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A Doll House

Henrik Ibsens play A Doll House examines a womans struggle for independence in her marriage and social world. Through the use of character change, Ibsen conveys his theme that by breaking away from all social expectations, we can be true to ourselves. When Ibsen presents Nora Helmer, we see a perfect wife, who lives in a perfect house with a perfect husband and children. The Helmer children have a nanny that raises them. By having the nanny, Nora has the freedom to come and go as she pleases. Torvald Helmer, Noras husband, will begin a new job as bank manager, so they will be rich, which will make her perfect life even better. Torvald even calls Nora pet names like my sweet little lark (Ibsen 1567) and my squirrel (Ibsen 1565). These names may seem to be harmless and cute little nicknames, but the names actually show how little he thinks of her. Torvald uses derogatory diminutives to address Nora (Kashdan 52). Torvald talks down to her. Nora is regarded as property rather than a partner (Drama for Students 112). He isnt treating her like a real person. In Torvald eyes, she isnt an equal. Nora is viewed as an object, a toy, a child, but never an equal (Drama for Students 109). Nora and Torvald seem to be in love with each other though. However, Torvald is very controlling of Nora. Torvald makes little rules for Nora to follow. During the time period when the play was written, a husband controlling his wife and making rules for her was not uncommon. One incident of control is when Nora comes home from Christmas shopping. Torvald knows how much Nora loves macaroons and suspects she has bought some to eat. He comments to Nora, My sweet tooth really didnt make a little detour through the confectionernot even munched a macaroon or two (Ibsen 1566). Torvald didnt want Nora to have too many sweets because he didnt want her teeth to rot. This is his way of letting Nora know he has his eye on her. Some of these rules, such as no eating macaroon...

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