Essay on Henrik Ibsen 's A Doll 's House

845 Words 4 Pages
Henrik Ibsen’s most famous play, A Doll’s House (also translated as A Doll House from its original Norwegian form) is one of the most controversial plays of its time as it challenges the marriage norms of the late nineteenth-century. The play dramatizes the growth of Nora Helmer from a “trophy wife” to an independent woman who sets out to find herself –an instance that rarely occurred in nineteenth-century Europe. The play delves into Torvald and Nora’s marriage, which, nowadays, would be considered an emotionally abusive relationship, but was considered perfectly normal in Victorian patriarchal society. In addition, another aspect of the play is Nora’s search for self-discovery and her transformation from the girl at the beginning of the play to the woman at the conclusion. This essay will examine Nora’s transformation and her relationships with the other characters, the vast symbolism in the play, and the beginning of the women’s rights movement in the United States.

“Nora, Nora, how like a woman!” (Act I). This statement of Torvald’s early on in the play gives us insight into the stereotyped view he, and indeed the general male population of the time, had of women. Throughout the play, Nora is incessantly treated like a child: she is forbidden to eat macaroons, she is not to bother Torvald when he is working, she must not be concerned with monetary affairs and, above all, she must obey her husband. In addition, Nora is also conceived as a sexual object by Torvald: she…

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