‘’A DOLL’S HOUSE’’ — Roles of Women in Victorian Society —
“A Doll’s House”, written by Henrik Ibsen, is a three-act theater play. The subject of the play that Nora is starting to realize herself and rejecting the roles the traditional social structure imposed on her. In A Doll’s House, Henrik Ibsen tackles the humiliating roles of women in Victorian society, and I will deal with that.
When I read this drama, I realized once again that there are roles that society imposes on women in every period. When we look at the relationship between men and women in the Victorian period, women live in the background dependent on men while men are stronger. At that time, it was considered unnecessary for women even to be educated, whose roles in society were to raise their children and care for their husbands. Women are not welcome to do even an official thing without men’s permission. I want to give an example of it. ‘’Has not Miss Sweet tooth been breaking rules in town today… not been nibbling sweets.’’ by saying this, he mocks. Nora doesn’t even have the freedom to enjoy simple things. Helmer determines even what she eats. On the other hand, very clever and cunning women could perhaps manage their marriage. However, a woman who does not know herself, like Nora, obeys all the impositions. Although Mr. Helmer looks like a kind man, he seems to be using Nora’s purity. Nora tolerates her husband’s behaviors. Nora’s husband Helmer wants Nora to keep obedient with his words like “squirrel, little featherhead”. This sums up Helmer’s thoughts on what the role of women should be in society. Many societies, just like Helmer’s thoughts, accept that women have fewer personalities than their husbands, they have to obey their families and children, and they have to accept what is said. Women of this period marry to secure themselves rather than love marriage. However, when Nora understands her husband, the need for addiction disappears. After Nora’s own discovery, her opposition to all these impositions is an exemplary female model in my opinion. I can say that I like the theme of the drama which touches on roles imposed on women by society because this situation can be encountered in every part of society in every period.
What I found most interesting about ‘’A Doll House’’ was its impressive nature. In the first action, Nora is so blind in her feelings and incentives, but as the game progresses things turn into an emotional drama. Despite all the naming and the way her husband’s behaviors towards Nora, she embarks on the journey of herself. I can cite as an example that Nora’s way of thinking has started to change completely and now; she has collected all of her courage to bring her own life into order. “I must stand on my own two feet if I’m to get to know myself and the world outside. That’s why I can’t stay here with you any longer.” By saying these words, she took her first step into the new life order by revealing her own self and courage. Perhaps it may sound selfish to leave three children. She had to do this in order not to lose her personality in the shadow of her husband and father. It is the most interesting point that affected me.
To sum up, there are some important points of the play on the women’s role according to the ideas which I mentioned above. I can say based on my previous experience, coping with the obstacles facing in a difficult process is a situation that many women want but do not show courage. Unlike those women, Nora has been presented to the readers by Ibsen as an exemplary character by breaking her husband’s bans and referrals. Ibsen wanted to tell the community that women are more than they think.
— Yaren Karakoç —