Essay on A Doll House, By Henrik Ibsen

2281 Words Dec 15th, 2014 10 Pages
Henrik Ibsen writes A Doll House, in an era (1879) where strict marital rules were set by the society of the 19th century. The theme of social realism is portrayed by showing how gender roles are a driving force, with the wife, Nora, being subservient to her husband Torvald, as his opinions, were the rules of the household. The characters start out playful in their respective roles, which is only a highly polished varnish facade that can tarnish quickly in time. The playwright Ibsen uses symbolism to express the gender differences through a societal point of view. Society during this Victorian era had an influence that carried through the home even behind closed doors. Though Ibsen’s personal life had a lack of morals, he tried to portray with his characters the constraints and the foibles that keeping up an image of being gentile and morally correct took a toll on families.
Tovald’s character is strict and commanding, but draws Nora into a playfulness that keeps any serious discussion from coming up. This controlling power keeps his home life, as he wants it, portraying his virtuous wife and well-behaved children to society. Tovald’s respectability is as the head of his entire household. Nora’s character comes off as flighty and self-absorbed in the first act. She works off her husband’s cues as to her behavior, but Nora simply also has a willful side like when she secretly consumes and hides the macaroons that Tovald has strictly forbidden. In the beginning of the first…

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