Patriarchal Authority In 'A Doll's House' - Millais School, Horsham - Essay

1770 words - 8 pages

Katerina Poulios
English - Dr Stuart
17 March 2018
How far can it be argued that Torvald is the only tragic
figure of A Doll’s House, falling from a position of
patriarchal authority to ruin though not death through
attitudes typical of his society and age that destroy his
capacity for love?
Torvald Helmer’s character is that of a typical nineteenth century male. He
offers his household support and is a respectable man - staying within the
guidelines of society that are mapped out for him. The play was written by
Henrik Ibsen in 1879, where typical constructs in that day and age focused
primarily on a man working to provide stable income. Unfortunately for
Torvald, although he seems as though he lives a quiet life comfortably with his
wife and children, the reality is ultimately contrasting. It is his inability to see
past himself and society which makes Helmer a tragic character in ‘A Doll’s
House. ’
As we journey through the novel, we begin by seeing Nora in what appears to be
her regular state. It is Christmas eve, and she is deliriously prepping for the
Christmas ahead - eager to make sure everything is perfect for her husband,
Torvald, and her children. We are not immediately faced with such thoughts
that Nora is always doing things like this for her family excessively, as in the 19th
century it was perfectly normal for women to be doing all of the household
chores etc. However, as soon as Torvald makes his entrance - we see what
appears to be a regular husband talking to his wife endearingly. Collectively, a
list of terms he uses for his dear wife consist of: ‘My little skylark / My little
squirrel / My little singing bird / my pretty little pet / my poor little Nora’ . With every
term of ‘endearment’ the word ‘little’ is always included, and with the exception
of one, always use of an animal of some sort. Torvald clearly views himself as
the emotional and intellectual superior of the household, only referring to his
dear wife’s inferiority by terms such as ‘little’ and not even on the same
anthropological level, only a mere animal, his lesser than being a human. He
never considers her as an equal. It is easy to call Torvald arrogant in this
instance - however I believe this is more tragic than it appears. Torvald has
become like this due to his surrounding influence of society, where it is expected
for a man to have a wife almost like a servant, whilst he goes off to work. This
was typical in Ibsen’s day for a marriage of the 1800’s. Relating back to the
question, I feel that the constructs of society by which he is confined to prevent
any loving and yearning feeling to linger - as the mindset which he operates
under is to strictly work, and the idea of love is all that is known to him as some
kind of side asset.
To Torvald’s defense, my above point can be cross examined by the fact that
their dysfunctional relationship could be partly blamed on Nora also. Her
willingness of complicity does ...

More like Patriarchal Authority In 'A Doll's House' - Millais School, Horsham - Essay

Assignment On "A Doll's House."

1762 words - 8 pages ... The very first scene in A Doll's House, opens with extremely precise and detailed stage directions. These stage directions are very important and relevant as they benefit the characters and the directors. This is so that they know the backgrounds to the event of the scene. The stage directions show us as the readers the type of character he/she is. It reflects back upon the characters personality and lifestyle. The play is based in Helmers ...

Representations And Social Criticism In Ibsen's A Doll's House - Literature - Essay

1312 words - 6 pages ... theatre and through to the rest of the mainstream world. It was significant in that dealt with topic of the fate of married women in the late Norwegian society, where opportunities of self-fulfilment for women in the male-dominated and patriarchal culture were scarce and almost non-existent. However, today the text still remains relevant and Ibsen's willingness to examine society without prejudice is applauded not condemned. The characters in A Doll's House are constructed to raise questions about the traditional roles of men and women in 19th-century marriage and serve as criticism advocating for the equal rights and treatment of men and women. Nadia Carter ...

A Doll's House Analytic Essay Symbolism - GMHS - Essay

819 words - 4 pages ... Henrik Ibsen’s play A Doll House raised controversy in the 19th century, following the life of a woman who is able to find herself after leaving her husband who manipulates her into behaving how he deems fit, which went against social norms at the time. Ibsen’s use of symbolism throughout A Doll House conveys Nora’s transformation from a classic, submissive Victorian wife to an empowered woman who is able to ultimately find liberty from the ...

"A Doll's House" By Katherine Mansfield Summary

486 words - 2 pages ... the three sisters and their friends. Moreover, it conveys an idea that parents attitude influence their children and deprive them of their natural goodness. In short in life-like manner Katherine tells us the hidden vices people belonging to higher society.From the very outset of the story we see that the girls of Burnell's family received a beautiful doll's house from Mrs. Hay. It was a charming house having a drawing room, a dinning-room, a ...

A Doll's House + The Handmaid's Tale Essay - Year 11 - English Extension 1 - Essay

890 words - 4 pages ... ESSAY – SILENT VOICES: A Doll’s House & The Handmaid’s Tale Composers challenge the values of their individual contexts through transgressive characters, forms and literary devices, thus creating space and agency for silent voices. This idea is depicted in the play A Doll’s House written by Henrik Ibsen and the novel The Handmaid’s Tale by Margaret Atwood. Atwood and Ibsen uphold the values within their respective 1970s - 80s context and 19th ...

Feminist Criticism On "A Doll's House" By Henrik Ibsen - English - Essay

2003 words - 9 pages ... , and Gender in A Doll's House” by Toril both assist in describing the negative effects patriarchal structure has imposed upon women, especially Nora as an individual.“A Doll’s House” demonstrated the breaking of gender barriers for female characters during a significant age of female oppression. Fuerte 7 Works Cited Balaky, Saman Salah Hassan & Sulaiman, Nafser Abdul Mosawir. “A Feminist Analysis of Henrik Ibsen's A Doll's House:Henrik Ibsen's A ...

A Doll's House - The Portrayal Of Doctor Rank - ELA AP 20 - Essay

1438 words - 6 pages Free ... Beal 1 Kyle Beal Mr. Hodson ELA AP 20 March 29, 2018 The Role of Doctor Rank in Henrik Ibsen’s A Doll’s House Henrik Ibsen’s Victorian era play, A Doll’s House, was written in 1879 and depicted a typical Victorian marriage. Ibsen presents Torvald and Nora Helmer, a married couple with three children. On the surface this arrangement seems almost perfect, yet their lives are clouded by lies and deception. The primary secret that Nora is hiding ...

Journeys Involve Overcoming Obstacles In 'life As A House'. Discuss. - Essay On 'life As A House' Film - Essay

689 words - 3 pages ... ‘Life As A House’- Essay The act of self- reflection is an essential aspect of journeys. Provide extensive reasoning regarding whether you agree or oppose this concept utilising the text ‘Life As A House’. Journeys Involve Overcoming Obstacles. Discuss the statement in relation to your text and one other text selected. The prevalence of the overcoming of obstacles presented in the trials and tribulations of spiritual, physical and mental ...

Cell Phones Should Be Allowed In Class - Sophomore Mountain House High School - Essay

1346 words - 6 pages Free ... moment and doing his/her work 1 or 2 students take a photo of the exam and share their exam with others friends​ . If students want to cheat in test they can do so. If the teacher accept to take cellphones in school this process can lead to cheating on tests and if they are caught by doing cheating they can got in trouble by the school teachers and they can suspend them from school or rusticate for whole year and for their future this will make ...

Analysis Of Women In 'A Dolls House'

1514 words - 7 pages Free ... Women were valued very little by nineteenth century society. The treatment of these women was also extremely negative; they were stereotypical housewives, expected to stay home and fulfill domestic duties. Literature of this time embodies and mirrors social issues of women in society. Henrik Ibsen uses Nora Helmer in "A Doll's House" to portray the negative treatment of all women throughout society during the nineteenth century. In this play we ...

Powerlessness And Vulnerability In Once In A House On Fire - English - Essay

866 words - 4 pages ... the novel, when she tells her to “make something decent of [her]self – break the mould.” The metaphor ‘break the mould’ suggests that Andrea is restricted; perhaps by the home environment she lives on, or the school she goes to, or even her social class. Andrea’s grandmother encourages her to break free of this to guarantee a future for herself, so she will no longer be stuck in a helpless confine. This could relate to the issue of social class at the time of the novel, as lower class people were treated very differently in social situations, and for example when attempting to get a job. ...

Purple Hibiscus And Dolls House Comparison - A Level - Essay

2481 words - 10 pages ... “In literature the role of mothers, in family life, is to be seen and not heard”  Compare and contrast the presentation of the dominant male and his impact upon family life in   A Doll’s House & Purple Hibiscus.  A Doll's House,  by Henrik Ibsen and Purple Hibiscus, by Chimamanda Ngozi Adichie, are two texts that although appear to contrast contextually, have many similarities conceptually. Both texts focus heavily on familial relationships and ...

This Essay Is A Brief History Of Rattle And Snap Plantation In Mt. Pleasant, TN. Describes Owners (past And Present) And Other Information On The House

1726 words - 7 pages ... The history of Rattle and Snap dates back to just after the Revolutionary War. Back then, the U.S. Government did not have the money to pay its soldiers, so they issued land grants. One of those soldiers was Lt. Colonel William Polk. William was very good friends with the Governor of North Carolina, the governor was his brother-in-law.One day, William and the governor got involved in a gambling game. The governor was losing very badly, and in ...

The American Dream In The House On Mango Street - 9th Grade English - Essay

493 words - 2 pages ... achieve their dream is Alicia. Ever since Alicia’s mom passed away she had to get up early to make lunch for her dad. In the story Alicia is going to college and she has to take two trains and a bus to get there. She also works so hard that she starts seeing mice who her father says do not exist. After Alicia is done with school she is going back to Guadalajara to make it better. A quote; “ She doesn’t want to spend her whole life in a factory ...

Gilded Age In The House Of Mirth - English IB-SL - Essay

625 words - 3 pages ... anything but golden during the time, is addressed in Edith Wharton’s novel House of Mirth. The novel applies Gilded Age issues by incorporating high societal positions being occupied by immoral people, an emphasis on the importance of money, and Lily Bart’s social demise. The social elite during the Gilded Age is shown to immoral in the novel. Characters such as Gus Trenor and Bertha Dorset are shown to have a lack of integrity in the way they act ...