This website uses cookies to ensure you have the best experience. Learn more

The Controversial Theme Of A Doll's House By Henrik Ibsen

2004 words - 8 pages

The Controversial Theme of A Doll's House

 
   In his play, A Doll's House, Henrik Ibsen depicts a female protagonist, Nora Helmer, who dares to defy her husband and forsake her "duty" as a wife and mother to seek out her individuality. A Doll's House challenges the patriarchal view held by most people at the time that a woman's place was in the home. Many women could relate to Nora's situation. Like Nora, they felt trapped by their husbands and their fathers; however, they believed that the rules of society prevented them from stepping out of the shadows of men. Through this play, Ibsen stresses the importance of women's individuality. A Doll's House combines realistic characters, fascinating imagery, explicit stage directions, and an influential setting to develop a controversial theme.

The characters of this play help to support Ibsen's opinions. Nora's initial characteristics are that of a bubbly, child-like wife who is strictly dependent on her husband. This subordinate role from which Nora progresses emphasizes the need for change in society's view of women. For Nora, her inferior, doll-like nature is a facade for a deeper passion for individuality that begins to surface during the play and eventually fully emerges in the ending. An example of this deep yearning for independence is shown when Nora tells her friend, Kristina Linde about earning her own money by doing copying. Nora explains, "it was tremendous fun sitting [in her room] working and earning money. It was almost like being a man" (A Doll's House, 162). Mrs. Linde is an inspiration to Nora, because Kristina has experienced the independence that Nora longs for.

Even though Nora seeks to be independent, she uses her role of subordination to her advantage. By deceiving her husband, Torvald, into thinking that she can do nothing on her own, she ensures that he never suspects her of forging her father's name to borrow 800 cronen from Krogstad in order to save Torvald's life. When Krogstad threatens to expose the truth, Nora must use her craftiness to distract Torvald and sway him into letting Krogstad keep his job. Unfortunately, she is not able to change his mind, but she does succeed in diverting his suspicions of her motives. She praises him and lulls him into a false sense of security by telling him that "[n]o one has such good taste as [he has]" and then goes on to ask him if he could "take [her] in hand and decide what [she is] to go as" for the dance. She confesses to him that she "can't do anything without [him] to help [her]". These statements lead him to believe that he is the one to "rescue" her, when it is in fact Nora who is trying to rescue him from dishonour. Later on, when Krogstad puts a letter in Torvald's mail, explaining everything that Nora has done, Nora uses her charms once more. She pretends that she has forgotten the tarantella so that Torvald will spend all his time with her and think nothing of the mail that awaits him. Nora truly believes...

Find Another Essay On The Controversial Theme of A Doll's House by Henrik Ibsen

"A Doll's House" by Ibsen Henrik

1115 words - 4 pages Henrik Ibsen's play A Doll House examines a woman's struggle for independence in her marriage and social world. Through the use of character change, Ibsen conveys his theme that by breaking away from all social expectations, we can be true to ourselves. When Ibsen presents Nora Helmer, we see a "perfect" wife, who lives in a "perfect" house with a "perfect" husband and children. The Helmer children have a nanny that raises them. By having the

A Doll's House by Henrik Ibsen

1403 words - 6 pages In this passage of “A Doll’s House” by Ibsen, the reader is presented with a decisive moment in the play. It provides the crucial turning point in which Nora’s changes her outlook towards Helmer by being independently decisive. Nora’s requirement to obtain freedom from her accustomed lifestyle, demonstrated so precisely here, is depicted from her search for what can be found in the world in accordance to her conflict. It gives her an

A Doll's House by Henrik Ibsen

1443 words - 6 pages “Feminist: a person who believes in the social, political, and economic equality of the sexes.” (TED) This is the definition that Chimamanda Ngozi Adichie, an African author and feminist, discovered when she looked up the term “feminist” in the dictionary at age fourteen. This is also the definition that she based her speech, “We Should All Be Feminists”, off of. Nora Helmer, the creation of Henrik Ibsen for his play A Doll’s House, is a

"A Doll's House" by Henrik Ibsen

2109 words - 8 pages Often in literature characters are presented as victims of society. There are many examples of this in Henrik Ibsen's controversial play, "A Doll's House". Written during the Victorian era, Ibsen's play would have raised a lot controversy on the roles of males and females in society. The audience would have noticed the constant similarities between themselves and the characters that are presented as victims of society. A lot of the audience

A Doll's House by Henrik Ibsen

1877 words - 8 pages A Doll's House by Henrik Ibsen We have all felt the need to be alone or to venture to places that our minds have only imagined. However, we as individuals have always found ourselves clutching to our responsibilities and obligations, to either our jobs or our friends and family. The lingering feeling of leaving something behind

A Doll's House by Henrik Ibsen

1079 words - 4 pages A Doll’s House, by Henrik Ibsen, observes the everyday life of an average Norwegian family. The role that each character plays in this family is very stereotypical. Nora is the obedient housewife and Torvald is the ideal “working man.” The life Nora and Torvald have built crumbles in the end, as a result of flaws in the social order. The responsibilities placed on Nora, Torvald, women, and men limit their freedoms to exist for themselves. Men

A Doll's House by Henrik Ibsen - 768 words

768 words - 3 pages In reading Ibsen's A Doll's House today, one may find it hard to imagine how daring it seemed at the time it was written one hundred years ago. Its theme, the emancipation of a woman, makes it seem almost contemporary.In Act I, there are many clues that hint at the kind of marriage Nora and Torvald have. It seems that Nora is a doll controlled by Torvald. She relies on him for everything, from movements to thoughts, much like a puppet who is

A Doll's House, by Henrik Ibsen

1153 words - 5 pages accurate, for once an idea is put on paper it becomes quite hard to retract. In effect written words relate to the truth, and if understood by the viewer they may expose the lies of those around him. Taking this a step further involves putting truthful, paper into the hands of someone else, perhaps in the form of a letter or note via the post office. In his drama A Doll House Ibsen included three articles of mail to symbolize the truth, and thereby

A Doll's House, by Henrik Ibsen

858 words - 3 pages In the early 20th century, Nora began her life as the daughter of an educated, oil tycoon by the name of Cordell S. Williams. Business demands would prevent Cordell from having anymore children. Nora was only child. Nora was cordell’s pride and joy. Nora got whatever she wanted. Mr. Williams would eventually lose his wealth as the markets crashed in the year 1913. Broke and unemployed, Cordell turned to a life of crime

Realism in the Play "A Doll's House" by Henrik Ibsen

708 words - 3 pages Henrik Ibsen is commonly referred to as the Father of Realism in theatre because of his expert use of social and political changes in Europe to fuel the intricate plots of his plays. He challenged the melodramas that preceded him, and took the romantics out of their exotic locales with swashbuckling heroes to a place where women could be equals and human nature unfolded in three acts through conversation. Ibsen depicted ordinary lives in

"A Doll's House" and "The Wild Duck" by Henrik Ibsen

1089 words - 4 pages -emancipation for Nora, the protagonist of A Doll's House by Henrik Ibsen. Objects like the macaroons, the lamp, the Christmas tree, and costumes represent the movement towards freedom of a woman who was a victim of society. Ibsen painted Nora as a youthful and lovely creature who was brought through life treated as a plaything by both her father and then her husband, Torvald. She must break society's unwritten laws. Although the consequences of her

Similar Essays

A Doll's House By Henrik Ibsen 833 Words

833 words - 3 pages Henrik Ibsen was born in Skien, Norway on March 20, 1828. At age 15, Ibsen moved to Grimstad where he supported himself as an apothecary's apprentice and practiced writing on the side. In 1879 Ibsen created his masterpiece titled A Doll's House. A Doll's House is a story about middle class people named Nora and Helmer. Nora must question the foundation of everything she believes in when her marriage is put to the test. Nora borrows money from a

"A Doll's House" By Henrik Ibsen

2084 words - 8 pages institutionalized Isben composed his "Notes for a Modern Tragedy," in which he stated the germ of the idea he developed in "A Doll House" (Charters 1577).In the play, "A Doll House," by Henrik Ibsen there seems to include serious social commentary underlying in this piece. This play is obviously critical of the time period, but also presents little or no solutions. The play is critiquing the society of the time for its structured hierarchy of male dominance

"A Doll's House" By Henrik Ibsen

1000 words - 4 pages Kachramani FiliaENG 275Instructor: Dr. Pappas"A Doll's House" by Henrik IbsenIn "A Doll's House" by Ibsen, in Act II Dr. Rank and Nora have the chance to talk in private. Through Dr. Rank's and Nora's conversation, the themes of parental obligation and religion, that are evident throughout the play, are being discussed.The theme of the parent's obligation towards their children, as well as the need for the children, when older, to take care of

A Doll's House, By Henrik Ibsen

1811 words - 7 pages The themes of “objecthood” and “feminine liberation” in Henrik Ibsen’s A Doll’s House as conveyed through the characterization of Torvald and Nora, diction, stage directions and structure in two integral scenes. Henrik Ibsen’s A Doll’s House conveys the story of a wife’s struggle to break away from the social norms of late nineteenth century middle class Europe. Throughout the play, Ibsen focuses on Nora’s characterization and experiences and