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"A Doll's House" By Ibsen Henrik.

1115 words - 4 pages

Henrik Ibsen's play A Doll House examines a woman's struggle for independence in her marriage and social world. Through the use of character change, Ibsen conveys his theme that by breaking away from all social expectations, we can be true to ourselves. When Ibsen presents Nora Helmer, we see a "perfect" wife, who lives in a "perfect" house with a "perfect" husband and children. The Helmer children have a nanny that raises them. By having the nanny, Nora has the freedom to come and go as she pleases. Torvald Helmer, Nora's husband, will begin a new job as bank manager, so they will be rich, which will make her "perfect" life even better. Torvald even calls Nora pet names like "my sweet little lark" (Ibsen 1567) and "my squirrel" (Ibsen 1565). These names may seem to be harmless and cute little nicknames, but the names actually show how little he thinks of her. "Torvald uses derogatory diminutives to address Nora" (Kashdan 52). Torvald talks down to her. Nora is "regarded as property rather than a partner" (Drama for Students 112). He isn't treating her like a real person. In Torvald eyes, she isn't an equal. "Nora is viewed as an object, a toy, a child, but never an equal" (Drama for Students 109). Nora and Torvald seem to be in love with each other though. However, Torvald is very controlling of Nora. Torvald makes little rules for Nora to follow. During the time period when the play was written, a husband controlling his wife and making rules for her was not uncommon. One incident of control is when Nora comes home from Christmas shopping. Torvald knows how much Nora loves macaroons and suspects she has bought some to eat. He comments to Nora, "My sweet tooth really didn't make a little detour through the confectioner...not even munched a macaroon or two" (Ibsen 1566). Torvald didn't want Nora to have too many sweets because he didn't want her teeth to rot. This is his way of letting Nora know he has his eye on her. "Some of these rules, such as no eating macaroons, are petty and demeaning" (Drama for Students 109). If Nora has macaroons every once in a while isn't a big deal. Torvald is making a huge issue over something small and worthless. This is an example of how much control a man had over a woman. Nora wasn't suppose to do anything without going through him. Torvald controlled Nora in everyway possible or so he thought he did. Torvald wants his wife perfect and he will except no less. Torvald also watches how much money she spends. Nora likes to spend money. She finds every excuse to get money out of Torvald. For example, she says "This year we really should let ourselves go a bit, it's the first Christmas we haven't had to economize" (Ibsen 1565). Torvald states "But you know we can't go squandering" (Ibsen 1565). Torvald doesn't like her spending so much. "Nora is enslaved by Torvald in economic terms" (Lutterbie 1639). Torvald only gives Nora want he wants her to spend. When Nora does want something and Torvald won't give it to her,...

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