Last updated: July 8, 2019
Topic: FamilyChildren
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0px ‘Helvetica Neue’; color: #000000; -webkit-text-stroke: #000000; min-height: 14.0px}span.s1 {font-kerning: none}The play, A Doll’s House, from 1879, is a three-act play, written by Henrik Ibsen, in Copenhagen, Denmark.

The play was performed at the Copenhagen theater for the first time in December of that year. The play is revolved around a married couple in Norway, who are living a normal life. Torvald, the man of the house, is a bank manager. Nora, his wife, is who the play focuses on. The play being a play, is not directly written from anyone’s point of view. However, the play focus mostly on Nora and her husband. At the beginning of the play, we can quickly figure out that this is a regular household, with regular roles as there were in the 19th century. Nora seems to be a normal, stay at home wife, who looks after the children, whilst the man is off to work, to provide for the family.

In the start of the play, it is also quite obvious that Tovrald is the money machine of the family, since he gets upset that Nora has spent a lot of money on the christmas which is coming up. We can see this when Torvald states that “Dont interupt me. “Bought” did you say? What! All that? Has my little spendthrift been making the money fly again?” (p. 13). This indicates that she spends a lot of money, quite frequently. The social group, in this case, is women. Women were represented as the lesser of the two genders, just as it was at the time.

Women were the stay at home wives, who looked after the children, who made the food, and relied on the man to take care of the women. This was a normal family in that time. It is no different in the Helmer family.

Nora stayed home with the kids, and did everything at home, whilst Torvald worked. The man is excpected to take care of the woman, however in this text, an event takes place in which implies the complete opposite. Nora saves Torvald. Nora saves Torvald by cheating the system, and getting a loan, by forging her dead fathers signature. This would suppossedly  displease Torvald, and make him very upset. The first time we hear about this is when Nora has a heated convorsation with Mrs. Linden about how Nora states that she “saved Torvalds life” (p.

28). Nora says “Papa didn’t give us one penny. It was I that found the money”(p. 28). She then goes on to explain about the forgery of her fathers signature. The reason as to why this play is so special, is because it appears to be a completely normal family, at the time that it was made, however, it isnt exactly to be as it appears. In this play, the love they had for one another, didn’t carry on going throught the whole play. In the start, they were both “equally in love”, but as time goes on, Nora becomes nore doubtful of their marriage.

She knows that when Helmer finds the letter, that Krogstad drafted for him, about her forged loan, that she took, using her dead fathers name, she doesnt really know how he will react. As time goes on, she thinks that Torvald might be happy that she saved his life. But thats not what happens. Torvald gets very, very mad, and ends up screaming at her about it. Nora decides to leave him after that, which is a, pretty much unheard of thing to happen in that time period.

This is why this play is so compelling, because it goes off bounds, and goes into the unspeakable aspect of that time period. This makes the play both interesting, and controversial. Multiple times in the play, Nora is being called names by her husbad. The names “Squirrel”(p. 13) and “spendthrift”(p. 13) are repeated continously, and does have a significance in the story. Once again, Torvald talks to Nora, as if she were his child. He is being condecending, and patronises her consistently throughout the play.

Again, this behaviour explicitly highlights the power he has over her. Nora doesnt realize that this is what he was doing, and surely, he wasnt concious of what he was doing, whilst doing it. He is clearly showing who is the head of the house. An example of his can be found on the very firt page of the first act “Is that my lark twittering there?”(p.13). By saying “my lark” he is clearly identifying her as “his property”, and yet again declaring his dominance over her. Ibsen might have chosen to write this, because he knows that it is wrong.

Ibsen realizes that the social groups of that time and day, were wrong, and decided to highlight that this social group should be overthrown. At least he hints towards it, and indirectly says that if women are unhappy in their marriage, that they should leave their husband. In todays time, this isnt a very unnatural thing to do. In todays time, this social group stereotype doesnt exist. Ibsen hints towards that men and women should be equals, and that women should have the exact same rights as men have. In conclusion, Henrik Ibsen writes about women as a social group, as if they are the property of their husbands. Ibsen displays this many times in his play, A Dolls House. He hints towards the end of the play, that in the future, women and men should be equals, by showing that Nora can “do the unspeakable” and still come out as a happy and free woman who can do every and anything she wants to, even without a man in her life.