Last Updated 25 May 2020

A Dolls House

Category Dolls House
Words 1015 (4 pages)

You have, perhaps, never heard a discussion or symposium on the subject, “Men-their role in the society. The discussion is always about women. Men have, perhaps, no role!

Men can as well do, some of the jobs normally done by women. Even today, the best chefs are men! The never-ending talk to give equal rights to women has been going on since time immemorial. But all the Acts of Parliaments all over the world will not bring equality to the female gender.

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he change has to be achieved within-both men and women! How can equal rights to women be given? God has created her, given her the status of more-equal. Nobody can take that right away.

It is the mother, who gives protection during the initial nine months to the divine creative force of the future-male or female! A female child is victimized at every step of life, from the moment of birth, and she sacrifices at every stage.  Women need to be the legal and spiritual equals of men!

The three Act play by Henrik Ibsen is dominated by the main character Nora. The Doll’s House is symbolic—how Nora has been living within the specified rules applicable to housewife-submission, submission and more submission to the wishes of her husband! Before marriage, she submitted to her parents (mostly to the wishes of her father); now the place of submission is changed, but the procedure of male-dominance is the same-God bless her!

With no scope to develop her own personality she is obliged to live under the ‘protective’ umbrella of her husband but not for long! Nora turns to be a dynamic rebel, gives up the structure that is considered sacred by the society and seeks the path of total transformation and rehabilitation of her own personality. What is marriage?

Two distinct individuals, two separate personalities, born, bred and brought up in two different set of circumstance, try to come together from the day of marriage( if not courting earlier!) to find a common identity, a common goal and to be precise a common all! But soon the affected one finds out that idealism and the reality are poles apart!

Why the scale of social justice tilts heavily against the womenfolk and their individual liberties are at a discount? Why one finds Nora in every family in one form or the other even during the 21st century? How long need the woman contain her suppressed emotions and move forward  to establish her own identity?

It is the same old story through the Ages—it is between Him and Her! The family is run as per the dictates of Torvald, though his commands are honey-tongued. An attitude of ‘I know everything’ and ‘you know nothing’ is evident in his relationship with Nora.

The sweet nothings he addresses to his wife like, “Is my little lark twittering there?”(Ibsen, 2007, p. 6) “Is it my little squirrel bustling about?”(p. 6) “Has my little spendthrift been wasting money again?”(p. 6) “You extravagant little person…” (p.8) “Hasn’t Miss Sweet-Tooth been breaking rules in town today?”(p.10) are all indicators of his superiority complex. And Torvald very clearly issues his edict as for planning the family budget. He says, “That is like a woman! But seriously, Nora you know what I think about that. No debt, no borrowing.

There can be no freedom or beauty about a home life that depends on borrowing and debt. We two have kept bravely on the straight road so far, and we will go on the same way for the short time longer that there need be any struggle.” (p.7) Ibsen has tackled several themes, mixed them very well, like a woman’s illusion in marriage, wealth, feminism, betrayal, etc.

How A Doll’s House has been created within the house, how the woman functions inside the demarcated boundaries—such issues are dealt with intelligently. In the later part of the play Nora walks away from her family. Her undoing and the reason for falling from the ‘grace’ of her husband is-- she forged a bank note to save her husband’s life when no one else could. How she is compelled to tell a series of lies, and it looks as though such behavior is part of her personality. She does not feel guilty about it but for Torvald it is a major and fundamental issue.

“It is better to have the world united than the world divided; but it is better to have the world divided than the world destroyed,” said Mr. Winston Churchill at the time of II World War. Similarly instead of destroying the family and the psyche of children, by endless misunderstandings, honorable separation is better!

Amin Maalouf in his book, “Leo the African”, describes a poignant situation of the woman in the medieval society  thus: “Gaudy Sarah  came to see me…to sell amulets, bracelets, perfumes made from lemon, ambergris, jasmine and water lilies, and to tell fortunes….without lifting her eyes, she said these words, which I remember to this day.

‘For us, the women of Granada, freedom is a deceitful form of bondage, and slavery a subtle from of freedom. Then saying no more, she took out a tiny greenish stopper bottle from her wicker basket.

‘Tonight, you must pour three drops of this elixir in to a glass of orgeat syrup, and offer it to your husband with your own hand. He will come to you like a butterfly towards the light. Do it again after three nights, and again after seven.”(Maalouf, 1994, p.6) For the sake of getting the attention of her husband, what abnormal steps the woman is compelled to take!


Norwegian playwright Henrik Ibsen was born in 1828. The play was written in 1879. It was performed in London in 1889.Nearly thirteen decades after the play is written, the issues touched upon and discussed in the play are like the counseling sessions for the female gender, in today’s materialistic civilization, highly impacted by the industrial and internet revolutions.

Women have taken great strides and have already caught up with men in several important areas. This need not be construed as the race between the male and female genders—rather it is the reality! Equality is the birthright of one and all.

A Dolls House essay

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A Dolls House. (2016, Jun 27). Retrieved from

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