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A Doll's House; Research Paper

981 words - 4 pages

“If I’m ever to reach any understanding of myself and the things around me, I must learn to stand alone. That’s why I can’t stay here with you any longer.” -Nora Helmer, Act 3. A Doll’s House.
Nora Helmer is the main character in the play “A Doll’s House” by Henrik Ibsen. This play takes place around the 1870’s in Christmas time. Nora and her husband Torvald Helmer appear to be the average and ideal marriage of the 19th century, a middle class with three children; everything seems to be perfect until the character of Nora Helmer changes completely. In the play “A Doll’s House” a modern drama by Henrik Ibsen, he uses the character of Nora Helmer to demonstrate the role of women, the gender stereotypes and the dependency on their spouses in the last century.
The role of women in “A Doll’s House” plays an important part, Nora is the main character and in the beginning of this play she seems to be an average wife and mother of three children, her only responsibility is to be there and take care of her children and husband. Torvald Helmer, Nora’s husband, is always treating her like a child and innocent always calling her names and basically treating her like a doll. She is more likely to be an “obedient trophy-wife. They had an unhealthy marriage, Nora is just living along with Torvald’s rules, and mainly she is following the social norms. Torvald believes that he is superior to her. Nora acting like a child is making her look innocent and naïve, with a little personality of her own. Basically, that is how women were treated back in the last century.
“Well, we will share it, Nora, as man and wife should. That is how it shall be.” Helmer, act 2. In this quote, Torvald is being ironic; it does not make sense that he is implying how marriage should be, when in reality he does the total opposite, Nora instead, is willing to do whatever for the man she loves, enough to sacrifice her feelings just to make him happy.
Another important element to consider on this play is gender stereotypes. First, The Helmer residence is a stereotypical middle class family, where Torvald is the typical male whose only duty is to work. Whereas Nora is the typical wife, she has to take care of her three children and also take care of Torvald, be there to please him and do what he says.
Society believes that the husband should able to control their wife and expect them to do what they want. “But don’t you think it is nice of me, too, to do as you wish? Nora Helmer, Act 2. Basically this quote is enforcing how women have to act towards their husband. Nora knows she has to do what Torvald says, mainly because her father taught her to do so. Always acceding to a male...

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