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Feminism and women's suffrage in A Doll's House by Henrik Ib

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Emma Burton

on 23 October 2013

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Transcript of Feminism and women's suffrage in A Doll's House by Henrik Ib

Feminism and women's suffrage in A Doll House by Henrik Ibsen
Feminism and Women's Suffrage Seen in A Doll House
In A Doll House Nora is oppressed by her husband, Trovald, and treats her as a mere doll or a plaything hence the title A Doll house. This shows the patriarchal culture of the society at the time that the play was written.
"Is it my little squirrel bustling about?" (2186)
The way in which Trovald calls Nora by pet names dehumanizes her as a character. He doesn't see her as an equal and therefore he doesn't treat her as an equal.
In the play we can see how unstable, Nora and Trovald's, household is living under a patriarchal roof which is a criticism of the social norm of the time period.
Feminism and Women's Suffrage Seen in A Doll House Cont.
Women don't have rights which is seen in the complex lie that Nora makes about getting a loan from her dad. When in reality she got her own loan to help her husband out.

"Mrs. Linde: Because you couldn't have borrowed it. Nora: No? Why not? Mrs. Linde: A wife can't borrow money without her Husbands consent. Nora: (Tossing her head) Oh, but a wife with a little business sense, a wife who knows how to manage..." (2193).

Nora represents Isben's (possible) views that women should be equal to men and that they are just as capable as men. Nora is the one who saves her husband which shows her strength as a women and how she doesn't need to rely on her husband to take care of herself and her family.
Women's sacrificial role in A Doll House
Mrs. Linde abandoned her true love Krogstad who was penniless in order to marry a man that would allow her to provide for her poor mother and two brothers. She sacrificed love.
The nanny abandoned her own children to work for Nora's family so that she could earn a living.
Nora sacrifices her true self to be the perfect and typical wife of the time period. She lives to please those around her instead of being true to herself.
Yet, Trovald was not willing to sacrifice his masculine image as head of the house to confess to the letter to save Nora.
What Isben said...
Women's Suffrage and Feminism in Norway during the time Isben wrote a doll house
During the nineteenth century women were subservient to men and had little rights. In 1890 married women were given the right to control their own wealth and in 1882 women finally were given access to higher education.

Norwegian women received the right to vote in 1913.

During the time that Isben wrote A Doll House he lived in a patriarchal society which we can see throughout the play.
Feminism and Women's Suffrage Seen in A Doll House Cont.
Nora: "What do you consider my most sacred duties?"
Helmer: "[…] your duties to your husband and your children."
Nora: "I have other duties just as sacred. […] Duties to myself."

This shows how Tovald represents the common thoughts of society about women. Their job at this time was to be wives and mothers and nothing else. Nora is ahead of her time in thinking that women don't have a set role - that they too need freedom. In that freedom Nora goes to find herself away from the oppressive life she lives. At this time Nora leaving her husband and children was very controversial. and Isben was showing the how women/the Everyman need to take a stand and not always sacrifice who they are to fit what society says they are
“Though he [Isben] said in a speech once that Nora was supposed to represent the Everyman, and that he hadn’t been trying to address the issue of women’s rights, critics argue that the presence of feminism in the play is inherent and “justifiable whatever Ibsen’s intention and in spite of his speech,”

This also shows how important Isben thought women were because he choose a woman to represent people as a whole, as the everyman.
Works Cited
Ibsen, Henrick. “A Dolls House.” London: J.M. Dent and Sons LTD,1958

"Major Critical Theories." : A Doll's House. N.p., n.d. Web. 23 Oct. 2013.
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