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A dolls house
Social Criticism in A Doll’s House
In A Doll’s House, Ibsen as he often does, criticizes society and the ways of life in that time. Ibsen shows this in Torvold’s overwhelming power and control over Nora. This is also seen in the way that Women are weakened by society. Lastly it is shown in the way that Torvold tries to maintain a good reputation to the public. Ibsen critics many different aspects of society from the way that the male figure is so dominant in marriage, next how the woman does not have much of a role in society, and finally how reputation is more important than morals.
First is the way that the marriage between Torvold and Nora is put to shame due to the overpowering actions of Torvold. One example of Torvold’s dominance was his forbiddance of macaroons in the house. Another was the way that he dressed her for the Costume party. All this time Nora had pretty much been loyal and listened to all of what Torvold had said, and then the one time that Torvold cold have been loyal to Nora and believed her and been on her side he didn’t and instead was thinking about himself. This shows how much of a one-sided marriage it was and how it was a mock on society, mainly the ways of the upper class.
Next is the criticism of the role of the women in society. It was basically a time where the woman could not do anything for herself. An example of this from the book is the loan that Nora took out to save Torvold’s life. Nora could not take out the loan herself due to the fact that she was a women and only men could take out loans, a women could only take out a loan if they had the consent of a husband or a father. Due to the fact that she was doing this for Torvold she went ahead and forged the documents knowing that it was wrong and could end up getting her into trouble. This was a total mockery on society due to fact that even though Nora was doing this to save the life of her husband she not only was not aloud to do it but then Torvold found out he was not happy she saved his life but mad about what it could do to him. Therefore showing the very weak role of women in society by saying that Torvold would have rather died then have a women save him.
Last is the idea that in the upper class of society the most important part of your life is how others portray you, bringing me to my next topic which is how Torvold's reputation was more important than his family life and morals. As was sad before Nora had been very loyal to him for the years of their marriage and then when it came to the point where Torvold could return the favor to Nora by defending her and he was more concerned with making sure it doesn’t get out so that his reputation would not be ruined. Ibsen is criticizing the social ways in this situation due to the shallowness of the upper class in dealing with this sort of problem.
Another author that criticizes society in his work is Harper Lee. In the novel To Kill a Mockingbird Lee does a great job at putting down and mocking society. The difference between Ibsen's criticism and Lee criticism was that while Ibsen focused on the upper class, Lee’s criticism is focused more towards the lower class. An example of criticism in the novel is the way that a black person of that time and place was unjustly accused of a crime just because the color of his skin, and even if their was evidence to support and prove him innocent the jury of all white men would probably convict him once again because the color of his skin. This also brings up the fact that even though Atticus Finch was a lawyer and it was his job to defend the defendant, he was still pressured by the white community even to the point ... more
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A Dolls House - The Transformation of Nora Helmer
Going from Child to Woman: The Transformation of Nora Helmer
In Henrik Ibsens, A Dolls House, the character of Nora Helmer goes through the dramatic transformation of a kind and loving house wife, to a desperate and bewildered woman, whom will ultimately leave her husband and everything she has known. Ibsen uses both the characters of Torvald and Nora to represent the tones and beliefs of 19th century society. By doing this Ibsen effectively creates a dramatic argument that continues to this day; that of feminism.
We are introduced in Act I with Nora returning from Christmas shopping. Ibsen utilizes this time for dramatic purposes of the Christian holidays and to show the struggle between a middle class marriage. Nora plans on having a big holiday bash, while Torvald would rather refrain since there is a rather limited cash flow. "Nora: Oh yes, Torvald, we can squander a little nowpiles of money" (1506). Torvald follows up with, "But then it is three full months till the raise comes through" (, 1506).
Nora at this point in the play is nothing more than a child, careless in her action and not thinking ahead of possible consequences. Nora sees nothing wrong in spending big on Christmas. Granted this is a righteous cause, since the holidays are about giving to others, but still a parent should know the limit of happiness they should bring.
At this point Torvald begins to act as "society" and unknowingly begins to use condescending terms towards Nora. "Are you scatterbrains off again?" (1506), "my dear little Nora." (1507), (Youre an odd little one" (1507). Torvald sees nothing wrong in these little pet names he gives Nora. He is absolutely right there is nothing wrong with pet names. Unfortunately when the pet names are also a part of the larger scheme that woman are inferior, only then do they become evil and no longer childish. "Yes, very-that is if you actually hung onto money I give you, and you actually used it to buy yourself something." (1507).
Later in Act I, her friend Mrs. Linde visits Nora. Even in their conversation Mrs. Linde comments on Noras childish behavior. "Well my heavens - a little needlework and such Nora, youre just a child." (1511). Nora quickly defends herself, in some sense to regain her standing within her own ranks. "Ive also got something to be proud and happy for. Im the one who saved Torvalds life." (1511). By doing this Nora is secretly undermining society and providing for her husband. In contrast to society beliefs at the time, shouldnt a wife provide for her husband in his sickness? Thus creating an interesting paradox passed upon wedding vows. Apparently not or Nora would have confided in Torvald sooner. "Mrs. Linde: And youve never confided" (1512).
Towards the end of Act I, Krogstad enters. Krogstad is the man whom Nora borrowed the 4,000 crowns to finance the trip to southern Italy. Nora continues to act as a child. "Shall we play? What shall we play? Hide and seek?" (1577). Krogstad asks a favor of Nora. "Would you please make sure that I keep my subordinate position in the bank?" (1518) By doing this Krogstad tries to utilize the famine influence that women who are married to men of power often have, yet another role society demands of women. Krogstad, as a typical male of the time assumes she has no head for business. Listen Mrs. Helmer youve either got a very bad memory, or else no head for business." (1519)
Once Krogstad leaves we notice a definite change in Nora. Noras children ask her to play with them and she replies; "No not now." (1521) Nora begins to talk to herself. "Ill do anything to please you, Torvald. Ill sing for you, dance for you-" (1521) this is the beginning of the unraveling of Nora. Her world as she knows it no longer exists.
At the very end of Act I, Torvald and Nora are talking. Torvald comments about Krogstad's criminal act. "Helmer: Forgery. Do you have any Helmer: Plenty of men have redeemed" (1522) Torvald talks about forgery the crime, with which his wife is quilty of, since she forged ... more
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I: Henrik Ibsen
Henrik Ibsen Henrik Ibsen was born at Skien in Norway on March 20, 1828. When he was eight, his father went bankrupt. This event made a deep impression upon him. After they went bankrupt, his family moved to a small farm north of the town where they lived in poverty. Henrik was forced to attend a small local school. He received a substandard education. In 1843, the family returned to town. Unfortunately they were still poor. Ibsen came from a very dysfunctional family. His domineering father was...
B: A dolls house
A dolls house Social Criticism in A Dolls House In A Dolls House, Ibsen as he often does, criticizes society and the ways of life in that time. Ibsen shows this in Torvolds overwhelming power and control over Nora. This is also seen in the way that Women are weakened by society. Lastly it is shown in the way that Torvold tries to maintain a good reputation to the public. Ibsen critics many different aspects of society from the way that the male figure is so dominant in marriage, next how the ...
S: A Dolls House - The Transformation of Nora Helmer
A Dolls House - The Transformation of Nora Helmer Going from Child to Woman: The Transformation of Nora Helmer In Henrik Ibsens, A Dolls House, the character of Nora Helmer goes through the dramatic transformation of a kind and loving house wife, to a desperate and bewildered woman, whom will ultimately leave her husband and everything she has known. Ibsen uses both the characters of Torvald and Nora to represent the tones and beliefs of 19th century society. By doing this Ibsen effectively cre...
E: A Dolls House
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N: Dolls House
Dolls House A Doll House is no more about womens rights than Shakespeares Richard II is about the divine right of kings, or Ghosts about syphilis. . . . Its theme is the need of every individual to find out the kind of person he or she is and to strive to become that person. (Bloom 28) Ibsen portays this behavior in A Doll House through one of the main characters, Nora Helmer, by setting the scene in Norway in 1872. In the late 1800s, women did not play an important role in society at all. ...
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