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Henrik Ibsen's "A Doll's House" How Isben Wanted The Reader To Interpret Nora's Exit From Her Marriage And The Life She Knew.

1514 words - 6 pages

Henrik Ibsen wrote the play A Doll's House in a time when women were amidst a social struggle in order to stop the oppression society placed on them concerning their roles. The main character in Ibsen's play is Nora Helmer, the beautiful wife of Torvald Helmer. She struggles with her need to escape Torvald's power, and be able to learn things about the real world, which she has never experienced. Ibsen wants Nora's exit to be interpreted as an expression of her freedom, intelligence, individualism in an oppressive society and most of all escaping a life that is not her own.The title A Doll's House is a metaphor for how Torvald and Nora are living. Their lives are a game in which Nora is a doll for Torvald to play with and do with as he pleases. Torvald calls her demeaning names like "skylark", "squirrel" and "songbird", which she does not like. By using these names Torvald does not treat Nora as a mature woman in her twenties. Instead she plays the role of his child-wife and goes along with it. To get her way she must play the role Torvald gave her.NORA. If little squirrel asked you really prettily to grant her a wish--HELMER. Well?NORA. Would you grant it to her?HELMER. First I should naturally have to know what it was.NORA. Squirrel would do lots of pretty tricks for you if you granted her wish.(1001-02)In their game though, it seems as if Nora is in control. She always gets her own way, eating macaroons, spending money as well as receiving more from Torvald.HELMER. [follows her] Now, now! My little songbird mustn't droop herwings. What's this? Is little squirrel sulking? [Takes out his purse] Nora; guesswhat I've got here.NORA. [turns quickly] Money! (976)This shows how their relationship is a game where Torvald sets up rules for Nora only to see her break them.Torvald and his attitude towards Nora also play a very important part in Nora's final decision to leave. Torvald is ruled by society and his views are based on how they might affect his social position. When Nora asks Torvald to let Krogstad keep his job at the bank Torvald states,HELMER. The very fact of your pleading his cause makes it impossible for meto keep him. Everyone at the bank already knows that I intend to dismissKrogstad. If rumor got about that the new manager had allowed his wife topersuade him to change his mind-- (1002)Torvald continues to speak of how others will see him, showing how important outward appearances are to him. To Torvald the most important thing is to look like a perfect family from the outside, having a nice home, beautiful wife, children, a good job as well as income. He has a narrow vision of what women's roles are; her only duties are to be a wife and mother. Nora fits into Torvald and society's mold perfectly as Torvald's trophy wife, but she does not want to play that role anymore.The character Mrs. Linde acts as a foil to Nora's character. Mrs. Linde has been an independent woman and working but now wants to be able to care for others, be a wife...

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