A Doll's House

Ibsen's Presentation of Freedom and Social Respectability 12th Grade

Henrik Ibsen's play 'A Doll's House' has caused controversy since it's first production in 1879 as it portrays 19th century society as an oppressive influence on the individual and their personal freedom. Victorian society emphasized Bourgeois respectability and moral code, which when defied caused the individual to be stigmatized and ostracized. The characters in Ibsen's play both expressed and rebelled against these ideals, sparking a debate on the conventions of society and allowing audiences to reflect critically upon their own families. This ability start conversation is what makes 'A Doll's House' relevant to this very day.

Freedom is a central running theory in the play, and an idea that the protagonist Nora is especially passionate about. As a woman in the Victorian era Nora would not have had the same freedoms as her male counterparts such as Helmer, Dr Rank or Krogstad. Patriarchal ideals were supported and reinforced by a social structure that women had little to no control in, they were still dependent on their husbands and fathers, as well as marriage and motherhood. Often women were still viewed as possessions of their husbands, Helmer represents this clearly with 'all the beauty that is mine, all my very own.' At...

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