Ibsen shows how women are manipulated by men and the result, they will eventually stand up for themselves. Toward the begging of the play, women are portrayed to be weak, Nora and Mrs. Linde signify this. Nora lets Torvald play with her and treat her like a dog when giving her money. Torvald waves money around asking, “Nora, what do you think I got here” (569). Nora spins around and says, “Money,” and “Ten, twenty, thirty forty, thank you, thank you, Torvald” (569). Nora shows how she is manipulated by Torvald and think it’s ok for her to be treated not as a human. Mrs. Linde shows how men drill into women head that they have to put their family first before themselves. Mrs. Linde give up her love life for her family as she says, “My mother was still alive then, and she was bedridden and helpless, and I had to provide for my two younger brothers, so I didn’t think I had any right to turn him down” (572). Eventually, as the play ended both women discover how society control them to put their life to be less valuable. When they find out they are worth more than how men portray them to be they start to stand up for themselves. As Sheri Metzger mention, “Nineteenth-century feminists praised Ibsen's work and “saw it as a warning of what would happen when women, in general, woke up to the injustices that had been committed against them,” according to Finney” (4). Ibsen reveals that in reality, women know that they are looking down upon and they are unhappy. Through the play, Nora and Torvald seem to be a good couple on the outside, but deep inside they have no respect for each other. Torvald treats Nora as a doll and always call
her by nicknames. As Torvald call, “Is that my little lark twittering out there,” or “Is it my little squirrel bustling around” (569). Torvald always uses nicknames when talking to Nora which shows that he does not take her seriously. Nora lies about little thing such as eating macarons. When Dr. Rank thought that Torvald forbids Nora from eating macarons, she lies, “Yes, but these are some Kristine gave me” (575). By lying about little things it shows that Nora doesn’t honor her husband. Couples during the Victorian era tended to not respect each other because men didn’t consider women to be important. In return, women didn’t give respect to men because they didn’t receive it themselves. During this era, both women’s and men’s relationship were based on what society expected them to be. Their marriage is based on playing a role and not really based on feelings. As Metzgar writes, “Of this society, Hemmer noted: “The people who live in such a society know the weight of `public opinion' and of all those agencies which keep watch over society's `law and order'” (2). It is the weight of public opinion that Torvald cannot defy.
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- A Doll's House, Henrik Ibsen, married life of Nora