose a plethora of emotions. She is torn between her morale, loyalty towards her husband and her wish to go on a path of self-discovery. For all those years, Nora had been playing the part of a puppet and was living in the shadow of shallow Torvalds. Eventually, the conflict in her mind is replaced by her clear and strong decision to leave him, and her children, and start a life of her own. Nora’s final door slam, created a rage and invoked a variety of reactions from the audience.

The idea of feminism is one that has been spoken about since a long time. Divided into different periods, feminism entails five distinct waves. The second wave of feminism lasted for roughly two decades, with an aim to increase equality for women by gaining more than just enfranchisement. The fourth wave of feminism on the other hand focused on justice for women, in terms of sexual harassment and violence against them. A feminist from the second wave of feminism, would propagate the ideas of liberation and free decision making of a woman, with respect to her daily, social and personal life. An anti-feminist from the fourth wave of feminism, on the other hand, could feel that women don’t get a say, when exploited by a man, mentally or physically as they have good reason to do it. It is the difference in a thought process, beliefs and mentality between both the types of readers that’ll shed light on different ways in which the last act of ‘A Doll’s House’, is perceived and interpreted.

In the last act of ‘A Doll’s House’, Nora’s complete change in behavior, bold words, and shocking decisions invoked myriad reactions. The first reader, being the feminist from the second wave of feminism, rejoices and propagates her motive. The ‘Feminist Literary Theory’, which hugely criticizes the patriarchal norms projected in literature, would this time advocate ‘A Doll’s House’, and create love and respect for Nora in the mind of the reader. The ideas of liberation, and a free will of women, despite the monetary dynamics in the house, is exactly what feminists in the second wave fought for. ‘A Doll’s House’, portrays Nora to place her dignity and choice of lifestyle, over her husband, even though he pays the bills. The reader, in this case, would appreciate the plot twist, condemn the character of Torvalds Helmer, and adhere to the feministic set of values that were the foundation of the second wave, while appreciating Henrick Ibsen. The way Torvalds treats his wife Nora, as fragile, weak, dependent and silly, enrages the reader and his character is hence loathed by the feminist. He would be the perfect representation of the class of people that the reader, and similar people fight against. Therefore, in the eyes of the first reader, ‘A Doll’s House’, is a crucial piece of literature, that breaks stereotypes, supports the voices of unheard feminists, and proves how the ideas of women empowerment stem from basic liberation and go way beyond employment.

The second reader, on the contrary, would analyze the last act of ‘A Doll’s House’, with an extremely pessimistic and chauvinistic point of view. Being an anti-feminist, the reader would be disgusted and shocked by Nora’s decision. In the fourth wave of feminism, anti-feminists were infuriated by the demand for women to get justice based on any grounds. This reader would criticize, defame and denounce Henrick Ibsen, for supporting the ideas of women empowerment. Being a probable believer of the norms set by ‘Bourgeois Respectability’, the reader would think of Torvald Helmer as the ideal man and husband. His gestures would seem loving, well placed and caring. The reader would also think, that Torvald did not deserve to be treated the way he was, by Nora. Nora would be perceived as foolish, overtly daring and narcissistic. She would be the exact opposite of what the reader would think of as a perfect wife and mother. ‘A Doll’s House’, would hence be strongly protested against by the second reader. Both the readers, with their points of view, create a blatant distinction in two wide categories of the audience that would have read and thought over the play. While both have their reasons to pass a judgement on the play, it goes about to show the sheer strength of the crowd that Henrick Ibsen had affected, by ‘A Doll’s House’.

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‘’A Doll’s House’’ a major emphasis was laid on humanism and gender roles

February 11, 2021 by Essay Writer

When Henrik Ibsen wrote the play ‘’A Doll’s House’’ a major emphasis was laid on humanism and gender roles. This play to a great extent depicts both the character of Nora and Torvald Helmer. These concepts played a great role in literature at that point in time and can be linked to the contemporary world too. During that era, there was a wide gap between men and women and patriarchy was every household’s key component and women who tried to go against her husband’s will was not considered a perfect wife. Nora is unsure of what to do and has to rely on her husband for literally every decision she has to make for herself, which in last can be seen that she finally realizes her potential and decides to move out of Helmer’s nest. This contradicts the lines on which play is based, that is Nora could have decided to stay at her house only but now being an independent woman.

When the culture and context of the play are analyzed, the decisions seem more appealing. At that time period, women compared to men had far fewer rights and leaving or divorcing was nonetheless a sin. Parting ways were meant women being an expatriate and made lead a life that was full of society’s taunts. Throughout the play, it was clear that Nora knew the consequences of Helmer knowing about the debt she had to repay. She tried her best to hide the truth by adhering to whatever her husband told her to do. Finally, she makes up her mind to commit suicide as she thought that ending life would be better rather than living a life that would be spent on divorce and on top of that provocations by the society.

However, if the idea of attempting suicide doesn’t look that realistic, more knowledge gives a better understanding that it was likely to treat women in much more brutal manner. Women in all this couldn’t do anything but to follow whatsoever men tell them to do.

As in relation to context and cultural aspects of the drama, Nora ’s intellection seems more pragmatic and fits within the lines on which the play is based upon.

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285

Societal Norms And Conformity As a Reason Of Conflict Between Nora And Krogstad

February 11, 2021 by Essay Writer

Nora’s Rejection of Social Conformity: The Symbol of Macaroons in Ibsen’s, A Doll’s House

In Ibsen’s A Doll’s House social conformity is the central idea around the establishment of Nora and Torvald’s household. The characters throughout the text are all attempting to fit inside the social “norm” and manipulate themselves and others accordingly. From this arises the major conflict in the play from Krogstad attempting to achieve a social norm by having a job with a good reputation; while Nora is also trying to achieve a social norm by being the perfect wife to any husband and not corrupting her household. Throughout the text, Nora uses macaroons to try to fit into society, as it is something that gives her recognition as a wife and a woman participating in the role of a “little lark” to her husband. Ibsen uses the macaroons as a motif to symbolize social conformity in the play as its appearance disappears throughout the play to demonstrate Nora’s change from a conformist to a rebel.

In act one, macaroons are listed 6 times, all of which have a negative connotation. Nora is forbidden from having macaroons in her own household because of her husband fears they will spoil her teeth, as he asks inquisitively, “Not even taken a bite at a macaroon or two?” (Ibsen 4) as he asks Nora if she has been “breaking rules”. Macaroons in this context symbolize temptation and misbehavior, which is why Nora is drawn to them. For her, they represent her key to being like others in her same society, which is why she offers macaroons to Dr. Rank when she asks, “Doctor Rank, what do you say to a macaroon?” (Ibsen 16). This is where Nora’s desperation for conformity is shown. The temptation of the macaroon is the symbol for her wanting to be part of society and the societal social norm. This is also indicative of her wanting to be part of the society, away from her home and family, which is why she does not tell her husband about neither the macaroons, nor the deal made with Krogstad; because it is not socially acceptable for a woman to misbehave and step out of her role.

Macaroons are only mentioned once in act two, as a celebratory means. Nora is attempting to distract Torvald from finding the letter from Krogstad, revealing her secret as she says “Yes, a champagne banquet till the small hours. And a few macaroons, Helen—lots, just for once!” (Ibsen 49). At this stage in Nora’s shift from conformist to rebel, macaroons symbolize recognition and awareness. To Nora, these macaroons are the remains of her wanting to fit in; which is where she loses her desire to comply with the social norms, which is why macaroons are not mentioned in the second act. The macaroons also juxtapose with the tarantella dance, as the tarantella is what she will do to please her husband and everyone at the party they are going to. As the macaroons shift in meaning from temptation to distraction, the tarantella becomes the distraction of wanting to be part of society. This juxtaposition is the turning point in the play as it has become a last testimony as stated, “HEL. My dear darling Nora, you are dancing as if your life depended on it. NORA. So it does” (Ibsen 48). This marks whether it is the end of her secret or the end of trying to fit in.

Lastly, macaroons are not mentioned at all in act three to symbolize the rejection of societal norms. As Nora is leaving, she rejects, clearly, what is normal in society by saying, “…I can no longer content myself with what most people say or with what is found in books” (Ibsen 68). Content has both a positive and negative connotation, as it does not quite mean happy, but is not displeased. Nora has come to the realization that she will not be “happy” from chasing after a characteristic of society that will only change over time, as popular trends habitually do. The absence of macaroons symbolizes the maturity and growth that Nora has gone through to reject standard behavior; as the macaroons were a childish antic to yearn for something that one could not have. This is why Nora first had the intention to fit in with societal norms, but now does not because that is not something that is she can have; or rather, attainable. Societal norms are a way of making all the citizens in society conformists. However, Nora is not, and never has been, a conformist throughout the play: the macaroons, her deal with Krogstad, the treatment of her children, and abandoning her family to find her true personality and gain her own understanding of everything. The reference to books in the quote also demonstrate her no longer accepting societal norms. The bookcase in the living room is filled with books, yet no one reads them. At this time in Norwegian society, the books demonstrated you social status and wealth. The simple presence of the books that she does not read demonstrates her once willingness to fit in and discuss with others “what is found in books”. When Nora makes this claim in the final scene, it appears that she is not a conformist and is not trying to be one anymore.

Throughout the play, societal norms and conformity are discreetly a main idea and builds the conflict between Nora and Krogstad. Macaroons were also placed throughout the play to symbolize a gradual change in Nora’s attitude about her conflict and her outlook on her marriage, and life overall. The macaroons also juxtapose other props and ideas in the play to demonstrate the transition from a yearning for the unattainable social acceptance to rejecting the social norms. Overall, the macaroons are important to the development of conflict and characterization of Nora as the protagonist. Nora has transitioned to a social butterfly, wanting to be noticed as a figure in society that was just like everyone else, to rejecting the status quo and becoming an independent woman, to find her future. However, this raises the question if Nora truly rejected the societal norms by her decision to leave. A wave of feminism takes place during this time in Norway; has Nora honestly become a rebel of society, or joined a new normal by becoming a feminist?

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A Description Of Woman in a Doll’s House And Daisy Miller

February 11, 2021 by Essay Writer

In Henrik Ibsen’s play A Doll’s House and Henry James’ novella Daisy Miller, the main characters embody two controversial topics. The roles of the female and an American were quite different in the time period that these pieces of literature were written in then in the present. These controversies have many similarities and differences, and they both affect their own literature in a different way. A Doll’s House and Daisy Miller focus on the societal roles of the female and American roles in different time periods; each story embodies a different controversy that both teach similar lessons.

A Doll’s House was written in the Victorian Era, a time when women only took care of the house and raised the children. The thought of a women rebelling against her husband and wanting to do something else besides housework was intolerable, creating the controversy seen in this play. Henrik Ibsen wrote this play based on a young woman named Nora who wanted one thing: freedom from her husband. Nora wanted to stand up against society and form her own opinion without being a puppet on a string controlled by the man of the house. When Torvald said “before all else, you’re a wife and mother” (Ibsen 1186) and Nora fired back with “before all else, I’m a human being” (Ibsen 1186),Ibsen was a suggesting a time changing idea that women had inalienable human rights that were equal to men. Similar to A Doll’s House, Daisy Miller also had controversial ideas.

Daisy Miller is a young American travelling the world at her pleasure. On her trip around Europe, she finds herself in the middle of a love triangle not acceptable for this time period. From the European perspectives, she was just a naïve American flirt who craved attention. Americans played a huge role in this novella; two of the main characters, Daisy and Winterbourne, were from America. However, Americans were not perceived well in the story. In the Miller family, each member played an allegory for Americas, mostly not good ones. Daisy Miller was willing to abide by European customs, even after being told by Mrs. Walker “It may be enchanting, dear child, but it is not the custom here” (James 48) after she spent hours walking with the two gentlemen unchaperoned. Henry James was an American writer, and he wanted to create controversy with this book because he wanted to enlighten Americans on what foreigners thought of them. Daisy Miller and A Doll’s House created different controversies that had similar aspects.

Two different stories with two different motifs can have similar lessons, and that is exactly how Daisy Miller and A Doll’s House are. Whereas female roles in society are seen in both stories, A Doll’s House focuses more on pure feminism then Daisy Miller does. However, Daisy Miller has the role of an American in the world whereas there is nothing about this in A Doll’s House. The two stories have different motifs, but both created controversy over the writing. Furthermore, each author created the literature to teach a lesson to society saying that not everyone needs to follow society exactly but rather dance to the beat of their own drum. The differing stories have feminism in each of them, and also show how women have their own rights as human beings. Henrik Ibsen and Henry James both did a wonderful job of portraying their characters in a way that enlightened the society of that particular time period. These two stories made an impact in the lives of both females and Americans because it is finally giving them a chance to make it in this cruel world.

A Doll’s House and Daisy Miller are two controversial pieces of literature that focus on the societal roles of females and Americans. The two stories were written to start a controversy over how these people were being treated and how society could react to this. The authors of the stories, Henrik Ibsen and Henry James, were able to write stories that taught a lesson to everyone who read it, making these pieces of literature a must read. Times were much different back then, and these stories are ways to reflect on the progress that has been made on equality since the days of Nora and Daisy.

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