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Marriage in A Doll's House by Ibsen - Essay Example

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‘Marriage’ in A Doll’s House by Ibsen A Doll’s House, a well-known drama written by Henrik Ibsen, centers around the married life of a young woman who takes a loan behind her husband’s back. When her husband falls severely ill, Nora forges her father’s sign and takes a loan from her husband’s employee without letting her husband know about it…
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Marriage in A Dolls House by Ibsen
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"Marriage in A Doll's House by Ibsen"

Download file to see previous pages Through this dilemma, and Nora’s husband’s actions, Ibsen shows a very different view about the roles of individuals in a marriage. He does this by exploring the concepts of love, trust, respect, and equal rights in Nora’s marriage. In marriages nowadays, almost all western countries accept that the husband and wife should equally respect. However, after reading A Doll’s House, I came to know that perhaps this must not have been the case in earlier times. From Act one itself, it is obvious that Nora’s husband, Torvald Helmer, does not treat his wife as an intellectual being. He speaks to her in the second-person and through name-calling, rarely referring to her directly. For instance, when Nora comes home, Helmer calls out “Is that my little lark twittering out there?” When Nora replies, Helmer once again refers to her in the same circuitous way, by asking if his “little squirrel (was) bustling about”. It is impossible not to notice this aspect in almost all of Nora’s and Helmer’s conversations. He speaks to her as if she is a pet, an animal with which one speaks one-sidedly without any expectations of intelligent conversation. According to me, this shows that Helmer does not see Nora fit enough to refer to her directly, and thus shows that he does not respect her that much. Another aspect in Helmer’s and Nora’s conversations that show his lack of respect for her is the way he treats her as a child. Although many would state that Helmer speaks to his wife kindly, I believe that he does so in a very patronizing manner. This can be seen by the way he is always lecturing her on her habit of spending too much money. Helmer even goes as far as trying to control Nora’s diet, when he asks her, “Hasn’t Miss Sweet Tooth been breaking rules in town today?”. Some might find that these two are a very sweet couple who talk so lovingly, but it is hard to ignore traces of contempt which appear in Helmer’s tone and actions. For instance, when Nora asks him to come and check out all the goodies she has bought, he at once calls out from his study “Don’t disturb me”. Such a change in his tone also shows the fatherly way he acts with Nora. A marriage is mainly based on love and trust, as well as respecting the other half. However, Ibsen has showed that there is no trust factor in the marriage of this play’s protagonist. This can be seen by the way Nora is so adamant is hiding the macaroons that she has bought for herself. I personally found it very strange that a wife should want her husband not to find out that she has bought a small packet of sweets (especially when he appears to be in a good mood and is insisting), even though she informs him of all her other purchases. This speaks volumes about Nora’s marriage, and it is here that Ibsen first introduces the ‘no-trust’ factor. In addition to this, Nora also hides another fact-which is far more significant than a packet of macaroons-from her husband. This fact is her borrowing of money to help her husband when he was sick, without letting him know about it. Money is another factor that plays a major role in the aspect of marriage shown in A Doll’s House. Ibsen confirms how it comes between the two individuals in a marriage by showing how it was one of the main causes behind the dissolution of Nora’ ...Download file to see next pagesRead More
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