Nobody downloaded yet

Infantilization in Henrik Ibsen's A Doll's House - Essay Example

Comments (0) Cite this document
A Doll's House is often considered to be the first feminist play. Written in 1879 by Norwegian playwright Henrik Ibsen, it features a woman who risks her reputation and her family for the sake of her husband, and closes with her reaction to the discovery that her husband would not do the same for her…
Download full paperFile format: .doc, available for editing
GRAB THE BEST PAPER92.8% of users find it useful
Infantilization in Henrik Ibsens A Dolls House
Read TextPreview

Extract of sample
"Infantilization in Henrik Ibsen's A Doll's House"

Download file to see previous pages A Doll's House is often considered to be the first feminist play. Written in 1879 by Norwegian playwright Henrik Ibsen, it features a woman who risks her reputation and her family for the sake of her husband, and closes with her reaction to the discovery that her husband would not do the same for her. The play ends with the female protagonist, Nora, walking out of her husband's life, slamming the door behind her in an echo which reverberated throughout modern literature (Cunningham and Reich, 492). To its contemporary audience, A Doll's House promoted divorce and was therefore scandalous – and so much so that in Germany, Ibsen eventually bowed to pressure to rewrite his ending, although he much regretted it later. The conventions of nineteenth-century marriage are examined and eventually overturned, through exaggerated use of pet-names, infantilizing dialogue, and many more displays of masculine superiority over women. This essay will look at Nora's interactions with other characters in the play, both male and female, to analyse the validity of Ibsen's representation of women as human beings worthy of roles beyond those of wife and mother.Nora's relationship with her husband Torvald is seen in the first few moments of the play, in an interaction which surely inspired very different emotions in its contemporary and twenty-first century audiences. Torvald's references to her as “my little lark”, “my little squirrel” and “my little spendthrift” infantilize the grown woman in a way which was probably common (although hopefully exaggerated by Ibsen) in the nineteenth century, but which rankles with a spectator now as patronizing and unnecessary. The conflict is given object in Nora's consumption of macaroons. In the first moments of the play, she eats a macaroon and then “wipes her mouth” (I, stage direction) before speaking to her husband; shortly thereafter, he teasingly asks her if she has “even taken a bite at a macaroon or two”, to which Nora lies in response: “No, Torvald, I assure you really” (I). The macaroons are a motif which highlights Torvald's inexplicable control over Nora, and foreshadows her eventual refusal to submit to his norms. The spectre of debt also looms over this first conversation between Nora and Torvald, as it does the entire play, with Nora bringing up the possibility of borrowing money in order to finance a more lavish Christmas: “this year we can really let ourselves go a little” (I). Torvald strikes down this idea, much as he will strike down Nora herself in the final act as a “Miserable creature” (III), showing that her opinion and desires are worth nothing compared to his. The relentless barrage of Torvald's references to Nora as lesser, juxtaposed against and around the major issue of the play, come together to reinforce Torvald's worldview, forcing the audience to think critically about the very role of literature. If we relax and enjoy the play, we silently side with Torvald; if we engage with it, we must not entirely enjoy it. These two parts of Torvald's and Nora's conversation come together in the following excerpt: Torvald: What are little people called that are always wasting money? Nora: Spendthrifts – I know. (I) Nora's response sounds coached, echoing Torvald's own criticisms of herself in a manner which is both worrying and simply spooky. At this early stage of the play, Nora's dialogue shows that she accepts her inferiority to her husband, probably because a nineteenth-century woman in her situation would not have considered that there was another option. However, she is not only secondary to her husband but also to her father: one of Torvald's first thoughts when he discovers his wife's deception is that “all [her] father's want of principle has come out in [her]” (III). He cannot see her supposed 'evil' as purposeful, but done through her ignorance combined with her father's unprincipled genetics. Even when Torvald is angry with Nora, he ...Download file to see next pagesRead More
Cite this document
  • APA
  • MLA
(“Infantilization in Henrik Ibsen's A Doll's House Essay”, n.d.)
Retrieved from
(Infantilization in Henrik Ibsen's A Doll'S House Essay)
“Infantilization in Henrik Ibsen's A Doll'S House Essay”, n.d.
  • Cited: 0 times
Comments (0)
Click to create a comment or rate a document
Analyzing the play 'A Doll's House' by Henrik Ibsen from a critical psychoanalytical perspective
At its core, psychoanalysis is a method of identifying the cause of human behavior based on recallable memories articulated by the self. In psychoanalysis individuals are able to determine why they act the way they do, and creates a more distinct perception of the self.
2 Pages(500 words)Essay
A Doll's House by Henrik Iben
A Doll’s House. “A Doll’s House” is a scintillating play written by Henrik Ibsen during the period of the ‘Naturalism Movement.’ The central theme of this play revolves around women of the nineteenth century society. The play depicts women in gender roles portraying how they stayed at home and looked after their families.
6 Pages(1500 words)Essay
Ibsen's Doll's House:Marriage and Society
Ibsen presents the problem and leaves the solution to the readers. The problem is: What is the position or status of a woman vis-a-vis her husband in her home? The play does not deal with the rights of women in general; nor does it advocate the emancipation of women in the sense in which one understands the word ‘emancipation’.
6 Pages(1500 words)Essay
Ibsen's Play The Doll's House
Since its first performance, the play “the Doll House” has seen various productions as a play, all of which have occasioned a number of changes either in the original play’s setting, characters or even flow. In this article, I will be contrasting and comparing the original written version with a number of its subsequent live performances.
7 Pages(1750 words)Essay
Doll's House Essay
The heroine of the lat Nora is presented as a creation of her father and her husband. Both of them treated her like a doll. The traits and thought pattern Nora develops through to continuous interference of her husband even in the strictly personal matters lead to the disintegration of the family.
3 Pages(750 words)Essay
A Doll's House
Among other characters are Dr. Rank, Mrs. Linde, Krogstad, the maid, the children, and the rest. One can notice that the relationships between the characters are gradually changing as the plot is unfolding (Ibsen 2). As the play starts, Nora, after entering the living room, is greeted by her jovial husband.
2 Pages(500 words)Essay
A Doll's House
Realism Realism is the belief or the way to see things as they are in real. It is the manifestation of philosophical realism that beliefs exists as in independent observation of a person and reflect as reality. A person sees things from his own perspective and tries to idealize a world according to his frame of reference of mind and circumstances.
3 Pages(750 words)Essay
A DOLL'S HOUSE BY Henrik Ibsen
We both were guilty of what happened. For many years I did not understand your nature. I could formulate it in words only much later, during this year of struggle and contemplation. The problem was that you did not exist separate from the society you lived in.
3 Pages(750 words)Essay
A Doll's House
She is regarded as a doll and a child figure by her husband, Torvald who is more a father to her than her husband because they are not on equal terms in their marriage. Nora is trapped in a shameful condition that is
2 Pages(500 words)Essay
Drama Play- A Doll's House by Henrik Ibsen
In this play Ibsen portrays the sacrificial role played by women, whether rich or poor, in a society. Here the main female character Nora is shown leading a difficult life because her husband dominates her in keeping with the society’s norm that
3 Pages(750 words)Essay
sponsored ads
We use cookies to create the best experience for you. Keep on browsing if you are OK with that, or find out how to manage cookies.
Let us find you another Essay on topic Infantilization in Henrik Ibsen's A Doll's House for FREE!
Contact us:
Contact Us Now
FREE Mobile Apps:
  • About StudentShare
  • Testimonials
  • FAQ
  • Blog
  • Free Essays
  • New Essays
  • Essays
  • Miscellaneous
  • The Newest Essay Topics
  • Index samples by all dates
Join us:
Contact Us