AP English 12
26 September 2011
A Doll’s House Literary Analysis
Feminism assists women in breaking from the viewpoint of a normal housewife into a strong, independent person. In A Doll’s House by Henrik Ibsen, Ibsen mocks feminism to a degree where women in the play were looked down upon as insubordinate and almost child-like. Nora, as the main character, displays the role of how a housewife should act with help from her husband who shows his authority as the man of the house. Through conflict and characters, the play degrades women into a role society expects them to have in a household environment rather than the freedom to make their own choices.
Torvald treats Nora as a wife in the 1800s should be treated. The nicknames he gives her such as “little spendthrift” and “squirrel” degrade her as a person by comparing her to an animal and her actions rather than treating her as his equal (Act I lines 46, 54). Although his connotation was meant to be positive, the squirrel symbolizes gathering and thrift which not many housewives are looked upon as (Princeton Online). Throughout the entire play Torvald continues to show his affection towards Nora but remains stubborn in the thought that women should be denied their freedom. At the end of the play, he tells Nora “You talk like a child. You don't understand the conditions of the world in which you live” which not only insults Nora by saying she is acting childish but is also incompetent of understanding her own basic freedoms as a woman during that time period (Act III lines 1038-39). Torvald’s character, no matter how much he loves her, display views against the idea of feminism because he is not willing to allow her to take care of him financially which was the entire conflict of the play.
An issue regarding a loan Nora withdrawls sets the plot of the play. Although her motives were morally correct, in the time period they live in, women could not take out loans; women had to rely...