Description Of Male-Dominant Society

April 28, 2020 by Essay Writer

In A Doll’s House by Henrik Ibsen, Norar’s relationships are strained by society’s expectations of women’s roles and how women are viewed by others. The story takes place during the Victorian Era where the quality of life heavily depended on oner’s social status. For women, this was difficult.

They dealt with harsh sexual restraints as they lacked several fundamental rights such as the right to vote, own property, and divorcing their husbands. These restraints caused women to be very reliant on their husbands which is largely apparent in Norar’s relationship with Torvald. Torvaldr’s use of childlike and condescending nicknames towards Nora reveals how men viewed women as inferior in this time period. Stuck in this unequal marriage, Nora must prevail against societyr’s prescribed roles for women and discover her personal identity and journey.

Nora must meet the needs of her husbands and children. She makes sacrifices to her husband and treats him to what society expects of a woman. She is quite the compassionate and loving wife as shown through her actions. She strives to be the perfect wife for Torvald and would do anything for his happiness. But while she clearly shows great care for him, he does not treat her the same way. We see how he treats Nora often through his name-calling which is fueled by his obligation to stick to societyr’s framework. When he greets Nora in Act I, he calls her his little squirrel and sweet little spendthrift for wasting money on Christmas packages (3-4). This reveals how Torvald sees his wife as simply a doll by calling her objectifying names and emphasizes his belief that Nora is his. Money also plays a role in the play. Torvald is responsible for the financial welfare of his family and relishes his role as a protector for his wife. Because he controls the money, he believes it is acceptable to treat his wife in a patronizing manner. He believes the duty of women is to be a good wife and mother. Thus, he is more concerned with maintaining his morality and reputation than his wifer’s wellbeing.

Norar’s detachment from reality blinds her from Torvaldr’s treatment for much of the play. But towards the end, her decision to abandon him reveals how her character has developed over the course of the story. She experiences an epiphany when she informs him of her intent to leave him. She has never felt [her] mind so clear and certain as as she saw he was not the man [she] had thought (69). When Torvald unleashes his anger towards Nora for forging the letter, she recognizes that he is a different person than she had once believed. Even when she tries to communicate calmly to him, he criticizes her, calling her a blind, foolish woman for leaving him (68). Through this revelation, she realizes her marriage has been only an illusion and should not be obligated to let a man dictate her actions. There was no true love between her and Torvald. He only cared about his reputation and when she sacrificed her integrity for him, he cared about other things that were supposedly more important than his wife. As she walks out the door, she emphatically slams the door, symbolizing the conclusion of their uneven relationship.

Ibsen writes this story during the highly controversial Victorian Era where society was male-dominant. Nora’s decision to leave Torvald was definitely reasonable. She felt trapped, having no fulfillment and individuality so she could no longer endure under his control. Ibsen’s use of realism helps bring clarity to key themes and challenges the audience to think about the societal issues that particularly affected Norar’s life.

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