Research Paper On A Doll's House By Henrik Ibsen

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A Doll’s House: A Playpen In Henrik Ibsen’s short play, A Doll’s House, the author tackles women's rights as a matter of importance. He acknowledges the fact that in 19th century life, women were expected to stay at home, raise children, and focus on the needs of her their husbands. One of the play’s main characters, Nora Helmer, is portrayed as a victim in her marriage. Throughout much of the play, Nora is oppressed by the manipulation from her husband, Torvald. He is a stereotypical 19th century husband: he considers himself the most important party, and he often treats his wife as if she is one of the many responsibilities he has as a man. Torvald is very authoritative and puts his social reputation ahead of his wife that he claims that…show more content…
Nora allows herself to confess her deepest secret to her childhood friend, Kristine Linde; that her husband was in debt to her, as opposed to her deceased father. Nora explains, “It was to me the doctors came to say his life was in danger – that nothing could save him but a stay in the south. Didn’t I try strategy then! I began talking about how lovely it would be for me to travel abroad like other young wives; I begged and I cried; I told him to please remember [her pregnancy], to be kind and indulge me; and then I dropped a hint that he could easily take out a loan. But at that, he nearly exploded. He said I was frivolous, and it was his duty as man of the house not to indulge me in whims and fancies – as I think he called them . . . He’s so strict on that subject. Besides – Torvald, with all his masculine pride – how painfully humiliating for him if he ever found out he was in debt to me. That would just ruin our relationship. Our beautiful, happy home would never be the same,” (Ibsen 1258). She had borrowed money without her husband’s knowledge from an unreliable man named Krogstad, and forged her father’s signature after his death. Nora seems to be acting comparably to a young child, lying to her parent, who in this case would be her husband, knowing that if he found out that he, as a man, was not consistently in control, her life as a housewife, and her marriage, for that matter, would fall…show more content…
The play closes with a marriage-ending argument between the couple. A letter written by Krogstad, explaining Nora’s financial endeavor, was dropped into the Helmers’ mailbox. Upon reading this letter, Torvald continues to insult Nora, calling her a, "Featherbrained woman," (Ibsen 1292) and a, "Blind, incompetent child " (Ibsen 1295), because she, "[has] wrecked all [his] happiness - ruined my whole future . . . From now on happiness doesn’t matter; all that matters is saving the bits and pieces, the appearance," (Ibsen 1293). Nora realizes now that her forging her father’s signature was a terrible mistake, because it was for an unworthy cause. She explains to Torvald, “You never loved me. You’ve thought it fun to be in love with me, that’s all . . . When I lived at home with Papa . . . he used to call me his doll-child, and he played with me the way I played with my dolls . . . I went from Papa’s hand into yours. You arranged everything to your own taste, and so I got the same taste as you – or I pretended to; I can’t remember . . . Our home’s been nothing but a playpen. I’ve been your doll-wife here, just as at home I was Papa’s doll-child . . . I thought it was fun when you played with me . . . That’s been our marriage, Torvald,” (Ibsen 1295). When she realizes that her duties to herself are more important, Nora leaves not just Torvald, but her entire

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