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A Doll House Written by Henrik Ibsen

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In the drama A Doll House written by Henrik Ibsen, Torvald and Nora Helmer portray to have a happy life and marriage. Ibsen displayed a realistic reality in which not all marriages and the happy home is perfect, it's filled with flaws, some lies and at times emptiness. Nora, a beautiful wife and mother seems to have it all going for her, with a successful husband, wealth, three beautiful children, and a perfect marriage one could only imagine to have and want the life she lives. Although, what may perceive to be the picture perfect couple and marriage always holds darker secrets and lacks a solid foundation. Through Nora's final breaking point to leave her husband and children, Ibsen illustrates that any manipulation and treating others as a puppet will cause the victim to become self destructive, emotionally and mentally exhausted and that the only way to begin a new chapter is to leave everything you once had behind.

Throughout history women give themselves up to their husband and children. The traditions and household work for women has been passed down from generation to generation. Women will sacrifice their wellbeing for others happiness and lives. Nora, who is a complex character can be childish, money hungry, naive and desperate. She is stuck between two personas, one she is pretends to be and one she hopes to one day become. She is faced with a life changing decision to leave behind her duties and responsibilities as a wife and mother to find her independence and self worth.

As women it's in our nature to nurture our family, feed our children when hungry and clean up after them along with listening and obeying a husband's demands. Nora who is characterized as childish and has childish behaviors in the beginning act of the drama has just returned home from a lavish Christmas shopping trip and upon returning home she secretly takes out a bag of macaroons in her pocket, eats a couple, puts it back in her pocket and wipes her mouth clean. The reason for this action of hers is because her husband doesn't allow Nora to eat sweets. "My sweet tooth really didn't make a little detour through the confectioner's?" (p. 815). This sets the tone for the play because Nora acts like a child, having to sneak in sweets and hide it from her husband as a child would hide any sweets from their parents from finding it. "As a man and symbol of authority Helmer governs the relationship and plays the role of both father and seducer" (Rekdal, N/A). Torvald is a controlling husband and makes rules for Nora in which she follows.

In today's generation, obeying a husband's demand is not as strict as it once was. Having respect from both parties is what's more relevant and having good communication. Women of today have a mind and voice of their own and will speak up for themselves. In Nora's situation her husband questions her actions if she's eaten any sweets and makes her look him in the eyes, knowing her husband, she lies. The characterization of this act from Nora isn't so much accurate today because women of today will do as they please. Women will not allow themselves to be stepped all over by their partner.

In relation to the era of Ibsen's play, and the behaviors of the 19th century women, they were treated with restrictions. The man was the head of the house, all rules and decisions were created and enforced by him and the woman obeyed and followed his orders. "Helmer will not have none of the wilderness, violence or madness that wells up in Nora in the heat of the dance. He wants to train her to be at one with the artistic form of expression that is that of the tarantella" (Østerud, p.148-49). Women are considered subordinates to men and merely must follow and act as required. Men want to have the upper hand and respect in the home because it's apart of their



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