Books and Movies Reviews

Examining the Status of Women implied by a doll

In today's society it is expected that one will come across female lawyers, doctors and even police officers. This has become common and expected, since women and men are equal and given the same chances for an education and receive the same job opportunities. However, many women had to fight long and hard to receive this state of equality; one must not forget that it was not too long ago when women were not even permitted to vote. The disparity of the sexes was far more wide spread in the 19th century and is ever apparent in Henrik Ibsen's A Doll's House.In the play women are portrayed to posses a state of dependence upon men. This is implied through their legal status where they require a man's signature on all legal documents. As well as in a professional and economic standpoint, women are required to depend on a man to provide for them. Finally, merely examining a woman in married life will clearly demonstrate her lesser role in the marriage.
In the time of Ibsen's play, women were not entitled to any legal power. Nora drastically needed money to pay for a trip to southern Italy for her husband, Torvald, to basically save his life. Unfortunately, she was not able to do this legally. Mrs. Linde states this to Nora, "No, a wife cannot borrow without her husband's consent" (Ibsen, 11). In the severity of the situation Nora was forced to forge her father's signature to receive the loan. Today, minors require co-signatures and permission from adults for legal documents, but this only makes sense; minors do require their parents or guardians for guidance and do depend on them. An adult woman does not require a man to possess all her legal rights, as in the time of the play in the 1870's.
For a look into the professional and economic situation of women it is best to examine the characters of Nora and Mrs. Linde. Women of that time were never expected to be in the role of provider,…


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