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Women's Role In Society Analyzed And Debated In Henrik Ibsen’s A Doll’s House

1176 words - 5 pages

For various reasons, the role of women in society has been analyzed and frequently debated throughout history. Henrik Ibsen’s A Doll’s House is no exception to the rule. In Norway, and during the Victorian period in history, women’s responsibilities were simply to keep house or do small jobs on the side such as sewing or light secretarial work. Henrik Ibsen may have had several intentions when writing his play A Doll’s House, but the one that stands out so clearly is the role of women in the time period from which the play takes place and just how doll-like they were treated in Victorian society. Women during this period were by no means the decision-makers of their households. Husbands or fathers were the heads of the household and many times women didn’t even know what state their financial affairs were in. It was often times only when something drastic happened that a woman would become aware of these things. For instance, if a husband should fall sick or even pass away and there were no male relatives to help take care of things, often times the woman would have to step up and distinguish what needed to be done in order to take care of things. We see a variation of this situation in Ibsen’s play. We meet a woman, Nora, and her husband Torvald and in it we witness the deterioration of their life together through Nora’s eyes. Throughout this analysis of A Doll’s House, I will address several things concerning Ibsen’s play. I will give a synopsis of the play, an analysis of three major characters: a.) Nora, b.) Torvald, and c.) Krogstad. I will discuss the language of the play and themes. I will give an in-depth look at the playwright himself as well as information on his creation of the play. I will give an idea of what the first production looked like and how it was reviewed and finally, I will discuss my personal opinion on the show and give an idea of how it would look if I were to produce the play myself. To begin this analysis, I would like to start with the synopsis of the play working through the show by acts. I will tell the plot in my own words with the help of the book, A Doll’s House: and Other Plays by Henrik Ibsen.
The first act of the play A Doll’s House begins on Christmas Eve in Norway inside the house of the Helmer’s. We immediately see Nora entering the house with her hands full of packages she has purchased while out shopping for her three children. Very soon after Nora arrives we meet Torvald, her husband enter the room from his study. It is immediately apparent that Helmer is domineering. He has various pet names for Nora (Squirrel, Skylark, Featherbrain, etc.). Nora begins to show Torvald what she has purchased when he begins to tease her about her spending. It is at this point that we learn that Torvald has recently acquired a new position at the bank where he is employed. Nora uses this as an excuse for her spending and says that they can now go ahead and spend a little more here and there, on...

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