A Dolls House
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The play is a depiction of the social set up of the 19th century in Europe. A doll house is a metaphor that reveals the lifestyle of Europeans families in the 19th century. Relationships between husband and wife, children to parents and family with friends are revealed in the play. The play highlights gender inequality, injustice and favoritism amongst peers in the society today. During this time, European women were oppressed by their husbands. There is a cry in this society on the liberation of women. As it is portrayed by the women characters in the play, Nora is under the direction and rule of her husband. Yet she does not seem to have a problem with treatment she is subjected to by her husband (Gabrielle and Sprinchorn, 2007). The issue of gender inequality comes up very strongly especially between the couples in the play. Women were expected to behave in a certain manner in the society. They were to follow orders and directions of their husbands at all times.
A woman was always regarded as timid and one that cannot bring any progress to the family. In the play, we see Nora being called by animal names, yet she does not protest. Her husband calls her a squirrel and she responds well to that name. The woman in this society has to withstand all the bad names and insults that are said to her (Edrich, 2003). The woman in this society does not have freedom at all. This is well seen when Nora does her plans to cover her husband’s shame when he was sick and bankrupt. Despite the fact that it is a noble thing for her to step in, she cannot say it to the family. She cannot enjoy her private life (Törnqvist, 1995).
The father also seems to have left the girl child behind. In the play we get to know the father to Nora dies. After his death, Nora sets up a pan to get her father’s money. She goes ahead to forge her father’s signature in order to get the money for their trip to Italy. The issue of love and affection in this society does not exist. Men cannot express their feelings with openness as they are totally blinded by the way they treat their women (Davis, 2004). The woman in this society is seen to be an object of satisfaction and display. The husband will use the woman as he pleases. This in turn has turned the marriage to a doll .We note the words of Nora when she says that her husband does not care any less but to provide whatever she asks for as long as she gets his pleasure. This is the doll that is referred to in the society. Her genuine treatment towards her husband is likened to that of a child. She seems to be doing everything blindly without any hard feelings or intentions of hitting back on her husband (Edrich, 2003).
A high sense of immaturity also is portrayed in Nora’s character. She is still wallowing in her teenage habits of extravagant spending. This is noted when she argues with Helmer and in Christine’s rebuke. This makes her husband regard her as a child. Another issue that has come up in this play is the difference in the social economic circle within the society. There are people that regard themselves high and of more importance than others. The rich people that live in luxury see the poor as of less importance. There is a lot of favoritism as Nora fights to get Christine a job at the expense of Krogstad.
Krogstad and Christine also have to accept that the society is looking down on them. However, they fight and leave to succeed. The message passed from this film is that people need to regard others as equal human. It is not acceptable that men oppress women under whatever circumstance. They should not be little them or mistreat them like little children (Gardner, 2004). Women need to be given their freedom as they deserve. That is they should be freed from the doll house mentality (Mayer, 2008). Locking women in the house and regarding them as inadequate is locking the potential of others. A person like Nora has a strong character that can be of positive influence to the society.
The play is entitled doll house as it depicts what happens in the society today. A doll has no life in it. It will only be as its master wants. The same applies for the individuals that are only under the orders of their superiors. The title then speaks the message of oppression in society the minorities undergo today. As seen in the play, the husband to Nora does not recognize the worth of his wife except a woman in the house (Sturman, 2003). He is led by male ego of superiority and control in the home. On the other hand, Nora tries to bring out the best in her though she does her plans in fear. She has a good plan to save her husband’s image but cannot bring it to light. Krogstad is seen to as an aggressive man. He is not ready to let go of his job because of the influence of another man. He fights the cause of justice. In the end justice is served (Mayer, 2008).
However, the community today has come to realize the importance of freedom. Today many women have gotten to high level in society. Every person has the chance and a right to rise and become the best they could want to become (Deas, 2011). Though there is still struggle in the social economic standard, many people have come to appreciate and respect one another in the social circles.