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The theme of independence in "A Dolls House" by Henrik Ibsen

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English World Literature Essay : "A Doll's House" by Henrik Ibsen "How does Ibsen convey the theme of independence in "A Dolls House"?" One of the central themes in "A Doll's House" by Henrik Ibsen is Independence and in particular, how women are not able to do everything that women could today. The play was written in 1879, where the rights that women had were not like they were today. Women were not allowed to work if they were married and had little freedom to do anything that women could today. The play is about how the character of Nora becomes independent, both in her marriage and in the social world, and for a life of her own. The role of women in the 19th century was basically to support their husbands by raising and educating their children while keeping the house comfortable for all members of the family. All decisions, especially the financial ones, were made by the husband. ...read more.


This quote from the play is when Nora is asking Torvald for money and feels as though she has to put on flirtatious behaviour to get what she wants. This illustrates that Nora is not independent at this point in the play because she can't get or do what she wants by herself. Later on in the play we find out that Nora has borrowed money from Krogstad to save Torvald's life, it is then the audience realises that Nora can do things for herself and doesn't need Torvald for money. Her image is changed into an independent woman. When Torvald finds out that Nora borrowed the money off Krogstad, he is angry and upset at Nora. Torvald makes such a big deal of this because in the 19th century women were not allowed to borrow money without their husband's permission. Also, Torvald can't stand to let any dependence on his wife be shown. ...read more.


Nora shows that women wanted more than family and money, they wanted to be independent, be themselves and do whatever they wanted to do. The idea of the "doll" symbol which is dominant, also adds more to the meaning of the play. "Dolls" have no independence whatsoever; they are just the toy of the owner. In this play, the "doll" is a metaphor of Nora. In the first half of the play, the reader just sees Nora as the wife of Torvald who is dependent on him for everything. Nora has no independence until she leaves her family at the very end of the play. She has been a doll, a possession without independence or equality. Torvald and Nora's whole relationship is based on her being dependent on him. As soon as it was realised by Torvald that she had borrowed money by herself and saved his life, their relationship wasn't the same and Nora ended up walking out because she wanted to be independent. The whole play is about Nora struggling for, and then finally gaining her independence. ...read more.

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