Free Essay About A Doll’s House
The topic of this discussion is about Victorian women who lived during the 19th century and were not given equal rights just like the men and played the role of nurturing wives and mothers to the children. The title of the play is “A Doll’s House” and the playwright is Henrik Ibsen. The play is about a woman named Nora, who was forbidden to be true to herself and express her own ideas and feelings.
Thesis: The story of “A Doll’s House” shows that women are considered as the weaker gender because they were denied of their rights and considered as prized objects by their husbands.
In the story Nora is considered as a typical submissive wife to her husband who follows everything that her husband tells her for the sake of their family. Nora represents the situation of women during her time, who have no choice but the sacrifice their own happiness. Women during the 19th century were responsible to attend to their homes and care for the children, while their husbands were away to work. Women were not allowed to enroll in schools to earn a degree and were not allowed to vote. The only role of the women during that time is to bear children, take care of them and do household chores.
Nora was not allowed to make financial decisions for the family and only followed what her husband tells her. She was not allowed to make her own decision when it comes to financial matters since her husband Torvald only sees her as an inferior when he said that “Has my little spendthrift been wasting money again” (Ibsen 12). My interpretation of this statement is that Torvald considers his wife as an object and a slave who is expected to follow everything that he wants her to do and to become.
The character of Nora is an eye-opener to society in order to free the women from the chains of the husbands. Nora was forced to appear in public as a perfect and dutiful wide to her husband. At the end of the film, Nora left her family to seek her true identity. Such interpretation was supported by Mazur in her article by saying that “the play “A Doll’s House” was used to “activate a more independent female identity and become an important means of revising social codes” (Mazur 12).
Torvald was the type of husband who wanted to preserve the good image of the family public, despite the actual conflicts with their wives. In the story, it was shown that Torvald only cared about what the other people will say, and disregarded the feelings of his wife when he learned about Nora’s illegal act. He despised Nora after learning the truth and he no longer controlled his emotion when he called her “A hypocrite, a liar, worse, a criminal! For shame! For shame! I must sink in to such miserable depths because of a thoughtless woman” (Ibsen 134). Torvald did not care about her wife’s feelings and considered her as dumb and foolish.
“Women of the 19th century are mere spectators of themselves in society” (Mazur 14). In the case of Nora, she pretended to be the perfect wife to her husband and to her family. She was trapped in her domestic situation and in the process lost her identity. She was only treated as an object by her husband and Torvald did not see her real worth as a woman, wife and partner.
Mazur, Ann M. “Victorian Women, The Home Theatre, And The Cultural Potency Of A Doll’s House.” Victorians Institute Journal 41.(2013): 10-34.
Moliken, Paul. A Doll’s House by Henrik Ibsen. Delaware: Prestwick House.