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In A Dolls House by defying societal norms Nora enhances the empowerment of women

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Introduction

Tanika D?souza, 12B DRAFT 5: By defying societal norms Nora enhances the empowerment of women Word Count (quotes included): 1543 In contrast to other static characters such as Mrs. Linde, the dynamic Nora Helmer shut the door to her home and marriage and scandalized a number of 19th century men and women when she fled at the end of Henrik Ibsen?s ?A Dolls House?. Even after she portrayed her leaving to be the result of her husband?s demeaning authority, some might deem the act not to be entirely to ?find herself? per se, but to avoid poisoning her offspring by her moral sickness, as Helmer brainwashes her with the idea that she is no longer fit to bring up children of an impressionable, pliant age. However, with further analysis of Nora?s character in contrast to others in the book; enhanced by themes and symbols, it becomes clear that it was very much so, an act of empowerment. Nora walks out of the house she once entered knowing she didn?t know much, but by the time of her epiphany she wanted to change that. She wanted to be abreast with the happenings of the world she and the rest of the female gender were secluded from. ...read more.

Middle

The same idea is employed when Nora has no access to a lot of household objects such as the letterbox. Had Nora have been a man, she would have been granted the countenance to open up anything anywhere, be it a letterbox or the oven. However, considering her fragility and feminity, she is deemed unsuitable for the great task of checking the mail, something that requires the immense skill only her husband acquires. It took Nora a compromising situation to lead her to the solution that eventually gave her empowerment. Consider the title ?A Dolls House?, Ibsen?s clever use of symbolism portrayed Nora to be the porcelain doll that needed to break out of society?s mold as well as her cage or as we know it, Helmer?s household. A porcelain doll is an object of perfection, it has no physical flaws and is purely controlled and made to function as per the needs of its owner. Similarly, a cage is a restricting object that is opened and closed when and if the owner wants it to be. Helmer is also familiar with social norms that dictate how to be a man. ...read more.

Conclusion

Another symbol used to portray this is the Tarantella that Nora viciously performs is a representation of her own fight for freedom. ?Nora, darling, you're dancing as if your life depended on it!?. It is ironic that Torvald encourages her to perform this sensual and liberating dance and later realizes that much like the fierceness she performed with, she obtained the fierce courage to leave. In conclusion, women in the time of Henrik Ibsen were caged; they were confined to the four walls of their well kept home, with no money in hand. Made to believe they weren?t fit to get an education, made to believe there was no need for one as long as they had a man in their lives. She made slow and steady progress on her road to empowerment and this comes from the fact that she was aware of her potential. After realizing her husband is nothing more than a hypocrite and realizing that by herself has been able to pay back almost all of what she owes, she embarks on the journey to fulfillment and empowerment. In contrast to Ms. Linde and to the shock and horror of her ?morally aware? husband Torvald, paid no attention to society, paid no attention his ideologies and instead, followed the road less travelled, eventually leaving a trail for more women to follow. ...read more.

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