Essay on Henrik Ibsen 's A Doll 's House

1573 Words Dec 7th, 2016 7 Pages
Ibsen’s play, A Doll’s House immediately encountered a spectrum of reactions--ranging from strong support to harsh criticism--following its premiere in 1879. The controversy came about over Nora’s role as an independent woman who makes her own decisions. The public’s immediate response to Ibsen’s play reflects the shift occurring within society, centered on gender roles and women’s place in the mid to late 19th century. Ibsen’s portrayal of women through Nora’s role explores the ideas of equality within marriage as well as women’s individualism and their role within society. Nora’s character acts as a catalyst for Ibsen to portray women’s standing as compared to their male counterparts in different areas of society--the home, marriage, workplace and in public business. Through Ibsen’s characterization of Nora, he explores these major themes of controversy and pivotal change during the early 1880’s.
While Ibsen carefully refrains from interjecting his own opinion, he successfully provides an accurate depiction of the power divide in the household--during the mid to late 19th century--through his portrayal of Nora. Today’s marriages, known as a partnership between equals was once not regarded as equal at all. During the 19th century, women held a rank below their husbands. Essentially, women were a pawn, leaving the ownership of their father to be handed off to their husband. Nora explains the situation best, stating: “I was simply transferred from Papa’s hands to yours. You…

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