A Doll's House Gender Roles Essay

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Henrik Ibsen in his play, A Doll’s House, first published and performed in 1879 explores the power struggle between genders through the use of motifs, conflict, and extended metaphors. Often, in literature the gender roles are somewhat binary. Men are stable and women are volatile. Men are strong and women are weak. Ibsen throughout the play acknowledges that there is a societal problem with the commodification of women, and ultimately in one brief moment changes the roles that genders have conformed to. Ibsen uses motifs to establish how there is a constant power struggle between Nora and Torvald, and ultimately Nora and Mrs. Linde. Torvald and his grasp onto power constantly thwarts attempts at independence that Nora strives for. This…show more content…
Yet the controlling and commodification of women doesn’t just stop at Torvald, but other men feel entitled enough to control other aspects of Nora’s live as seen in the line, “Why shouldn't I look at my dearest treasure? - at all the beauty that is mine, all my very own?”(Act Three) The second link into a more dominant nature is the social norm during this time periods, which imply that women are men’s property, or in Nora’s case, a pet. In another line, Torvald calls her “his dearest property”; Mrs. Linde states that she will save Nora “at any price”; explicitly indicating that she can be purchased from one poor environment to another. (32) 1879 was a crucial time for the first wave of feminism because this would determine the future of women’s rights. Throughout the play there is constant talk of women, traditional roles in the house, and price for them of breaking away from tradition. Ibsen does a great job to show the progression in the play that maps

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