A Doll's House

The Role of Women in "A Doll's House" and "Ghosts"

The Role of Women in "A Doll's House" and "Ghosts"

The role of women has changed significantly throughout history, driven in part by women who took risks in setting examples for others to follow. During the Victorian era, women were beginning to take a stand for their rights. Even as they struggled with their expected roles as women, a few that managed to escape the demands and expectations of society. Playwright Henrik Ibsen reinforces the idea of women's rights by creating two female characters that embody the struggle for freedom from their restricted roles. In Henrik Ibsen's plays A Doll's House and Ghosts, both Nora and Mrs. Alving deviate from the roles expected of Victorian women.

During the nineteenth century, women were expected to marry and remain faithful to their husbands regardless of their situations. There was an "...exaggerated emphasis upon duty, the injunction to stay with one's husband no matter what the circumstances..." (Hunt 111). However, Nora deviates from her expected role and duty as a wife by leaving Torvald at the end of A Doll's House. Her desires and her own happiness are more important to her than the duties to her husband, regardless of...

Join Now to View Premium Content

GradeSaver provides access to 1162 study guide PDFs and quizzes, 8977 literature essays, 2371 sample college application essays, 399 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.

Join Now

Already a member? Log in