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"A Doll's House" deals with the position of women in matters of marriage and society in the 19th century. To what extent do you agree that these ideas were ahead of their time?

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Introduction

Scott Francis "A Doll's House" deals with the position of women in matters of marriage and society in the 19th century. To what extent do you agree that these ideas were ahead of their time? The inspiration for A Doll's House came from the tragic events that happened to Laura Kieler a young woman Ibsen met in1870. Laura asked Ibsen to comment on a play she was writing and they became close friends. Some time later her husband contracted tuberculosis and was advised to visit a warm climate. Unfortunately they lacked the financial means so she acquired a loan. Repayment was demanded and Laura had to forge a cheque. This was soon discovered and her husband treated her like a common criminal, despite the fact that she had these actions for his sake. She suffered a nervous breakdown and was committed to a public asylum. Eventually she begged him to take her back for the sake of the children. Ibsen then began to write A Doll's House. A Doll's house was first performed in Copenhagen on the 21st of December 1879. ...read more.

Middle

Amalie Skram was Norway's foremost naturalist writer and first Norwegian to write about female sexuality openly. Skram praised the play dramatically and psychologically and she saw that upon seeing the play women would wake up to the injustices committed against them. These feminist beliefs were not restricted to the women of the time. M.J. Faerden, a pastor, preached to his congregation in 1884; "Just as Nora appears in the final scene free and unfettered by any bond, divine or human, without commitment or obligation to the man whom she has given her promise or to the children she has brought into this world- likewise we will find the modern marriage, from beginning to end."4 With the above statements from a broad range of Norway's intellectuals I have come to the conclusion that although Ibsen may have not intended his play and Nora Helmer to become an iconic symbol for feminist's policies directly it most certainly did have a positive effect on the feminist movement. But were these ideas ahead of their time? It is clear that other people of the time had these beliefs, but these were in great minority to those who did not. ...read more.

Conclusion

These actions show the audience that Nora is indeed capable and willing to help herself and Torvald without his intervention. 5 Ultimately A Doll's House focuses on the way that women are seen, especially in the context of marriage and motherhood. Torvald in particular has a very clear and narrow definition of a woman's role. He believes that it is the sacred duty of a woman to be a good wife and mother. He tells Nora that women are responsible for the morality of their children. In essence he sees women as child-like helpless creatures detached from reality and influential moral forces responsible for the purity of the world through their influence in the home. The perception of manliness is also discussed, though in a much more subtle way. Nora's description of Torvald suggests that she is partially aware of the lies inherent in the male role as much as that of the female. Torvald's conception of manliness is based on the value of total independence. He abhors the idea of financial or moral dependence on anyone. His desire for independence leads to the question of whether he is out of touch with reality and behind the times. Tied to the discussion of men and women are the frequent references to Nora's father. ...read more.

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