The Role Of Patriarchal Roles In A Doll's House

1271 Words 5 Pages
Nora’s final actions in the end of Henrick Ibsen’s “A Doll House” have certainly been the object of much criticism. In fact, “So much has it disturbed audiences that a few well-known productions changed the ending to have her return before the curtain falls”(Brooks). After all, why would a mother abandon her children and her husband with no clear indication as to if she were going to return? In its time, Nora’s decision was considered disgraceful as well as practically unheard of, and, continues to be an albeit less shocking force in contemporary analysis. A deeper understanding of Nora’s reasons in her seeming dereliction of her family, however, requires the observation of the paternal figures and their broader interpretations. Through …show more content…
In this manner, “The plot … unfolds two parallel stories, both of them hinging on strong or, ‘masculine’ women and weak, i.e., ‘feminine’ men”(Shideler). Anne Marie relinquished her own daughter to care for Nora and has only received two letters from her now grown child since her departure. Mrs. Linde married a man she did not love out of necessity. After her husband’s death, she worked to care for her two brothers and mother for two years “…like one endless workday…”(Ibsen 805). She has been the “caretaker” of her family. Interestingly, it is Mrs. Linde and Krogstad’s marriage that survives the end of the play — two people who have broken from expectation and have an awareness of individuality. Mrs. Linde seeks a family and home not because it is her role, but because it is what she desires. She does not allow Krogstad to take his letter from the mailbox at the end of the play as she realizes that this is not what Nora needs. Mrs. Linde perceives the necessity for honesty and openness in marriage, which is also an indication of how she may help Krogstad with his own …show more content…
This encounter has brought her to the cognizance of how she has been manipulated as well as her compliance in this manipulation. She realizes she has been, “A doll-wife, just as at home I was Papa’s doll-child”(Ibsen 848) as well as the actuality that the boundaries that society has set on gender, marriage, and parenthood do not reflect reality. The father figures do not always protect. The mother figures are not always weak. Helmer claims he would “… gladly work for you day and night, Nora — and take on pain and deprivation. But there is no one who gives up honor for love” (Ibsen 850). Nora, however, knows better. She replies, “Millions of women have done just that”(Ibsen 850). While Helmer takes pride in his honor, Nora’s love is just as powerful. Nora does not leave the doll house with all of her questions answered. She leaves the doll house knowing that she must learn the answers for herself. She does not leave the doll house in fear of being without guidance, “but rather leaves her home knowing she can

Related Documents

Related Topics