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Critical Analysis of A Doll House - Essay Example

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As a representative of its time, there are certain themes which can be evidently seen in the play and the two most prominent once are the deception of appearances…
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Critical Analysis of A Doll House
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Critical Analysis of ‘A Doll House’ The play, A Doll House, was written by the Norwegian playwright Henrik Ibsen and was originally published in 1879. As a representative of its time, there are certain themes which can be evidently seen in the play and the two most prominent once are the deception of appearances and the plight of women during the 19th century. The play shows that women in those times were treated as dolls and were not included in the decision made by their husbands nor did the male members of society give any thought to their feelings or concerns.
Although my familiarity with feminist literature is limited, I believe that this play is an example of feminist thought since a woman (Nora) is able to confront and come to a settlement with the oppressor in her life. The liberties afforded to women today were non-existent in those times and I do not think that the ending of the play which shows Nora walking out on her husband and children would be acceptable to Victorian viewers. For her husband, Nora is nothing more than a person who keeps the house clean and beautiful as well as being a plaything for entertainment.
However, by the end of the play we can see that the representations of characters are quite the contrary since Nora transforms herself completely. From a weak woman who lives by the whims and fancies of her husband, she gains enough strength to deny him completely and start her own life. She realizes how all men in her life have wanted to use her for one purpose or another and she is merely a doll living in a doll house.
The forgery committed by her was to help her husband recover from his illness, yet all he could think of was the scandal which would be created if it was discovered. There is also the dual role of women presented in the beginning of the play which was particularly interesting i.e. a self sacrificing object and an object to be desired. Regardless of the social stature of the woman in question, she is expected to sacrifice herself for the man in her life whether it is a weak father or a sick husband.
In terms of appearances, nothing in the house or the nature of the characters is shown to be true. Nora appears to be a weak and flighty woman while she is revealed to be thoughtful, caring and strong willed. Torvald is supposed to be the ‘man of the house’ and the one in charge of things however, all power is taken away from him by Nora and he shows his true colors as a coward by not supporting his wife. Krogstad appears to be a scheming, evil fellow at the beginning of the play but at the end he appears sympathetic and yielding. The women in the play seek employment and look for ways and means to help their husbands when they are in need while the husbands shy away from helping their mates in turn. It is appropriate that the play is named “A Doll House’ because all that looks real is certainly not so on close examination.
Works Cited
Ibsen, H. ‘A Doll’s House’ in Four Great Plays by Ibsen, (Pg, 1- 68). New York: Bantam, 1958.
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