Role of Women in “A Doll’s House”
Realist plays attempt to present practical solutions to readers by highlighting similar plights to the audience. Henrik Ibsen is a realist playwright whose work focuses on significant revelations of both modern and past societies. One of these revelations that the playwrights explores is the role of women. In, A Doll House, Ibsen succeeds in empowering women in their societies. All the women in the play are powerful and can make decisions about their lives regardless of the feelings of men in their lives (Lee 73).
What interests you about this writer’s work?
Henrik Ibsen interests me from his choice of themes in all his plays. He always succeeds in introducing fundamental elements about modernism and realism in the plays. His choice of character is always excellent making him deliver his respective messages memorably. For example, he creates the character of Nora to be childish in this play. Later, when the play develops, the audience realizes that Nora is powerful upon comparison to her husband. It is equally interesting that Ibsen decides to explore the extent of help that Nora could get from her female friends. Besides the approach employs to create his characters, it is fascinating to note the approach he takes in addressing sensitive societal issues. He states,
“Just think how a guilty man like that has to lie and play the hypocrite with every one, how he has to wear a mask in the presence of those near and dear to him, even before his own wife and children. And about the children–that is the most terrible part of it all, Nora” (Ibsen 59).
Are you interested in the formal qualities of the writing? The approach to the subject matter? A position taken within the writing?
While exploring this insightful play by Ibsen, I am never interested in the formal qualities of his writing. This is because I consider Ibsen’s choice of content significant than the respective literary styles. His approach to the subject matters is extremely artistic. For example, in the play, Ibsen wishes to empower both the modern and the past women. This is evident from the kind of roles he assigns to his female characters in the play (Lee 67).
Does the writing raise questions for you about literature itself? Does it answer them?
The play raises significant questions about literature through diverse ways. The most obvious questions raised by the play are the role of literature in the respective society. Ibsen displays intense efforts to use literature to benefit women in his society. For example, the inspiration to write the play emanates from the experiences of a close friend to Ibsen called Laura. The writing answers the above question because the female protagonist seems to achieve liberation as the play ends. He states,
“Well, then I have found other ways of earning money. Last winter I was lucky enough to get a lot of copying to do; so I locked myself up and sat writing every evening until quite late at night. Many a time I was desperately tired; but all the same, it was a tremendous pleasure to sit there working and earning money. It was like being a man.” (Ibsen 37)
What is this literature saying to you?
This literature seems to be encouraging me to avoid any bias that I might have between the existing genders. The protagonist seems to be successful when the play ends even after her husband mistreats her. This implies that both genders must receive fair treatments in their respective lives. He states,
“Good Heavens, no! How could you think so? A man who has such strong opinions about these things! And besides, how painful and humiliating it would be for Torvald, with his manly independence, to know that he owed me anything! It would upset our mutual relations altogether; our beautiful happy home would no longer be what it is now.” (Ibsen 53).
Why do you want to spend time reading this particular writer’s work
I prefer Henrik Ibsen’s work to any other writer based on several reasons. These include his choice of themes in all his plays. “A Doll House” presents situations that happen to most women. This implies that Henry Ibsen uses literature in a meaningful way. For example, the play succeeds in both entertaining the audience and empowering women. I would allocate a larger portion of time in studying this play because of the dual messages it presents about conflicts that can arise between genders. Henry Ibsen considers both ganders in his play by making then realize that they need to be sensitive.
Ibsen, Henrik. A Dolls House. Rockville, MD: Serenity Publishers, 2009. Print.
Lee, Jennette. The Ibsen Secret: A Key to the Prose Dramas of Henrik Ibsen. Honolulu, Hawaii: University Press of the Pacific, 2001. Print.