Doll's

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Doll's

House By Henrik Ibsen
"A Doll's House" is classified under the "second phase" of

Henrik Ibsen's career. It was during this period which he made the transition
from mythical and historical dramas to plays dealing with social problems.It was
the first in a series investigating the tensions of family life.Written during
the Victorian era, the controversial play featuring a femaleprotagonist seeking
individuality stirred up more controversy than any ofhis other works. In
contrast to many dramas of Scandinavia in that timewhich depicted the role of
women as the comforter, helper, and supporter ofman, "A Doll's House"
introduced woman as having her own purposes andgoals. The heroine, Nora Helmer,
progresses during the course of the playeventually to realize that she must
discontinue the role of a doll and seekout her individuality. David Thomas
describes the initial image of Nora as that of a dollwife who revels in the
thought of luxuries that can now be afforded, whois become with flirtation, and
engages in childlike acts of disobedience(259). This inferior role from which

Nora progressed is extremelyimportant. Ibsen in his "A Doll's House"
depicts the role of women assubordinate in order to emphasize the need to reform
their role in society. Definite characteristics of the women's subordinate role
in arelationship are emphasized through Nora's contradicting actions. Her
infatuation with luxuries such as expensive Christmas gifts contradicts her
resourcefulness in scrounging and buying cheap clothing; her defiance ofTorvald
by eating forbidden Macaroons contradicts the submission of heropinions,
including the decision of which dance outfit to wear, to herhusband; and Nora's
flirtatious nature contradicts her devotion to herhusband. These occurrences
emphasize the facets of a relationship inwhich women play a dependent role:
finance, power, and love. Ibsenattracts our attention to these examples to
highlight the overallsubordinate role that a woman plays compared to that of her
husband. Thetwo sides of Nora contrast each other greatly and accentuate the
fact thatshe is lacking in independence of will. The mere fact that Nora's
well-intentioned action is consideredillegal reflects woman's subordinate
position in society; but it is heractions that provide the insight to this
position. It can be suggestedthat women have the power to choose which rules to
follow at home, but notin the business world, thus again indicating her
subordinateness. Noradoes not...