As act I of “A Doll’s House” begins, the scene is set to impress the audience “with vivid descriptions of a room “furnished with taste, but nothing too extravagant”. (Ibsen) The first to enter is Nora. Nora walks in with her arms full of bags after shopping, and her husband, Torvald calls from another room to make sure it is her he hears coming through the door. Torvald sets limits on Nora’s spending; he treats her as both a child and a doll. The way in which the characters in the play treat, and react to one another, shows the selfish intentions in which the expectations of society hold of them.
The character of Nora’s father was only spoken about throughout the play, but introduced a view of her past and childhood. In the expectations of society, Nora’s relationship with her father was not uncommon. A mother is usually the caretaker of the children; it is obvious Nora did not have that. Instead, she was “put up on a shelf, like a doll”, by her own father. Nora was treated as a special child. Torvald tells Nora many times, she has inherited her negative traits from her father, as if he is justifying why he calls he names and treats her as a doll ,and sometimes a child too.
The male characters in “A Doll’s House” play the typical roles of their gender that society upholds them too. The way in which Torvald speaks to Nora, calling her his “little squirrel”, or his “skylark”, and nonchalantly telling her she spends too much of his money, is based on his expectations of her being responsible. Torvald is considered an upstanding man within his society. With Nora to be out a “spendthrift”, it looks bad on him. In the time setting, women were held to expectations from society to be submissive to their husbands, but Nora and Kristine were anything but such. Nora found ways to manipulate all three men, Krogstad, Torvald, and doctor Rank. When Nora went behind Torvald to borrow the money from the bank, her intentions were selfless, she wanted to help her husband get better. In her efforts to do so, she was “blackmailed and confiding secrets to others with Torvald just a room away, which makes the tension rocket (Benedict)”. After having used Krogstad to get what she needed, yet another issue arose. Krogstad turned on Nora once his...