In “A Doll House” written by Henrik Ibsen is a play about women’s roles in society in the 19th century. The book examines the exploitation of the poor and the weak by the rich. It is a mirror image of what Marxists wrote about the capitalistic class exploiting the poor. It is therefore worth noting that the Marxist’s believes have been spread throughout the play.
It is important to note that Nora’s thinking and her outlook is dominated completely by her material wealth and financial conditions. For instance, at the beginning of the play, we can see that Nora has just turned from a shopping trip. She gets into the house carrying armload of packages followed by a boy who is carrying a Christmas tree. The tree symbolizes Nora’s love for money. This is because she bars anybody who would like to see it until it is decorated so as to demonstrate their newfound wealth. Initially she used to decorate the tree by hand. However, because she wants to demonstrate that they are now wealthy, she spends excessive amount of money on presents and decorates the tree because now they can a ford to let themselves go a bit higher. She is not willing to decorate it by hand as she used to do because she considers that as being poor yet she wants to demonstrate their new found wealth.
The Marxists argument for the exploitation of the poor by the rich is clearly shown in this story. For instance, it is seen in both Kristine and Krogstad. In the story, we see Kristine sacrificing her love for Krogstad and then she is married to another man because his vision seemed hopeless back then. Despite her relationship reviving later, it almost failed simply because of money. This is a Marxist attitude since her entire life together with her mindset was a result of her economic situation at the time of her decisions. She wanted to follow money and now she suffering because of that.
The story is written at a time when many women are seen as mere people who cannot make decisions on their own. The story is written in a pure patriacho society; society which men believe that they are superior over women. They had no real social status and were not allowed to express themselves freely. This play is the emancipation of women from the ancient regime in that society. “A Doll House represents a woman who is struggling to be independent; however, she is unable because of the society culture which recognizes men to be of higher status than women.
One of the major characters in this play is Nora. Throughout the play she carries on like a child and the people around her treat her as such. After that she wants to leave home, leave this kind of life, she wants freedom. The theme of women’s roles in society that how reality makes women independent, leave family through the development of the character, the setting, and through the use of symbolism. Women lives in a lovely for a long time, does not realize the world is unlimited.
The main characters in the play is Torvald’s loving and childish wife, and childish, a strong, independent woman. In the beginning of play she is a money-loving. She is also childish person if her nickname is anything to go by. Her husband likes to treat her as if she is a child. “The little lark’s wings mustn’t droop. Come on don’t be a sulky squirrel”(701, Ibsen) Nora’s nickname show’s to she is silly girl in her husband’s view. His husband likes to play and joke with her. He used to make Nora like a petit bird, fly around him. Nora’s husband is her whole world; she count lives with him in the beginning. Nora is also a dishonest person. She likes to hide something “No, I assure you, Torvald-“(702) “hasn’t nibbled some pastry?” when she goes back home she brought some things for herself, she hide the macaroon. This behavior of related marriage with men and women is not acceptable. Women in the family always have to follow their husbands. Do anything for their family. So she hides the macaroon. On the other hand revealed her fear and worry deeply from her heart. But also reveals women’s status in that time. The community impact of women's lifestyle. “Everything just the ways Torvald like it.” (709,Ibsen) She wants to make her husband happy and comfortable. It seems that Torvald is a person who believes that the role of the wife is to protect and guide his wife. He clearly enjoys the idea that Nora needs his guidance. “Before all else, you are a wife and mother” (745,Ibsen) Torvald makes a definition for women. He thinks women should produce children, be a housewife, no other ideas, not complain the life if it not satisfied. He likes to teach Nora the dance she performs at the costume party. “Teach me, the way you always have”(732,Ibsen) “ you’ve forgotten everything I taught you”“ The child can have her way. But tomorrow night, after you’ve danced.” (733, Ibsen) Torvald thinks women’s responsibility is to obey her husband, and role for a little lovely bird make him happy.
The setting in the play begins with Nora and Torvald’s marriage life. In the 19th century, mostly a man is the breadwinner of the family. A man’s job is to make money to support his family while women stay at home and takes care of the children and her husband. Everything was going well until Mrs. Linde come. Mrs. Linde divorces with her husband, and does not get anything. “The last years have been like one endless workday without a rest for me” (706,Ibsen) her life is hardly in this time. When she visits Nora, knows her husband is a bank manager. Maybe can help her get a job. It is the fuse for the story. Nora's secret will follow this been debunked.And change her mind to become independent. “Trovald, for my sake you can do a little something for Kristine, can’t you”(711,Ibsen) Mrs. Linde gets a job. But the Krogstadloses his job. Krogstad is a man who borrows money to Nora. Krogstad threatened her “I have here in my pocket a letter for your husband.”(729, Ibsen)So,Nora’s secret will come out. Lying to husband is very big issues in that time. She cannot think about what to do. But when she meats Mrs. Linde, she notices that if women leave her husband, they don’t have rich life, but they have a freedom.Someone will no longer control them. She has never become a doll who is played by someone. During the story she has to speak out. The costume party is a foreshadowing in this play. Nora like a doll play different role for each person, she tired. When they go home, “got to empty the mailbox” anything was Nora hide is going to come out. “ Torvald, good-bye, you and the children” Noradecides she is going to leave house because when her husband know the truth she can live the house anytime. But after that she notice that their marriage does not look strong, and her husband do not love her so much. Therefore, anytime she makes a mistake, the independence war of Nora begins.
In conclusion, it is important to note that Nora actually shut the door behind her. She was not only a woman who was leaving her family but also a woman seeking independence from the restrictions of the society and the rule of men which was right ahead of her simply because of her being a woman. In the Play, Nora is the representation of the unnoticed, underappreciated workers who have overthrew the rich who exploited them. The play is very relevance because it shows how the rich exploits the poor and take them for granted. It is a mirror image of what was written by the Marxists.
Ibsen, Henrick. “A Dolls House.” London: J.M. Dent and Sons LTD, 1958