A Doll’s House Drama Analysis Kshana pressley Northwest Mississippi Community College Introduction During the nineteenth century, many restrictions and limitations were place on women in society. Marital roles, social roles, and work roles were very different for women during the nineteenth century than they are today (Hartman, 1999). Henrik Isben’s playwright, “A Doll House”, actively voices women rights many years ago.
The marital life Nora Helmer is portrayed throughout the play, conveying subordination, condemnation, sacrifice, and inequality that women felt from men in the roles that hey were expected to accept and play in a very conventional society. During the 19th century, men were thought to be superior, while women as inferior beings (Barksdale, 2012). Nora Helmer The plays main character, Nora Helmer depicts women behavior during the nineteenth century. In the beginning of the play Nora seems to portray to the image of most women during her time. She is very submissive and obedient to her husband, Torvald.
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Nora leads a double life in the play as a sheltered wife of an attorney and an independent risk taker, At first, Nora seems happy and affectionately esponds to Torvalds’s teasing. However, this is Just an act of Nora Helmer that we all later discovered. During the nineteenth century, women could not conduct business affairs and had no control over family finances (Hartman, 1999). Permission to do so was sought from the husband before doing such acts. Nora, “the little featherbrain”, a nickname given by her Torvald was Just the opposite of that (Isben, 1879). She defied most of the rules.
She ate macaroons and lied about it to her husband. She secretly forged her father’s signature, borrowed money without her husband’s ermission, and boasted about it to her friend, Mrs. Linde (Isben, 1879). She was secretly proud of the sacrifice that she had made for her husband. However, Nora perception of her husband was totally out of place. When Torvald found out about Nora’s secret loan, he becomes disgusted with her (Isben, 1879). She realized that her husband’s devotion was false. As a result, Nora leaves behind her husband and children to find herself.
During the nineteenth century, it was unheard of for women to leave their husband and children in search of a new life (Hartman, 1999). Nora defied the odds. Mrs. Christine Linde During the nineteenth century, single women had more freedom than married women. They earned their own money, despite Jobs being limited and not well paying tor women at the time (Barksdale, 2 However, they earned it and they controlled their own finances. The Jobs that women performed were described as not interesting and not very challenging. This was the case for Mrs. Linde. Perhaps, this is why Mrs.
Linde felt “empty inside” (Isben, 1879). Also, during the nineteenth century, women were expected to play sacrificial roles. Isben portrays such a role in Ms. Linde’s character. Mrs. Linde made sacrifices for her family. She married to take care of her ailing brothers and mother. This was truly a sacrifice for Ms. Linde as she married a man whom she did not love. Krogstad, her true love, abandoned so that she could take care of her family. Torvald Helmer Men were the dominant partner in the relationship during the nineteenth century. Men were superior and often shunned women (Barksdale, 2012).
As mentioned earlier, the men were the breadwinners and controlled the finances. Torvald Helmers certainly portrayed this image well as he always used the word “little’ to describe his wife. He was an overbearing husband that viewed himself as the intellectual and emotional superior in the marriage. Torvald never considered Nora as his equal in the relationship. He often treated his wife, Nora, as a “child- wife” (Isben, 1879. Hypocrisy is a flaw of Torvald. He claims that he devoted to Nora and tells her “l will protect you like a hunted dove” and that “he will guide through the perils of the world” (Isben, 1879).
However once Nora secret is exposed, Torvald is anything but Nora’s hero. Nil’s Krogstad During the nineteenth century men had the upper hand over women (Hartman, 1999). In Isben’s A Doll House, Nil’s Krogstad had the upper hand over Nora. He committed a crime in order to support his family. When his Job was at stake, he blackmailed Nora. He was cruel to Nora by tormenting her. It seemed as he had little regard for her as most men did for women in the nineteenth century. However, he was blackmailing Nora to secure a Job so that he could provide for his family.
As mentioned before, men were the provider and Krogstad wanted to be Just that. In conclusion, Henrik Isben’s A Doll House conveys the role of men and women during the nineteenth century. Women often faced subordination, condemnation, sacrifice, and inequality from society (Hartman, 1999). Mrs. Linde Job often left her feeling empty inside because the Job for women were not so challenging. Nora sacrificed herself to save her husband while Mrs. Linde sacrificed love to support her family. Torvald and Krogstad both condemn Nora for the crime of forgery.
Torvald often described Nora using the term “little” and would never declare her his equal (Isben, 1879). Reference Page Barksdale, M. (2012). How are men and women’s roles in society changing. Discovery. Retrieved from http://curiosity. discovery. com/question/gender-roles-society- changing. Hartman, D. (1999). Women’s roles in the late 19th century. Lives of women. Retrieved from http://www. connerprairie. org/Learn-And-Do/Indiana-History/ America- 1860-1900/Lives-Of-Women . aspx. Ibsen, H ember) A Doll’s House. trom nttp:/ dolls-house-text. lenotes. com/