How was your understanding of cultural and contextual considerations of the work developed through the interactive oral?
In 1879, a playwright named Henrik Ibsen completes his work A Dolls House and shares it with the Norwegian public and the rest of the literary world. In this play, he depicts the life of middle class women as the way they should be and the way they actually are. He clearly and vividly expresses the contrast between reality and expectations. During our class seminar, we mainly discussed the roles of women in society and daily life, in addition to Henrik Ibsens life in retrospect and why he wrote A Dolls House.
During the 19th Century, women were seen as weak and feeble, juxtaposed to men. Women had very sacrificial roles that were unequal to the roles of men. They had to support their husband and properly raise their children. At that time, only men controlled the money, ran the businesses, made the laws, and set up moral standards. In A Dolls House, Nora proves that she is capable of obtaining money and working for it. She proves that women are as effective as men when it comes to this. Ibsen depicts Nora as the one who strives to achieve the perfect ideal that is set before her by the contexts of her society and her husband. She portrays the reality of women in society. On the other hand, Ibsen represents Anne Marie, the nurse, as the one who accepts the role society has placed upon her within contest. She portrays the expectation of women in society. In addition, it was very hard for women to get a divorce since they would lose everything they had and many rights. Because of this, divorces were rare at that time. Although women were always looked down upon in the past, they always had another side that was invisible to many people.
Daily life during the Victorian Era was very moralistic and inspired by proper decorum. It was a very optimistic time since science, technology, and industry thrived. Garments and fashion were one of the factors that revealed the social classes people came from. Nora constantly made sure that she looked expensive, as to keep her reputation high, although she wore cheap clothes to save money. The economy changed a lot during that period because of many reforms. In the play, Nora was obsessed with money, possibly showing that money was hard to get without a fixed, long-term job. Religion also changed since many things challenged it at the time such as Darwins Theory of Evolution and many other factors. Also, a note should be made that religion furthermore had a play in the role of women.
Henrik Ibsen wrote A Dolls House so that he could alert the public about womens rights, and that they had a greater significance in society than just being housewives. Ibsen was born in a poor town with mainly middle classed people, so that is why he wrote the play about a middle classed family and their problems. Ibsen intelligibly composed this play to facilitate the understanding of the problems of society during the 19th Century.