A Doll's House Reaction Essay

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Reaction Paper on A Doll's House

Reaction Paper on A Doll's House

There has never been a shortage of literature with gender roles as a main topic, and A Doll’s House by Henrik Ibsen is one of the premier works on the subject. Known for being startlingly ahead of its time, this play holds a firm spot in literary history and has been adapted in live theatre countless times over the past century. The dogma of what is proper and expected of both men and women for no other reason than their gender is questioned by Ibsen in a tongue-in-cheek sort of way, and his whimsical characters cause viewers and readers to think about how relevant the topic of gender roles are today; perhaps even more so than when this play was first written. Ibsen provokes questions as to the roles of men and women in both a social and domestic setting and leads audiences to believe there is more to this complex subject than what lies on the surface of the everyday man and woman couple. The title of the play is the first clue as to the content. Dolls are toys meant for little girls and are mainly meant to be spruced up and look pretty, which fits perfectly with how Torvald believes his “little lark” or his “little squirrel” should be. Torvald hides his belittlement with these terms of endearment and this creates a false image of love, just like one would see as a scene inside a doll house. Nora believes he loves her unquestioningly and completely, and her actions are motivated by this belief in his love. She says to Dr. Rank at one point: “You know how devotedly, how inexpressibly deeply Torvald loves me; he would never for a moment hesitate to give his life for me.” (House pg. 795). But in reality, Torvald cares more about his own image and the false “respect” he gets from others than he does about the overall wellbeing of his family and wife. To Torvald, the appearance of the dolls and their house is more important than anything else. The social role of women in cultures across the...
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