A Doll's House

Discuss A Doll's House as a social play.

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The most controversial of Isben's social issues in the play "A Doll's House," would be the role of women and the state of marriage. Isben believed that husbands and wives should do more than follow societal mores that were steeped in tradition. Namely, that women stay home, take care of the children and the home, and entertain their husbands.

Isben's play supports men and women taking equal if different roles in marriage. He believed that husbands and wives as individuals should both be allowed to become their own selves. Isben tackles what he sees as the "sacrificial" state of women. Nora is to be submissive to her husband, as he is the dominant partner (money earner) in the famiy. Whereas, the dictates of society forced the Nanny to give up her own child only to take care of Nora's because it was her only means of survival. Then we have Mrs Linde, who married not for love but rather financial security.

When Nora takes out a loan to save her husband, she breaks all the rules. She went behind her husband's back to take care of something that was his responsibility (no matter it was for all the right reasons), she leaves herself open to blackmail, and then finally leaves both her husband and her children because she feels she's not worthy.

Don't get me wrong, she might be a whole lot happier without her husband, but society would have dictated the children stay with their father because their mother acted inappropriately. None-the-less, that was what Isben wanted us to understand.