A Doll's House
The Fluidity of Gender Identity in Ibsen’s A Doll’s House College
In discussions of Ibsen’s A Doll’s House, one major controversial issue has been the representation of women. This issue has been debated by many critics in light of gender and feminist theories, in an attempt to decipher Nora’s subversion of enforced gender norms and her transformation from a domesticated and a subordinated female into an autonomous and non-conforming dissident. On the one hand, Unni Langas in “What Did Nora Do? Thinking Gender with A Doll’s House” maintains that the culmination point of the play, in which Nora decides to break free from the domestic incarceration she’s been trapped in stems from “the realization that she’s trapped in a gendered system of subordination...that govern her life as a woman” (Langas 165). She argues that Ibsen’s play challenges the “notion of gender as a natural thing inevitably tied to our bodies,” thus conforming to Judith Butler’s theory of performativity. On the other hand, Guo Yahuea claims that, through representing the downfall or demise of the masculine power as a result of “female’s ideological awakening,” Ibsen’s A Doll’s House offers a damning critique of gender inequality by suggesting “a new structure of society” in which women flout enforced gender norms and society’s...
Join Now to View Premium Content
GradeSaver provides access to 1320 study guide PDFs and quizzes, 9875 literature essays, 2499 sample college application essays, 464 lesson plans, and ad-free surfing in this premium content, “Members Only” section of the site! Membership includes a 10% discount on all editing orders.
Already a member? Log in