Throughout the play, A Doll’s House, written by Henrik Ibsen the role of women was
very different then it is now. During the 19th Century, women were often seen as weak
and ineffective. They also relied very heavily on the man to provide for them and were
expected to stay home while they cook, clean and take the care of their children. Henrik
Ibsen gives his readers a glimpse of what is what like to be a woman during this time by
showing how Torvald treated his wife Nora. He would treat her like a possession, call
her a squirrel and expected her to live up to his expectation of the perfect wife. Now the
role of women has changed dramatically. More women are going to college, getting jobs
and providing for themselves.
Throughout Nora’s marriage with her husband Torvald, she has been nothing but a
puppet to him.” I have been performing tricks for you, Torvald. That’s how I’ve survived.
You wanted it like that. You and Papa have done me a great wrong. It’s because of you
I’ve made nothing of my life” (Ibsen). In this quote, Nora realizes that she has yet to do
anything with her life because she’s has been raised by her father to meet society’s
expectation of what it meant to be a woman during those times. She states that she’s
been performing tricks for her husband like how a dog performs tricks for its owner. The
only reason why Nora survived her marriage with Torvald was by acting like the perfect
happy wife. “You have never loved me. You have only thought it pleasant to be in love
with me (Ibsen). In this quote , Nora states that Torvald never truly loved her for who
she was but was in love with the idea of her. He was in love with the idea of having a
flawless wife who did nothing but obey him, cook for him, have no say in their marriage
take care of the children, stay home and clean while he works. Their marriage was never built on love but rather on Torvald’s obsession with perfection.
Nora had a desire to be independent from her husband and could no longer uphold
this performance that she’s played since the day she was born.”I must stand on my own
two feet if I'm to get to know myself and the world outside. That's why I can't stay here
with you any longer “(Ibsen). In this quote, All of her life Nora’s been tamed and was
expected to behave a certain way. She is now rebelling against what society wants her
to be by leaving her husband. The reason why Nora left Torvald was because she was
sick and tired of pretending to be the ideal woman. She no longer wanted to be the
perfect housewife but a strong independent woman who fended for herself. She craved
liberty like a drug and couldn’t stay miserable with her husband much longer.
Nora has always been expected to play the role of a…