Need a unique essay?
Order now

19th Century Views of Gender Identity - Research Paper Example

5 pages
1214 words
Carnegie Mellon University
Type of paper: 
Research paper
This essay has been submitted by a student. This is not an example of the work written by our professional essay writers.

Reading A Dolls house, the story identifies itself as one of the revolutionary play that is developed around a typical Norwegian household in the Victorian time. Written by Henrik Ibsen, the three-act play is based on various challenges that Nora Helmer (the main character) goes through in the patriarchal community. Additionally, the story brings out some of the essential attitudes towards the marriage norms in the 19th century, creating considerable controversy at the end since, Nora is viewed to be running away from the children and even her husband to learn more about herself. In this research, an analysis will be made on the 19th-century views of gender identity.

Being that the play focuses on a woman who illegally went on borrowing money to focus on saving her husband who was deteriorating in health, she then later was blackmailed by a banker only to speak out on what she did to her husband. In the long, run she ended up leaving the family to find herself. With different views, Nora can be viewed as either a childish woman or a strong independent woman that doesnt recognize some of the effects that are associated with her actions.

Throughout the play, Ibsen is viewed to be exploring women status on how the social force is creating victimization to a level in which they become doll-wife. He is inspired by the notion that in modern society, a woman cannot be herself. The society is viewed to be an exclusively male society with laws ruling the society being made by men, with judges who are assessing the feminine frequently make their judgment from a masculine viewpoint.

According to Unni Langa's view in her article, what did Nora do? Thinking gender with A Dolls House (Langas). The major point demonstrated by the article is that she is interested in individuals seeing the play more as a narrative that talks about a woman who is developing courage and personal development rather the gender roles in the society which is mostly controlled and dominated by men. This is recognized as one of the challenging roles to play since in modern society women are always vulnerable to societal criticism when it comes to being independent.

When the play is ending, she wants to create suspense on the reader's side, and by doing this, she wants the reader to raise questions like What direction did Nora take? and What actions did Nora take? She did this by making emphasis on the question on some of the questions she was raising in her head rather than some of the general idea of where she headed to. Nora is portrayed as one of the most influential ladies that got tired of being demeaned and portrayed as one who was helpless, and the only one who could come to her rescue was a man. When the play was written, gender bias was identified to be famous when the play was produced when the comparison is made to the current situation. Women had various roles and responsibility that included taking care of the children, cooking for their husbands and kids; they were expected to be maternal and managing of their household duties.

About Unni Langa's view on A Dolls House, the Drama focus much on Noras struggle in finding herself as a human being, as it focuses on some of her shocking experience that involves stereotype treatment just because she is a woman(Langas). On the question raised about where Nora went, the drama is viewed to be a gender difference investigation as a way of acting explaining the various twist to the challenge.

Focusing on gender identity, some of the women in the modern society normally use their beautiful bodies to benefit and gain an advantage over others. Nora, one of the female actor, has been exposed by Ibsen as one of the coquettish characters, she uses her female beauty and body build up to take advantage as she plays with Torvalds coat button without paying attention or even having to raise her eyes to his flirtatious nature. Through such behavior, Norahs character is expressed to be complex, since she can manipulate her husband and takes control by achieving whatever she desires from him.

Going more profound in the play, great revelation is demonstrated by Nora, showing that she is not just a stupid girl as Torvald calls hers but is well conversant when it comes to some of the business details that have some relation to debt. She is intelligent enough to consider borrowing a loan to preserve Torvalds health. This not only shows that she is intelligent. However, it brings out a good character that is more than just a mere wifehood. It is also important to note that the fact that Nora was capable of breaking the law to ensure Torvald is healthy is a demonstration of great courage, with the description of undertaking a secret labor to pay off her debt, shows her strong ambition.

Despite the great love that Nora had for her children, she had to abandon them as a sign of self-sacrifice. The love to her children is expressed by frequently interacting with them and the great fear of having to interact with them. However, since Nora had a strong belief that Nanny will be a better mother in future, she decides to leave her children with her. As the female character in a modern setup, Nora demonstrates a stronger understanding of the meaning of freedom, and through this, she can make great changes in the play. On the other hand, since she was living with a strong belief that by paying her debt she will be free, she struggled to pay her debt to move her commitment to fulfill her domestic responsibility. Through this, she ended up turning her back on her kids and run away to create her means in the society. Making a firm decision like this, made some individuals like Torvald to raise criticism by showing Nora that by deserting her children and husband is demonstrating that she has forsaken her most sacred responsibilities. However, the perception of Norah is quite different by proving that the sacred duties that are important to her are the duties to her.

However, according to Joan Temptation, Nora cannot be recognized as a feminist heroine since she felt short according to one of the unnamed self-evident procedure for one of the feminist heroine. The self-evident procedure showed a presentation of an unexcitable temperament, calm; unshakable obedience to the letter of the law even if it takes a husband death (Joan). On the other hand, it is also recognized that for A Doll House to be feminist, it would then show a presentation of a fourth wall morality play, showing a saint as a representation of a heroine but not a confused, excitable, ignorant and desperate Nora Helmer.

Finally, Nora is identified as one of the famous women who saved her husband and at the same time worked entirely hard to sacrifice for her family and strived on achieving her personal goals.


Works Cited

Langas, Unni. "What Did Nora Do? Thinking Gender with A Doll's House." Ibsen Studies 5.2 (2005): 148-171.

Templeton, Joan. "The Doll House Backlash: Criticism, Feminism, and Ibsen." Publications of the Modern Language Association of America (1989): 28-40.


Have the same topic and dont`t know what to write?
We can write a custom paper on any topic you need.

Request Removal

If you are the original author of this essay and no longer wish to have it published on the website, please click below to request its removal: