A Doll's House
Often in literature characters are presented as victims of society. There are many examples of this in Henrik Ibsen’s controversial play, “A Doll’s House”. Written during the Victorian era, Ibsen’s play would have raised a lot controversy on the roles of males and females in society. The audience would have noticed the constant similarities between themselves and the characters that are presented as victims of society. A lot of the audience would have found the play shocking and disturbing.
Torvald, a character who is a typical Victorian era husband, with a sweet wife, three children, a nanny, a maid and a well paid job; would have represented a large percentage of the play’s male audience. Only people, who were well off as Torvald, could go to the theatre and have such luxuries, in that period of time.
Torvald is a victim of society, forced by the need to fit into society’s circle and to be classified as high in social status. Torvald is aware of the pressures of society and is willing to adhere to them. Although Torvald is a victim of society, it’s quite evident that he is happy and comfortable with the idea.
Torvald has everything he could possibly want, and everything society could possibly expect him to have, in life. A family, a beautiful wife, a home, a good respectable job, which has given him a higher status in society, a office of his own, to do his man to man business, and plenty of money so that he can spoil his pet, Nora. This is the major reason why Torvald does not want to do anything such as “touch any case that isn’t - well - nice” in case it affects his image and gives his name a bad reputation. Torvald would do anything to stop having to “cut costs to an absolute minimum” and “save every cent”, ever again. This is evident in the last scene when he tries to cover up Nora’s actions, so it doesn’t leave a bad mark against his name. “ I must try to buy him off somehow. This thing must be hushed up at any price.” (Act3, pg94)
Torvald tries his best to live up to every expectation society sets for him. The idea of maintaining a strong and crucial role in the family, is an image, which is important to Torvald. He feels if he maintains this image, he will be comfortably similar to everybody else, in society. As the male and husband of the family, he feels that it is his duty to be the breadwinner, the provider and the head of the household. “you will not find me lacking in strength or courage. I am a man enough to bear the burden for us both.” (Act 2, pg63)
In Act 3, we are able to see how the affects of society have taken the toll on Torvald's moral thoughts. It would kill Torvald, to know that society was aware of Nora’s actions. Torvald would feel ashamed that his own wife had to support him and save his life. “he’s so proud of being a man- it’d be so painful and humiliating for him to know that he owed anything to me (Nora).” Society works in the opposite way, the man is to support his family...