A Doll ' s House Essay

Submitted By artofeloquence
Words: 1965
Pages: 8

A Doll House Built for the Future Ibsen's A Doll House or A Doll's House is a play regarded as highly radical for its time. It sparked a great deal of controversy and critizism. A number of people refused to be involved with it's production, some threatened to take matters into their own hands and rewrite the ending themselves. Though it was met with incredible critizism in its time, A Doll House has survived until today where it is still widely produced and since been translated into numerous languages, a number of film adaptations and even some reimaginings by other playwrites. A Doll House interrogates the fate of women in society who fail to follow the societal expectations and standards. While women's rights and suffrage had been a long surviving issue, actual discussion began in the 1840s. In 1848 in Seneca Falls the first Women's Rights Convention organized by women was held. At this convention they produced the Declaration of Sentiments, a document modeled after the Declaration of Independence. It demanded equality between men and women in legal issues, in education, in unemployment and it demanded that women be given the right to vote. This was met with substantial critizism by the public that encouraged upholding societal norms. It was also not international. Europe had its own conventions and unions in the late 1800's and early 1900's but no state granted woment he full right to vote until the 1900's. (Sweden granted unmarried or widowed women the right to vote in 1862, however married women were unable to vote because they legally under the guardianship of their husbands.) (P. Orman Ray) Women were viewed as less than men; less human, less important, fragile and impressionable which is why they were not allowed the right to vote. They were viewed as property; as objects to be cared for, coddled and protected by the man. This stareotype is seen in the beginning of A Doll House in Nora and Helmer's relationship. Helmer says "Nora! Are your scatterbrains off again? What if today I borrowed a thousand crowns, and you squandered them over Christmas week, and then on New Year's Eve a roof tile fell on my head and I lay there-" Nora responds by asking him not to say such things and that if anything like that ever happened debt would be the least of her problems. Helmer emphesizes it would be something the people they borrowed from. Nora doesn't care, those people are strangers, to which Helmer responds "Nora, Nora, how like a woman!" Helmer refferes to her with very derogatory terms, "little lark" "little squirrel" and referrs to her mind as "Scatterbrains" as if she is unintelligent. This is obviously inaccurate since she was clever enough to slowly pay back her debt without her husband knowing. He also generealizes women as if none of them could understand the importance and issue of debt. The fact that Nora is paying off her debt indicates that she does understand its importance but rather, that she has different priorities and instead values her family over money. Helmer does not see it as such, he only sees it as her being a silly woman. This sheltered role seems comfortable to Nora, she seems happy. This happiness is interrupted by Krogstad. Krogstad approaches Nora in hopes of getting her to persuade her hsuband to give him a job. He does this by blackmailing her, saying that he will tell her husband that she shared a part in the crime he was convicted for. This suggests that Nora's relationship with Torvald Helmer is strong enough that she has influence with him or that he would secure a position to protect his and his wife's reputation. This enforces the societal expectation that the husband must protect the wife. That also means that the wife, the woman must be protected. In addition to being less than men women are also likened to children, as if they need to be taken care of, like they do not understand the same concepts as men do. There is security that comes with being a wife and mother during