The Theme of Henrik Ibsen's Play "A Doll House"

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The Theme of Henrik Ibsen’s play “A Doll House” In Henrik Ibsen’s play “A Doll House,” there are many clues to the kind of marriage Nora and Torvald Helmer have. Nora appears to be a “doll” controlled by her husband. She relies on him for everything and is literally trapped in the domestic comfort of “a doll house.” Nora seems to be a silly, selfish girl, but she has made great sacrifices to save her husband's life and pay back her secret loan. By the end of the play, she has realized her true strength and strikes out as an independent woman refusing to accept the false values of a contemporary society which deny the worth of an individual’s personality. Ultimately, the theme of “A Doll House” revolves around the fact that a true marriage is a joining of equals, and that every human being has a need and a right to find out the kind of person he or she really is, and deserves the opportunity to become that person. The play focuses on the ways that women are perceived in their various roles, especially in marriage and motherhood. Throughout the play Torvald treats Nora as if she is a child instead of a wife. He coddles, pampers, and patronizes Nora calling her his “little lark” and “squirrel.” He demands respect from her and expects her to live with him being the strong, dominant husband, and herself the dutiful wife. Torvald, like the other men of their society, believe that it is the sacred duty of a woman to be a good wife and mother. Torvald tells Nora that women are responsible for the morality of their children. In complete essence, the men of their society see women as childlike, helpless creatures detached from reality, but also as influential moral forces responsible for the purity of the world through their influence in the home. At first Nora does not seem to mind Torvald’s treatment of her. She seems completely happy and responds affectionately to…...

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