A Dolls House - the Historical, Social, Cultural and Political Influences - Book Report/Review Example

The paper "A Doll’s House - the Historical, Social, Cultural and Political Influences" states that “A Doll’s House” was staged in 1879 immediately attracting mixed responses from its audience and critics. The play had alternative endings to cater to the response of the 19th-century Victorian audience…
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A Dolls House - the Historical, Social, Cultural and Political Influences

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Download file to see previous pages This paper places the play in a historical context and reviews the social, cultural and economic factors that influenced various aspects of the play, with a special focus on their impact on Helmer’s character. Firstly, situating the play within the immediate historical context of the playwright’s life history helps to understand the influence of a real character named Laura Kieler who inspired Nora of “A Doll’s House” (Davis, 2004). Secondly, it is an undeniable truth that Ibsen had raised significant social, cultural and economic issues of his times in this play. When commenting on four of his plays including “A Doll’s House”, experts say: In general, the play addresses the social and contemporary economic status of women to the shock of the Victorian audience. (Davis, 2004). Not only audience stand for the moral and cultural beliefs of the period, but the characters themselves, if the play is realistic. Victorian audience The play has a house-wife as the protagonist. The character is a typical wife and mother concerned about the health and well-being of her husband and children and the reputation of the family. At the outset, Nora seems to be obedient, subservient and indulged wife as Helmer thinks of her as no more than a ‘doll’ who can’t decide and act on its own like mature adults. The role of Nora can be best understood in the social context of Ibsen’s times, where women hardly had individuality but were, or rather expected to be, self-sacrificing. Also, it was undignified action for men to heed to their wife’s words as evident from Helmer’s horror at the very thought of people commenting on him if he retains Krogstad upon Nora’s words. This throws the play into Feminist reading. The social, cultural and economic characteristics of Ibsen's’ period are well depicted in the play. To add to the list, women were either ignorant of the responsibilities attached to getting loans as they were the work of the men in the family. This explains why Nora is held responsible for two actions of hers: taking a loan without the knowledge of her husband and forging the signature of her father. ...Download file to see next pagesRead more
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