Henrik Ibsen Marrital Relationships Essay

1464 words - 6 pages

Henrik Ibsen Marrital Relationships

In Henrik Ibsen’s plays, A Doll’s House and Hedda Gabler he develops marital relationships between characters along with the plays plot. Having unique characteristics the different actors respond differently to the situations given to them. I will be analyzing these marital relationships between characters while comparing and contrasting these results between the three plays. The areas that I will be examining include gender roles, social influences and expectations, interpersonal dynamics and the context of motherhood.

In A Doll’s House Ibsen focuses on the way women are seen, especially in the context of marriage and motherhood. This can be seen clearly by Torvalds narrow views of a women and her role as a “good” wife and mother. He explains to Nora that women are responsible for the morality of their children. He sees women as children and the helpless creatures that are detached from reality. Women are also the influential moral forces that are responsible for the purity of the world by their influence within the home. As a first impression Nora plays a very generous and open role. She seems to be very content in her surroundings and acts toward her husband in a very caring and loving way. She gives the impression that she is extremely dependent on her husband and would do nothing to hurt him. In the beginning of the play there are a few hints that contradict the true nature of how Nora really is deep down inside. There are a few instances in which Nora lies to her husband even before we ever find out about the big lie which is her marriage. She is confronted about eating some cookies she flat out lies to Torvald and tells him no. Another example is displayed when her husband asks her about the presence of Krogstad and again she lies to him. The difference with this second act of deceit she has been caught in the lie since Torvald had just seen Krogstad leave the house. The big lie that Nora has been living is her entire marriage with Torvald and who she really is deep inside. Nora is bursting with independency and tward the end of the play this becomes evident. The knowledge of this could corrupt the home and kids and destroy everything she ever had. This unique aspect of this situation is that this environment that she is living in the present is the exact same as the life she lived as a child with her father.

In the second play Hedda Gabler portrays a character that is different from that of Nora. Hedda speaks clearly and tells it how it really is. She has absolutely no respect for her husband and this is clear to everyone except him. Hedda has no joy in life and condemns anything that puts happiness in everyone else. There is a clear example of this characteristic from the very moment Hedda is introduced to us. The first comment is directed to the person that had left the door open and allowed all of the sunlight to enter into the room. Other examples are her lack of joy for...

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