The theme in Ibsen's A Doll's House

Essay by OSEWECollege, UndergraduateC+, May 2013

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The Theme in Ibsen's A Doll's House

The Doll's house is one of the strongest plays that Ibsen has produced in the way of character painting and artistic handling of situations. There has always been a very big and noticeable gap in the roles that both women and men play in the everyday societal developments. During the late nineteenth century women were enslaved in their gender roles while the roles assigned to men were also explored. The predominant theme in A Doll's house is that of gender role. One of the most obvious issues that Ibsen brings to his audience is that of nineteenth century gender roles.

Nora, the wife of Torvald Helmer and the mother of three children plays a fundamental role in Herik Ibsen's 'A Doll's House'. Nora is shown to be repressed and oppressed, held back from accomplishing all she might have because she is a woman.

During the nineteenth century, women were enslaved in their gender roles and certain restrictions were enforced on them by a male dominant culture. Every woman was raised believing that they had neither self control nor self government but they must yield to the control of a stronger gender. John Mill says women are "wholly under the rule of men, having no share at all in public concerns, and each in private being under the legal obligation of obedience to the man with whom she has associated her destiny." (8)

Nora obsessively tries to please her father and husband. Ibsen's reflected this when Nora said to Helmer, "I have been greatly wrong first by my father and then by you." (1128) She also said "I passed out of Daddy hands into yours." In an attempt to be the perfect daughter and wife, she conforms to the established by the man and...