Summary: A Doll House
Summary: A Doll House
Henrik Ibsen’s 1879 play A Doll House is based on a critical attitude towards the marriage norms that prevailed the 19th century. The play after its release to the public was termed as offensive and brought about controversies given its portrayal of the modern marriage, feminism, and masculinity. It is widely revered for its portrayal of the changing role for the modern woman. This is illustrated by the protagonist Nora’s decision to leave her children and husband, with the sole aim of discovering her identity as an individual. Ibsen was evidently driven by the need to highlight the constraints faced by modern women in realization of their identities, happiness, and achieving self-actualization.
The author sought to deviate from 19th century norms whereby women are expected to sacrifice their ambitions for self-actualization and happiness to sustain marriages and rear children. The term a Doll’s house has been used as a reference to illustrate ownership over Nora by Torvald upon their marriage (Ibsen 23). This is central to the play given that 19th century marriages were marked by the newly wedded women remaining submissive all through their lives at the expense of achieving happiness or self-actualization.
The text explores the life of Nora and her new marriage to Torvald. Initially the marriage between Nora and Torvald is seemingly happy despite the constant demeaning remarks from the husband to his wife. It is apparent that Nora foregoes her allowances and happiness in order to ensure the wellbeing of her husband by working odd jobs and saving on her allowances (Ibsen 36). Nora’s decision to leave her husband is founded on the idea that the two had a superficial marriage given that she was simply a mere doll to him. This is indicative of the power of the modern woman, which is a deviation from initial norms for 19th century marriages.
Ibsen, Henrik. A Doll’s House. New York: Dover Publications, 1992. Print.
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