Doll's House.docx - Power and Authority \u2018Marriage is one way in which men have power and authority over women\u2019 PETEL In a dolls house one way in

Doll's House.docx - Power and Authority ‘Marriage is one...

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Power and Authority ‘Marriage is one way in which men have power and authority over women’ PETEL In a dolls house one way in which men have power and authority over women in marriage takes place in the first scene that introduces the main characters Nora and Helmer. In this particular scene we can see Helmer’s dominance over Nora as he comes across as very controlling of what she can and can’t do. The introduction allows the audience to see the imbalance of the relationship as Helmer is going to work and making the money for the family as Nora is seen to be in charge of the domestic affairs in the household. The scene begins with her coming home from a shopping trip in which she brought gifts for the family; she tries to impress Helmer the goodies she has brought however Helmer is too invested in his work to even look at Nora. The tone of Helmer’s language during the conversation, especially ‘Do not disturb!’ as this shows his aggressive dominance towards Nora. Prior to this interaction Nora is seen eating some macaroons in which soon she is hiding the packet from Helmer so that he won’t know that she brought herself treats. This shows Nora’s reaction towards Helmer control in their relationship as she becomes secretive which presents distrust within their relationship. Near the beginning, stage directions for Nora are presented as ‘[takes a bag of macaroons from her pocket and eats a couple; then she goes cautiously over to listen at her husband’s door]’ after he notices that she has come home and calls for her the following stage directions have been noted ‘[puts the macaroons in her pocket and wipes her mouth]’ This supports the statement that ‘Marriage is one way in which men have power and authority over women’ as Nora is usually seen suppressing herself below Helmer In order for the men to have more power and authority over the men in the relationship. The readers are presented with a symbol of freedom which Nora desires to have. At multiple times throughout the play, Helmer uses pet names for Nora as a sign of his attention/ intimacy such as “My little songbird shan’t go trailing her wings now?” or “is that my song-lark chirruping out there?” or “When did my squirrel get home” or “Has my little spending-bird been out frittering money again?” Helmer uses these nicknames to show his dominance over Nora as he’s referring to her as small animals which he could use to symbolize her size in relation to him however from Nora’s point of view these nicknames could symbolize her yearning for freedom as all the animals he refers her to are wild animals that have freedom.
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Rules of Marriage at the time of the Dolls House - Men are the dominant ones who earn the money whilst the women stay at home and raise the children and are in charge of domestic affairs - Women breed the children (preferably boys) - Women can’t file for divorce as it ruins a man’s reputation and the women lose everything, the kids, money, house etc.
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