Ibsen’s A Doll House vs. Today’s Society
Is there anything more degrading for a woman than marrying a stranger and bearing children with him? “A Doll house” by Henrick Ibsen is a play which was written in the 1878 during when men were more dominant than women. “A Doll house” talks about a woman who faced this problem head on as she stands up for her on rights, and starts her journey in finding herself. “A Doll House” begins with a happy family scene, it was Christmas Eve and the whole family was decorating the house preparing for Christmas.
This seems like a big happy family but within it lies deceit, this is revealed when Nora (the wife) told Ms. Linde (her friend) that she had borrow money from another man to treat her husband’s disease. This treachery which occurred reveals Nora’s true interpretation of her marriage. This is shown in a quote from Act I, Nora says “One day I might, yes. Many years from now, when I’ve lost my looks a little. Don’t laugh. I mean, of course, a time will come when Torvald is not as devoted to me, not quite so happy when I dance for him, and dress for him, and play with him. From this quote, it expresses that Nora already knows that her marriage is based around her looks, and Nora couldn’t trust Torvald with the truth because she’s afraid of the consequences which would befallen her if she did. In contrast to today’s marriages, a good relationship builds on trust and support from each other especially during when times are tough. An indication of Nora’s life being a social conception of duty is in a quotation during the conversation with Ms. Linde in Act I. ‘Free. To be free, absolutely free.
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To spend time playing with the children. To have a clean, beautiful house, the way Torvald likes it. ’ This quote defines Nora’s fake freedom, this is the socially acceptable freedom which society sees a wife should have, but this is not true freedom. True freedom is when Nora can disobey her duties, do what she want instead of what she needs to do, and most importantly is when she can truly express herself. The difference between Nora and today’s wives is that both husband and wife can work, providing their own ideal contributions to their family.
At the ending in Act III, it exposes Nora’s true feelings about her marriage to Torvald, this is shown during the argument between Torvald and Nora in Act III. ‘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 you I’ve made nothing of my life. ’ In this quote, Nora recognizes herself as a puppet for others amusement. Nora happiness was all an act for others to be happy, Nora then see that Torvald been treating her just like her papa did.
During this development Nora realizes that she has never truly been happy, that she has accomplished nothing in her life, and for her to have a meaningful life she decides that she must leave Torvald. In the conclusion of the play when Nora slams the door behind her, it represents Nora’s will of standing up for her rights, and finding her own independence. I think this play ‘A Doll’s House’ is relevant to some part of today’s society because in some regions of the world men are still more dominant than women just like in Ibsen’s “A Doll’s House. An example would be China, in some part of China people favor male over female because men are stronger, and they are the providers for the family. But I think the relationship in “A Doll’s House” is somewhat different than the relationship in China. The difference in relationship is that Chinese wives have a say in things as well, but in Nora’s case she gets no say and has to follow her social duties. Another similar situation happens in India, but instead it’s the parents which make the decisions for their children. Also in some relationships the wives are more superior because they are contributes more in the family.