freedol Nora’s Struggle For Freedom in Ibsen's A Doll's House

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Nora’s Struggle For Freedom in A Doll's House

In many cultures, a woman is expected to assume the role of the submissive, attentive wife. Often, a woman's role is limited by society to that of wife and mother. Henrik Ibsen, in his play A Doll's House examines the consequences of the stereotypical roles of women in marriage. Isben allows the reader to follow Nora, the main character, “along her difficult journey to regain her self-esteem and self worth”(Durbach 153).

From the very first lines of the play, we notice the status quo between Torvald and Nora. Torvald is the stereotypically strong, dignified husband while Nora is "little skylark twittering" (Isben 148). Torvald's continual reference to Nora using bird names parallels
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Instead of standing up for her rights as a human being to eat what she likes, she acts as a little bird afraid of her master's wrath. Thus, in the beginning of the play we are introduced to Nora as the weak, stupid, dependent wife.

The second stage of her independence is foreshadowed by the invitation to the "fancy dress party." Her invitation to the "fancy dress party" with Torvald is of extreme significance to her self-esteem. If one looks closely, one will see that till the party took place, Nora never stepped foot outside of her house. All the places where she seems to be are places with walls. We never see her step outside alone. The only time she does leave the house is to go to another place with walls. Nora's seclusion and her constant indoor state symbolizes her imprisonment. She is caged as a bird would be caged. She cannot fly away till she retains her independence. However, her going to the party signifies the fact that she is attempting to break free. This is shown earlier on in the play during her discussion with Mrs. Linde.

In her attempt to break free, she finds Mrs. Linde as a refuge. Whenever Torvald is not around Nora, we glimpse her efforts to break free. For example, Nora shows her strength in the mere fact that she saved her husband's life. Although this took place before the play started, in revealing her secret to Mrs. Linde she attempts to gain independence. When Mrs. Linde comes to visit Nora, we see Nora's power

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