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"A Doll's House": A Commentary on Feminism

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"A Doll's House": A Commentary on Feminism

Summary: Examines feminism, gender roles and family roles in "A Doll's House" by Henrik Ibsen.


"BAM!" a dramatic door slam ends "A Doll's House", a play by Henrik Ibsen. In this play, Ibsen makes many hints about the roles of society and how the female gender was treated at the time. From this play you can observe what Ibsen believed about the roles of society, equality between males and females, and the idea of feminism. "A Doll's House" is actually a play where one can see how things were at the time and what Ibsen himself believed about the central issues.


Ibsen portrayed the roles of society very well in this play. In the beginning of the play, Nora acted like most women of the time: she succumbed to anything her husband said and obeyed all orders directed to her by her husband. She was the "ideal wife". Her husband insulted her numerous times in the beginning of the play and patronized her endlessly. He even accused her of having too much sweets and gaining weight. "Has my little sweet tooth been indulging herself in town today by any chance? ..."


Later in the play, Nora transforms into how Ibsen and his wife, Suzzannah Thoreson, believe women should act and be portrayed as. She realizes that all her life, she has been simply acting as a decoration for the Hemler household and even compares herself to a doll, who gets played with, first by her father and then by Torvald, and she claims that that is the reason she had not achieved anything during her lifetime. "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 of you I've made nothing ...

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