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How the Role of Women in Construed in Ibsen’s Play

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How the Role of Women in Construed in Ibsen’s Play


How the Role of Women in Construed in Ibsen’s Play

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How the Role of Women in Construed in Ibsen’s Play

A Doll's House, by Henrik Ibsen, has three acts and was first published in 1879. The play is in the genre of realistic drama, which depicts major social issues in the middle and late 19th century. The play is centered on a typical medieval homestead with a husband, wife, and some children. The main characters used in the play are Torvald Helmer, who was a bank lawyer, and his wife Nora, together with their three children. One of the most significant themes of the play is the role of the women in a community and how they interact with each other. The role of women is constructed through power imbalance between the two genders. Men have the power to determine the fate of women, mainly due to their financial control. Throughout the play, Nora is perceived and treated like a small child by her husband, as well as other characters who believe her decision-making skills are flawed. In Ibsen’s construed community, the role of women is limited to caring for men and their children to the extent of forgetting personal growth and well-being. This analysis discusses the constructed role of women in Ibsen’s play and their relationship with other characters in the play.

Nora is among the most concerned personality protecting women and helping them to understand the need of getting married. For example, Nora interrogated Mrs. Linde on whether she loved her husband and the actual reason for getting married (Goonetilleke, 1995)  Mrs. Linde replied that "My mother was alive then, and was bedridden and helpless, and I had to provide for my two younger brothers; so I did not think I was justified in refusing his offer" (Ibsen, 1992. 1.136-1.137). This statement clarifies the desperation that women had towards providing for their families. Offering oneself for marriage was among the most popular strategies of gaining a source of income in case women were required to support their families.

Nora Helmer is also used to spark light on how it felt like to live with a man. When growing up and her father's arm and control, she recounts the nature of control and expectations that every person in her family was expected to meet. Specifically, women had to abide by what the male in the family believed in. Nora stated that "Surely you can understand that being with Torvald is a little like being with papa." (Ibsen, 1992. 2.217). This is an indication that she lived under the thumb of men for too long and she did not it expect to be different...


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