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Play Review - a Doll's House by Henrik Ibsen

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Essay Preview: Play Review - a Doll's House by Henrik Ibsen

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In the play "A Doll's House" by Henrik Ibsen is about a housewife decided to abandon her husband and her children after she realized that she didn't have any human right in the family. The controlling idea of the play is the emancipation of woman right. In the real world, the social class of the man is always higher than the woman. Through the strong contrast between two characters which are Nora and Helmer, The play "A Doll's House" analyzed the social reality and showed the hypocrisy of the bourgeoisie. At some points, there are some differences and similarities between Nora and Helmer, and they could be the comparable characters in the play.

Nora and Helmer have different limits of authority in the family, and Nora was naturally weaker than Torvald in the family. Torvald Helmer is Nora's husband, and he represents the power and authority of the household. He likes to call Nora "little squirrel" and "little skylark", and he interacts with her as an owner and a pet. Such as "what did my little spendthrift fancy for herself" (Ibsen 831). However, Nora is submissive to his husband no matter how was Torvald treat to her. For example, "Just this minute...come on out, Torvald, and see what I've bought" (Ibsen 830). At the opening scenes of the novel, Nora appears very childish when Torvald calls her "my little skylark" and "little squirrel". She hides her macaroons like a child hiding something that she should not have, before going to see Torvald her husband. They have been married for eight years and they have three children. Their marriage seems like very happiness, but it is meaningless in reality. Torvald did not really care about Nora's feeling, and Nora did not know what she should expect from her husband. It's obvious to see that in an old society, the man's arbitrary just as it should be and woman's obedience is necessary.

Nora and Helmer have different point of view about their marriage and life. Helmer though that love would be present by providing physical supports, and he gave money to Nora for buying anything she wants. For instance "Good heavens, I know only too well how Christmas runs away with the housekeeping" (Ibsen 830). Helmer never did some romantic thing like bring Nora a gift or give her a surprise, and he never think about what things that Nora really needs. Moreover, Nora presented her love by take care of her husband, and devotes herself silently. Nora is intelligent and efficient woman, such as "I was the one who saved Torvald's life" (Ibsen 836), and "I might have got it some other way. I might even have got it from some admirer. Any one as reasonably attractive as I am..." (Ibsen 836). From here we can see that Nora's faculty and courage, and she could be a business woman for earning woman if she got a chance. In the play,



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