Realism Realism is the belief or the way to see things as they are in real. It is the manifestation of philosophical realism that beliefs exists as in independent observation of a person and reflect as reality. A person sees things from his own perspective and tries to idealize a world according to his frame of reference of mind and circumstances. However, artistic realism is a more advanced characteristic that portrays the view of most of the norm. Henrik Ibsen, a Norwegian playwright who is a stand point of the modern drama, is considered as the father of realistic theatre. Henrik Ibsen dominated the twentieth century and directed many theatrical plays presenting many social issues of the society. One of his master pieces is ‘A Doll’s House’ in which Ibsen questions the confines of marriage. The drama itself became the subject of debate in the society as it was an everyday people’s situation (A Dolls House).
Nora who was the wife of Torval helmer is the lead character of the play ‘A Doll’s House’. The play starts with Nora in her house and progresses with her struggle and transformation towards her life, perspective and needs. In the start, she appears as a silly, arrogant and pride woman and represents the doll-child in a doll house. However, soon the audience sees her transformation to a strong and tough lady who bears the pressure and problems of the outer world and stand as a barrier against the problems of her family. She saves her husband’s life by paying his debt for which she has to forge his father’s signature. She takes him to Italy and never tells him that where she took the money from just to keep his husbands pride up. She loves him so much and beliefs likewise. Noura thinks that for Torvald, nothing matters more than her happiness. The drama takes a turning point when she realizes that she was wrong and for her husband beauty and respect matter more than her joy and happiness. Her trust and belief towards life breaks and she decides to leave Torbald and try to move on her own new way (“Ibsen”).
Nora’s husband, Torvald is a banker and lawyer. He never thinks of her wife more that a foolish and spoiled child. For him, she is just a plaything and erotic fantasy to fulfill his animal desires. He calls her with humiliating pet names like, “little skylark or ” “little person” that shows his perspective towards wife and woman. In the start of the play he engages the sympathy of the audience because of indulgent devotion towards his wife. He treats her with love and generosity, gives him extra money whenever she asks for it and loves her out of reason. He claims that if any burden or hardship ever comes in life, he will take it all on his shoulders and will not let Noura suffer. However, as the play progressive the real person within Torvald comes up who is unable to cope with the disagreeable truths of life. When Noura finds herself in trouble, mostly came because of his husband’s, he turns his way and concerns more about the worldly things and his reputation rather than his wife’s happiness and future life. At the end, he is found to be a man who could not understand his wife’s immense love and sacrifices she gave for him (“Ibsen”)
However, the play was set in Ibsen’s native Norway but it does not talk about things those were typically Norwegian. It roots into all the Europe and even most parts of the America. The set was quite similar to any middle-class home found at that time. It was portrayed as a normal and most of the families of that time live which gave people a great chance to relate themselves with the characters. Whenever a character appears individuals superimpose their selves with him and try to think of the situation in their real world.
Theme reflecting Realism
Theme of the play reflected the real story and dilemma of the time. It was not allowed to talk about sex and even for babies at that time. Woman’s best role was defined the best as mothers and wives. The theme of this play revolves around the problems of Noura and in other way reflecting the problems of women’s right as a fact of realism in this play. Ibsen did not offer any real solution for the problem however, left it on the people to solve the dilemma their self(“Ibsen and Realism”)
Reality Vs Society
The drama at that time was more focused on the romance and unrealistic fantasies of life. Ibsen showed a new way of expressing the problems of society through drama. According to him, romance and fantasies are the mere part of the society however; the society’s core and normal issues are far bigger than these (“Ibsen and Realism”)
It is very important to see the things in a right as they are in real to have a proper solution for it. Ibsen worked showed the audience a new way of thinking and reflected their reality through ‘A Doll’s house’, for which he is called the father of realistic theatre.
1. “A Dolls House: Character Profiles.” Novelguide. N.p., n.d. Web. 07 Dec. 2012.
2. “A Dolls House.” Wikipedia. N.p., n.d. Web. 07 Dec. 2012.
3. “Ibsen and Realism.” Ibsen and Realism. N.p., n.d. Web. 07 Dec. 2012.
4. Ibsen, Henrick. “0486270629.” – AbeBooks. Dover Publications, 12 Feb. 1992. Web. 07 Dec. 2012.