Beauty models, movie stars, and music artists have become role models for thousands of people despite submitting to gender roles and stereotypes. Even though some teens may believe that they are immune to the presence of these gender roles, the media, society, their cultural beliefs, and their peers are capable of influencing them into changing their opinions and life choices. An example of this is how Nora is treated like a doll and a child by her husband and blindly accepts the life that society says she should live in A Doll’s House by Henrik Ibsen. Despite the stereotypes that exist in her society, Mrs. Linde goes beyond the expectations and the restrictions of a stereotypical of woman because she supports her sick mother and her younger brothers in multiple places including “a small shop [and] then a small school…” (Ibsen 19).
Nora is treated like “[Helmer’s] doll-wife…” (Ibsen 76) because she has become accustomed to being controlled by the men in her ...view middle of the document...
When Helmer finds out that Nora forged her father’s name, he is more concerned about his reputation then her good intentions. Nora was surprised by Helmer’s actions because instead of acting out of love and sacrifice, he selfishly accused Nora of ruining his reputation and calls her a “[m]iserable creature” (Ibsen 72). Nora is an archetypical the Damsel in Distress because she needs Helmer to love her and help her get rid of her debt. However, has made Nora the archetypical Scapegoat of this situation because his reputation would be ruined if people found out about Nora’s actions. Helmer’s attitude toward Nora demonstrates that their marriage is base on societies expectations instead of the love they are supposed to have with one another.
Mrs. Linde is marrying Krogstad because she knows who she is and after many years of self-sacrifice, she wants to pursue a relationship built on love. Mrs. Linde has been working for her family and now that they do not need her, she feels like “[her] life [is] unspeakably empty” (Ibsen 19). In Act I and II, Mrs. Linde is Nora’s foil because she has experienced more hardships and through her experiences, she understands how society works and what is means to be in love. Nora and Mrs. Linde’s first conversation is an archetypical conflict between Innate Wisdom vs. Educated Stupidity because Mrs. Linde understands society while Nora is childish and immature. In the end, Mrs. Linde marries Krogstad out of love instead of money and shows that marriage does not have to be a superficial relationship.
Mrs. Linde’s hard work and her love for Krogstad are examples that women can escape the stereotypical roles that society has forced upon them. Women can show independence and express individuality instead of being a stereotypical wife/mother like Nora. At the end of the play, Nora decides that she isn’t content being Helmer’s “doll” and leaves in order to find her own identity and freedom from the opinions of others. I believe that gender roles should not decide who we are and what we are supposed to be. However, no matter what society says, it is an individual’s decision to be who they are that is important.
A Doll's House by Henrik Ibsen