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Norwegian culture and society 1800's
Transcript of Norwegian culture and society 1800's
-Divorce in nineteenth century Norwegian-Lutheran community was a rarity. Legal separation between a leading pastor and his wife was unheard of.
- This is why Nora's leaving of Torvald was such a shock to it's initial audiences. This would have influenced Ibsen to re-write the plays ending, to please society.
- Matthew 5:27-32
"You have heard that it was said, ’Do not commit adultery.' But I tell you that anyone who looks at a woman lustfully has already committed adultery with her in his heart. If your right eye causes you to sin, gouge it out and throw it away. It is better for you to lose one part of your body than for your whole body to be thrown into hell." This suggests that Dr Ranks infatuation with Nora would be considered damnable by the audiences religion.
"It has been said, `Anyone who divorces his wife must give her a certificate of divorce.' But I tell you that anyone who divorces his wife, except for marital unfaithfulness, causes her to become an adulteress, and anyone who marries the divorced woman commits adultery." Even though we as an audience do not know whether Nora files for divorce, to an audience of the time it would be considered adultery for either Nora or Torvald to marry again.
- Christmas Eve is the time when presents are exchanged.
- The gifts are sometimes brought by Santa Claus (called 'Julenissen' in Norway). Present are also brought by the small gnomes called 'Nisse'. There are also hobgoblins (Nisse) decorations.
- Children pick up the presents from under the Christmas Tree and read the cards on the presents out loud.
- A sheaf of wheat is often left out for the birds to eat over Christmas.
- Also a type of rice porridge is sometimes left for the 'Nisse' who is believed to guard the farm animals
- Another tradition in parts of Norway is that families light a candle every night from Christmas Eve to New Year's Day.
Role of Women
- Norwegian culture was very gender-based
- Men were always expected to be the providers
- A woman’s role was in the home; girls were married off and became the housekeepers and the center of the family.
- Ibsen's character of Nora accurately portrays a middle class woman.
- However, some middle class women had to go to work to supplement their husband's income, but not to be their own separate income.
- Yet, the role of women was entirely subservient to men.
- At this point women had no political power and did not have the vote, in fact it would have been rare to find a woman with any education involving politics.
- Evangelical Lutheran church was the most prevalent in Norway
- The predominance of the evangelical Lutheran Church provides background of why the story is set during Christmas.
- This religious background helps us understand the religious imagery of "Christmas." This imagery is used to illustrate Norah's epiphany or spiritual renewal- the "sacred duty" to herself- as Jesus came down to the broken spirits of people...
Norwegian culture and society 1800's