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&Quot;A Doll's House&Quot; Essay

1003 words - 4 pages

The suppressed position of women was blatantly highlighted in Henrik Isbens play titled "A Doll's House" The dehumanization weathered by Nora, the dependence she felt, along with lack of adequate experience and education all played a part in Isbens story as if it were exact representations of society just beyond the doll house walls. As the reality of Nora's predicament was raised to the surface her inability to manage herself is seemingly what leads her down the path to her own independence. It is through the disillusionment that Nora undeniably felt towards her husband Torvald and the world that she finally comprehends her unmitigated state of repression.

Nora clearly represents the doll of the house and Torvald's dehumanization of her is flagrant throughout the story. He relentlessly refers to his wife through the use of pet names such as "my little skylark" and "my helpless little squirrel." In addition Torvald uses the possessive "my" often to reflect the notion that she belongs solely to him. She is his plaything, his toy, and his possession. Torvald even states to Nora that it was "quite expensive for him to keep such a pet." Once Torvald becomes aware of his wife's transgressions he reduces even her further calling her a miserable creature and a heedless child.

In a juvenile game of hide and seek that Nora plays with her children she displays her childlike behavior but this also seems to articulate that what is happening between her and Torvald is a game. She hides the truth from Torvald in order to safeguard his excellent name, as it would apparently be her duty to honor him in that manner. Nora seems to enjoy this game with her children because she considers them to be great fun and she plays as if she too was a child. She does not perform the practical tasks of caring for her children; she is merely their playmate. This further reduces her as an individual. Torvald employs a nursemaid to care for their children and this custom appears to be commonplace among the elite in that time.

Nora was completely dependent on Torvald and he adored that fact. He noted that her dependence on him made her more alluring; she becomes both wife and child to him. He does not see her as his equal as women were typically not viewed as equal partners. He sees her only as his possession, a young, vibrant Nora, magnificent for only him, for him to show off at his will, and to signify his manhood. It is possible that he was much her elder and it was admired among men to seek out a young woman for marriage, they were more malleable and up to the task of bearing their children.

The sense that woman were helpless creatures seemed to echo in the society around them. It appears that most women were not...

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