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Analysis of a Doll's House & Relation to Historical Cont

Uploaded by Panda05 on Jan 06, 2005

A Doll's House Analysis

In 1879 society dictated the way human beings lived their lives and in 2000 nothing has changed. In "A Dolls House," Henrik Isben reveals the devastating affect society has on relationships. Through the disintegration of Nora and Torvald Helmer's marriage, Isben shows how people make poor decisions based on the opinions of the society they lived in. Many have tried to present the play as an example of women's rights, but I believe Isben was trying to say that society oppresses all of us, by dictating how we should live our lives.

For example, Nora is forced to hide the fact that she made a financial decision to save Torvald's life, because it would make him appear weak. In addition, she forged her father's name on the bond not realizing she was committing a crime. The fact is that 1879 society was a man's world, and it wasn't appropriate for a woman to show more strength or intelligence than her husband. "This society has a moral code that prescribes many rules but does not tolerate moral fervor" (Meyer 51).

Rather than face the fact that she may disappoint Torvald by not being perfect, she hides things from him. In the beginning of the play she hides macaroons in her pocket rather than eating them in the open, because she knows Torvald doesn't approve of them. Since Torvald doesn't approve of them, it wouldn't be acceptable for her to go against his wishes, so she hides them. She also allows him to give her pet names like skylark, or squirrel even if she doesn't like them. Of course, "There is certainly no sense that Nora finds these labels unacceptable-at times (although not here) she uses them herself to get her way with Torvald" (Johnston).

Nora pretends to be a naive child, because this allows her get what she wants, by feeding Torvald's ego. "Yes, Nora may appear happy enough and getting her way, but she's playing a silly role, acting the child-wife when she is, in fact, a mature married woman and mother in her late twenties" (Johnston). Torvald doesn't see a problem with this, because it fits the expectations of society perfectly.

Torvald is very concerned with fitting the image of society. When Nora announces she is leaving him he begs her to stay, but his remarks are...

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Uploaded by:   Panda05

Date:   01/06/2005

Category:   Literature

Length:   5 pages (1,024 words)

Views:   20761

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