Discuss whether or not you think A Doll’s House challenges or affirms the social order it describes.





Discuss whether or not you think A Doll’s House challenges or affirms the social order it describes.

A Doll’s House was released in the Victorian era, in 1879, when the patriarchal society marginalized women. Women were not afforded the same possibilities as males because the community considered them weak. They were not given the same educational opportunities as males and were not permitted to work because they were considered the weaker sex. Women were supposed to care for their families, homes, and husbands as they were obliged to be mothers and homemakers. They were not permitted to think about their thoughts or take independent actions. I agree that ‘A Doll’s House challenges the social order it describes. The play depicts the social order of the time and steadily shows how those who challenged it triumphed after being tormented for a long time. Its central theme was ahead of time because it questioned the Victorian era’s social structure. It is a drama that demonstrates the strength and independence of women, proving that they are not as helpless as they might first appear.

The Victorian era is shown in the play’s setting of Norway. The play starts when Nora and her spouse Torvald come home from a party. After spending some time away from her kids, Nora anticipates seeing them when she gets home. On the other hand, Torvald is less eager to get home and is more focused on his job (Insenga 44). He does not show interest in Nora’s attempts to persuade him to unwind and enjoy their time together. He is more concerned with persuading his wife to do his bidding at work. Nora is a subservient wife who constantly complies with her husband’s wishes. She is not permitted to form opinions or choose her course of action.

Mrs. Linde, who is Nora’s friend, is in the same predicament. She is a mother and widower and has been looking for a job without success. Nora attempts to assist her buddy, but for her, she is unable to work because her husband forbids the idea of her working. He thinks it is improper for women to be employed. Nora cannot form her own opinions or exercise independent judgment.

For a very long time, Nora kept the truth that she had been taking out loans from her friend Krogstad to cover their son’s medical care expenses. Since Krogstad threatens to reveal Nora’s lie if she cannot secure him a position at her husband’s bank, she is in a dire situation and unsure about what to do. Nora knows that if her husband finds out what has been happening behind his back, he will not be happy. She says, ‘And besides – he is so proud of being a man – it would be so painful and humiliating for him to know that he owed anything to me. It would completely wreck our relationship.’ From her sentiments, it is clear that she is not allowed to form her own opinions or choose her course of action without express permission from her husband (Ibsen 35).

The play reaches its climax when Nora’s secret is revealed. In a letter to Nora’s husband, Krogstad informs him of the funds Nora has been obtaining loans. Nora’s husband is furious with her and is startled. He orders her to leave their home since he wants nothing to do with her. Nora is in shock and unsure of what to do. This was another instance when she needed to be allowed to form her independent opinion and make informed decisions.

In the end, Nora departs from her home and family as the play closes. She is neither a mother nor a submissive wife who would not make independent decisions as society expected of her. Nora is a strong, independent lady who can make her own decisions. She is now robust and empowered and does not mind defending herself and fighting for her rights. The end of the play is an embodiment of a liberated woman, and Nora is a strong example of feminism.

Work Cited

Ibsen, Henrik. “A doll’s house.” Drama & Theatre 2020.94 (2021): 35-35.

Insenga, Claudia. A Doll’s House: Gender Performativity, Quest for Identity and Production Shifts Over Time. Diss. Harvard University, 2022.