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Gender Roles in A Doll's House Essay


In the nineteenth century it was custom for women to stay home and be the ideal house wife. Nora was the ideal spouse, but she hid a dark secret that she could not bare to be discovered. She was in debt. Nora thinks her husbands new position at the bank will bring home happiness. She believes that this new job and salary will liberate her from her worries and debt. She eventually learns that it is not debt that enslaves her but her husbands unbending will. Nora was unhappy because her husband wouldnt treat her like an adult. He calls her pet names. He treats her like a child and uses money to make her happy, and he be littles her.

Nora has never been treated as an adult. She has learned to accept the be littlement from her husband. After Christmas shopping for the kids Torvald is scolding Nora What are little people called that are always wasting money?(7) Torvald is referring to Nora as a little person. Little people are also known as children. Nora has no other option but to accept the fact that her husband is always scolding her and making her feel less than she is.

Nora has never had access to the money that Helmer brings home. She cannot have the satisfaction of buying her own belongings without her husbands permission.

HELMER: There you are.(gives her some money.)Do you think I dont know what a lot is wanted for housekeeping at Christmas-time?

NORA (counting): Ten shillings-a pound-two pounds! Thank you, thank you, Torvald; that will keep me going for a long time.

HELMER: indeed it must. (Henrik Ibsen I.)

Nora has tolerated the be littlement of Torvald her father, the two most important men in her life That is just it; you have never understood me. I have been greatly wronged, Torvald- first by papa and then by you.(75)Nora feels misunderstood by the two men that are most important in her life. Although Nora loves her father and Torvald she cannot stand the neglect of her feelings.

Nora had been treated like a child her entire life. It was not the debt that was tormenting her but the unbreakable will of her husband that drove her to be another person. Nora realizes that the debt had nothing to do with her unhappiness

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