Unsavory In A Doll's House

1566 Words 7 Pages
The nineteenth century was characterized by many gender roles. It was a time where women were not able to vote or testify in court, had limited control over property after marriage, were rarely granted legal custody of their children in cases of divorce, and were prohibited from institutions of higher education. This left men with most of the power and a lot of responsibility on their shoulders. The men were the ones in charge, who supported and provided for their families all while maintaining a good reputation in society. In Henrik Ibsen’s play, A Doll’s House, Nora Helmer realizes that in her marriage to Torvald she is nothing more than a trophy, another way for Torvald to show and reach wealth and status. Not only that, she realizes that …show more content…
Torvald quits his career of being a barrister with the excuse that he “naturally has never been willing to [take unsavory cases]” (1.7) is ridiculous. By being a barrister, Torvald should have figured that he would have to pick up “unsavory cases” -- or cases that are not desirable because the client would be guilty no matter what -- since it is not up to him what other people do. Torvald is an “unsavory case” himself because he is lying to everyone he knows about why he quit being a barrister. He must have wanted to be a lawyer at some point in his life, which is why he was one for a period of time. The lie Torvald made to quit his job must have resulted from his fear of losing his reputation and respectability to his peers. Torvald may not have been good at being a barrister as he lost many cases and became humiliated. The lie may also stem from fear; the fear of others assuming he is a terrible person for surrounding himself with criminals or either the fear of losing cases. After Nora’s tries to explain to Torvald that he should keep Krogstad working at the bank the fear of other people’s assumptions come back up as Torvald’s

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