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A Dolls House – Noras Rebellion Against Society Essay, Research Paper

A Dolls House: Nora?s rebellion against society

The central theme of this play is Nora?s rebellion against society and everything that was expected of her. Nora shows this by breaking away from all the standards and expectations her husband and society had set up for her. In her time women weren?t supposed to be independent. They were to support their husbands, take care of the children, cook, clean, and make everything perfect around the house.

Nora?s first rebellion was when she took out a loan so that she could pay for her husband, Torvalds medical treatment. It was against the law for women to take out a loan without their husbands consent. When she did this she proved that she wasn?t as submissive and helpless as Torvald thought she was. He called her a ?poor helpless little creature?. A perfect example of Torvalds control and Nora?s submissiveness was when she got him to re-teach her the tarantella. She already knew the dance but she acted as if she needed him to re-teach her the whole thing. When he says to her ?Watching you swing and dance the tarantella makes my blood rush?. This shows that he is more interested in her physically than emotionally. Then when she told him to stop he said to her, ?am I not your husband?? Again, this is an example of Torvalds control over Nora, and how he thinks that she is there to fulfill his every desire on command. Torvald doesn?t trust her with any money and with the little money that he does entrust her with he is afraid that she will spend it on Macaroons, a candy that he has forbid her to eat. He calls her his ?little squirrel?, ?skylark?, and he says she spends money very foolishly.

Nora?s second rebellion was when she left Torvald and her children. The society she lived in demanded that she should submit to her husband and that she should take a place under him. Society considered women to be property of their husbands and that they should fulfil their every command. When Krogstad tries to blackmail Nora, and Torvald didn?t even support her she realized that there was a problem. Then finally when Torvald realizes that his social stature will not be harmed he displays his real feeling for Nora, both physically and emotionally. It is at this time when Nora decides that she doesn?t want to be controlled by Torvald anymore and she told him that she was going to leave him. By leaving Torvald she is not only shutting him out but also forgetting everything in her past. When Torvald tries to reconcile with her she explains that all her life she was treated like a child. And how she was ?always merry, never happy?, she never got to make any decisions on her own. Then she explains to him how she wants to grow into a responsible mature woman. She describes herself as a ?Responsible human being? and wants to live her own life.

Nora?s rebellions were deliberate and well planned. She knew what was expected of her and she still did what she thought was right in her own mind. The author uses these rebellions to show the faults in society in that day. Even though she did what was right she was still looked down upon by society. It was wrong for Nora to forge her husbands signature to take out the loan to pay for Torvalds medical treatment, but she was in a

way forced to do it. If Nora didn?t do it her husband would have died. She did it out of love and compassion. Torvald, along with all of society condemned her for doing it.

Throughout the whole play Nora was looked down upon, and treated as Torvalds possession and she is only there for show and to please her husband. He is looked at as the provider and he is the decision-maker. This was, at that time ?a perfect marriage?, the only thing it lacked was love and understanding. This was shown when got mad when he found out that she took out the loan to save his life.

Ibsen uses Nora?s rebellions to show that society?s expectations of a woman?s roll in a marriage were wrong and that there should be more equality, love, and understanding in Torvalds and Noras marriage.


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