How Has The Symbols Of Money And The Macaroons Explain The Gender Roles In Henrik Ibsen’s Play, A Doll’s House

1248 words - 5 pages

In Henrik Ibsen’s play, A Doll’s House, the audience is viewing the life of a women that is almost not normal, or not the same as others. This women happens to be the protagonist of the novel, Nora Helmer. Nora is joined in the play mainly by her husband Torvald. These two have a relationship between each other that majority of people would find weird. The first appearance of this play was in the late nineteenth century, or in detail, 1879 in Norway. Torvald treats Nora differently compared to a normal, average husband. This treatment causes Nora to have a peculiar attitude towards her life. This diverse attitude is seen through mainly two symbols presented in the novel, the ...view middle of the document...

” These quotes indicate Nora’s young behavior. Adults are essentially mature and experienced with money, while Nora acts like an immature child. The stage directions also have a part, “Hides the bag of macaroons in her pocket and wipes her mouth” This stage direction shows that Nora is to obey Torvald, like he is her father instead of her husband. Both the language of Nora and Torvald, and the stage directions display the connection between the macaroons and Nora’s childish behavior.

The macaroons also show an important aspect about the gender roles in the play. The macaroons show the willingness of Nora wanting to change her behavior and her lifestyle. As seen throughout the play, Nora tries to branch out and become the heroin of the play. The macaroons show the different morals Nora has compared to the ones of Torvald. Torvald dislikes Nora spending money on things for pleasure. This concept emphasizes the gender roles by the macaroons. Torvald can now be assumed to be of a dictator status in the Helmer household. This means that since Torvald is the man in the household, he makes the rules, and if anyone tries to disobey them, will deal with serious consequences. Torvald does essentially try to mold Nora into the perfect doll like person, but because of the macaroons, and the aspects it has with it, his plan has failed. An example of this is Nora lying to Torvald about the macaroons, “No Torvald, really; I promise you.” This quote headlines the view of Nora wanting to branch out in the play into her own self.

With the situation concerning money, one can see the gender roles being emphasized with this symbol and the dependency it reveals by the female characters. The play shows how Nora is entirely dependent on Torvald for money. Torvald, as mentioned earlier, is not a fan of Nora spending money, especially on herself. Nora keeps asking money from Torvald which emphasizes the dependency Nora has on Torvald. Nora is also treated more of a pet or a doll with the symbol of money. As Nora keeps asking money from Torvald, he argues that she has got a terrible trait from her father. This shows the disrespect Torvald has on Nora. This disrespect leads to the poor treatment Nora receives. Torvald also mentions the fact that Nora is extremely costly to have around him, which only causes the neglecting of Nora and even more disrespect. Dependency, as a branch of gender roles, is not only shown by Nora, but also her friend Mrs. Linde. Mrs. Linde explains to Nora about the fact that her late...

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