Essay on A Feminist Perspective of A Doll's House

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A Feminist Perspective of A Doll's House

In "A Doll's House", Ibsen portrays the bleak picture of a role held by women of all economic classes that is sacrificial. The female characters in the play back-up Nora's assertion that even though men are unable to sacrifice their integrity, "hundreds of thousands of woman have." Mrs. Linde found it necessary to abandon Krogstad, her true but poor love, and marry a richer man in order to support her mother and two brothers. The nanny has to abandon her children to support herself by working for Nora. Though Nora is economically advantaged, in comparison to the other female characters, she leads a hard life because society dictates that Torvald be the marriages dominant member.
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The only time Torvald actually calls her by her full name is when he is scolding her. By placing Nora in a system of names, Torvald asserts his power while dehumanizing her. Torvald compares Nora to "little birds that like to flitter over money," and seems to be suggesting that she lacks some male quality that prevents her from having the ability to deal with finances.

Torvald strongly feels that Nora's lack of money knowledge is the result of her gender, which shows his jaded viewpoint on gender roles. Torvald seems to believe that a woman's role is to simply beautify the home through proper behavior as well as appearance. He takes no time in making it apparent that Nora is like a trophy that serves to beautify his home and his reputation.

Nora is also like a child to Torvald and he spends his time competing with her dead father for Nora's loyalty. By keeping Nora dependent upon him, Torvald is able to play the role of Nora's second father. Mrs. Linde appears to be a type of role model for Nora because of her less-than pampered life experience. Both Nora's and Mrs. Linde's marriages involve sacrificing themselves to another for money. Throughout "A Doll's House" women constantly sacrifice their personal desires, ambitions, and their dignity.

In the second half of Act I, we see a household full of secrets and deception. A very minor example of this deception is Nora's lying about eating the

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