Henrik Ibsen's play, "A Doll's House".

Essay by djdatnastyCollege, Undergraduate October 2003

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In Henrik Ibsen's play, "A Doll's House", the central theme is Nora's rebellion against society and everything that was expected of her. Nora shows this by breaking away from all the standards and expectations that her husband and society had set up for her. In her time, women were not supposed to be independent. They were to support their husband, take care of their children, cook, clean, make everything perfect around the house, and do whatever else that was expected of them.

Nora's first rebellion was when she took out a loan so that she could pay for her husband, Torvald's, medical treatment. It was against the law for women to take out a loan without their husband's consent. When she did this she proved that she was not as submissive and helpless as Torvald thought she was. He called her a "poor helpless little creature". A perfect example of Torvald's control and Nora's submissiveness was when she got him to re-teach her the tarantella.

She already knew the dance but she acted as if she needed him to re-teach her the whole thing. When he says to her, "Watching you swing and dance the tarantella makes my blood rush". This shows that he is more interested in her physically than emotionally. Then when she told him to stop, he said to her, "am I not your husband?" Again, this is an example of Torvald's control over Nora, and how he thinks that she is there to fulfill his every desire on command. Torvald does

not trust Nora with any money and with the little money that he does entrust her with, he is afraid that she will spend it on Macaroons, a candy that he has forbid her to eat. He calls her his "little squirrel"...