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A Doll's House

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An analysis of the significance played by money in Ibsen's "A Doll's House."... More...
4 Pages / 900 Words
3 sources, 5 Citations, APA Format

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Paper Abstract:
An analysis of the significance played by money in Ibsen's play, "A Doll's House." The characterization of Nora as a possession. Issue of male power. Nora's actions and her rejection of her life as a "doll," no matter what hardships, economic for example, that await her.

Paper Introduction:
A Doll\'s House Money plays an important role in A Doll\'s House Many people viewmoney as playing a significant role in A Doll\'s House because of Nora\'ssecret over forging loan documents While this action will play a catalystin Nora\'s dramatic decision to abandon her husband and family at the climaxof the play money plays a much more significant role in the action characterization and themes of Ibsen\'s play Nora\'s life represents one of secrets and play-acting because ofthem Nora used to live

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Nora sees this exchange as a form of prostitution. In large measure, women of her eradid not have much choice but to adopt such roles if they expected to afforda living for themselves and their children. She humiliates herself by stealingfood, begging for money, and playing "larks and squirrels" for hispleasure. Economics confine her as much as part of her world of maledomination. Press.McFarlane, J. She will paya heavy cost, including the need to provide a living for herself, but shewill be a free to discover her true and not some artificially imposednature. Thus Nora leads an inner life in themidst of social confinement. There's nothing to worry about. The cost of thisprogression is enormous, for she must abandon her children, but it is theonly way she can be free to express herself in her own right. ReferencesBradbrook, M. Nora makessome effort to express her desire to help Torvald economically when shepromotes the idea of traveling to Italy, but Torvald writes this idea offas frivolous "female" extravagance. She pays for the loan with more ill-gottengains, monies she has shaved off of the household accounts and work on theside she hides from others. Hurt, (Ed.). In this manner she is more an owned possessionthan a woman in her own right. Henrik Ibsen: A Critical Anthology. She haslived from hand to mouth, performed tricks for men, and sublimated her owndesires for the sake of sustenance. In return for a husband whobelieves he has the right to tell her how to feel, think, and act, Norareceives food and drink and social approval. Because Nora acts like a "doll" to exert her will or achieve heraims is not to say she is a hypocrite when she becomes angry at Helmer fortreating her in such a confining manner. Such male exclusivity also extended itself to the world ofeconomics. Cataline's Dream. (Ed.). With courage and dignity, despite being terrified over thediscovery of her secrets, Nora busies herself with the superficial affairsof the Victorian housewife to keep her mind off her worries, "We'll put acandle here-and some flowers here-that dreadful man! Many women did not adopt such a course of action,preferring to prostitute themselves and lead sublimated lives as male"dolls" rather than risk dour economic prospects on their own. A woman in Nora's era had littleopportunity for self-expression unless they did lead a secret existence asNora does when she takes jobs to save money and forges her father'ssignature. (197 ). She went out into avery dark night" (87). of Ill. First by Papa and then by you" (Ibsen1972, 1 4). A Doll's House Money plays an important role in A Doll's House. After moving from the dependency on her father to thedependency on Torvald, Nora once again finds herself in a subservientposition in which she must sublimate her own desires for the sake of herhusband's. A woman's place was in the home and mother and wife were theboundaries of her social and domestic roles. Nora's role as a "doll" is one that is forced upon her by menand her role-play while she leads a secret life represents her copingmechanism. As long as she acts in this manner, she keepsher marriage intact but also keeps herself confined to her limited role ofexpression. Connecticut: Archon, 1946.Ibsen, H.(1972). As wife, she must stillplay the role of Torvald's "doll", a possession more than equal partner.Though Nora dislikes this role and feels confined due to it, she consentsto it for the sake of economics. C. Nora has passed from thehands of one dominant male to another. In his preliminary notes to A Doll's House, Ibsen stated"A woman cannot be herself in contemporary society, it is an exclusivelymale society with laws drafted by men, and with counsel and judges whojudge feminine conduct from the male point of view" (McFarlane 197 , 9 ). She does not want to impose on herterminally ill father, so she forges his name as security for a loan toease her economic burdens. While this action will play a catalystin Nora's dramatic decision to abandon her husband and family at the climaxof the play, money plays a much more significant role in the action,characterization, and themes of Ibsen's play. Nora used to live the role of a doll while living under her father'sauthority as a daughter. Though she rails against Torvald'streatment of her, she also plays to it. Many people viewmoney as playing a significant role in A Doll's House because of Nora'ssecret over forging loan documents. In J. Money matters are among such "seriousthings", which is why Nora leads a secret inner existence while performingas "expected" socially and in her personal relations with men. The tree will be lovely" (Ibsen1972, 99). She chastises Torvald at the end of the playfor never trying to solicit her thoughts or ideas throughout theirmarriage, "During eight whole years, no-more than that-ever since the firstday we met-we have never exchanged so much as one serious word aboutserious things" (Ibsen 1972, 1 3). Her marriage to Torvald merely represents atransfer of power from her father to her husband. Nora eventually cannot withstand the pressures of an inner lifedifferent than the public persona she must maintain. Nora's life represents one of secrets and play-acting because ofthem. She also performs tricks forthe delight of her husband and other males as a means of pleasing them toget what she wants. Champaign, Ill: Univ. Baltimore, MD: Penguin. We see her understanding of this when tells Torvald that "agreat wrong was done to me, Torvald. So too they seldom enjoyed domestic harmony without acting inthe manner prescribed for them by male constructed, Victorian era norms androles for women. She chooses to strikeout on her own as an act of independence and self-expression. A Doll's House. The exposure of Nora's financial duplicity is the catalyst thatmoves her out of dependency and toward freedom. Ibsen the Norwegian: A Revaluation. As Bradbrook (1946) comments, Nora's actions are extremely braveand courageous for a woman of her era for "She was putting herself outsidesociety, inviting insult, destitution and loneliness. But it's justnonsense!

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