Books and Movies Reviews

Women’s Role in A Doll House

Throughout the history of the world in most cultures women have been considered the
submissive figure. In this role the female character would commonly have the main duties
of caring for the children and pleasing her husband. Henrik Ibsen;s A Doll House shows
one of these stereotypical marriages and the eventual realization of the life that is being
lead by the woman submissive, in this case, Nora. Nora;s realization at the end of the play
is not a sudden epiphany but a long journey in which she regained her self-esteem and self
worth. This essay will attempt to show that throughout the play Nora;s frustration had
been building and that in reality, the one act of sacrifice which Nora so desperately craved
from Torvald might have delayed the destruction of the marriage, but nothing could
The play opens and the reader quickly can see how one would get frustrated in the
environment Nora lived in. Torvald is characterized as the typical male provider, strong
and respectable. Meanwhile, Nora is degraded time and time again by Torvald;s language.
He consistently refers to her with pet names, ;little featherbrain, ;squirrel sulking;, and
;song bird;. All of these references make Nora seem ignorant and she seems unable to
think for herself as she just plays on with whatever Torvald says. The ultimate example of
this is the situation with the macaroons. This personifies Nora simply as a little child being
punished by a parent as Torvald forbids her from eating them and then rebukes her when
he suspects that she indeed has eaten some macaroons. Then she shows the extreme lack
of self-confidence associated with her character early in the book when she hides her love
for macaroons from him because she is afraid of him. Early on Nora is nothing more then a
helpless, thoughtless, tool which Torvald can make do what he likes. This will change as


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