Ibsen's A Doll's House

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Paul Rosefeldt in his article “Ibsen’s A Doll’s House”, published in The Explicator, focuses on an aspect of Ibsen’s play that is often missed by most audiences and readers. That issue being the issue of fatherhood and how Ibsen portrays patriarchal values in the play. Rosefeldt acknowledges that the play questions the meaning of motherhood with Nora abandoning her children at the end of the play, but he also suggests that the play is a blatant attack on patriarchy. Rosefeldt starts by pointing out all the instances in the play in which father’s are shown to be either absent and shows that the corrupted patriarch permeates all classes. Because Nora’s friend Mrs. Linde had an absent father, Rosefeldt suggests that she ends up marrying a man she doesn’t love because she is searching for a father figure. Anne Marie, Nora’s nursemaid, is forced to take her position with Nora’s family because she has given birth to an illegitimate child and thus an absent father is the cause of her problems. Not only are fathers depicted as absent, but also corrupted. Krogstad, claims Rosefeldt, is a father that has committed the crime of forgery and Torvald claims that his children will be polluted by his deeds. Dr. Rank also speaks of a polluted father and claims that he is sick because of his father’s deeds. Torvald also tells Nora that she has inherited her father‘s flimsy beliefs, attributing her behavior to her father’s poor influence. Torvald himself is another example of a poor father in the play spending no time with the children and saying that where the children are is only a place for the mother. Rosefeldt finishes with some things that Ibsen himself said about the play. Ibsen stated about the play that women are judged through the laws and eyes of men, by men. Rosefeldt concludes that even though the play focuses on the issues of marriage and motherhood, Ibsen calls
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