A Doll’s House
Henrik Ibsen points out in his play, A Doll’s House, that misconceptions about the acceptable roles of man and woman thrive in a constraining society and that a woman’s socially acceptable role plays an important part in developing her sense of identity. Although it appears that family duties place constraints on Nora’s identity, she “insists upon her emancipation” (Weintraub 67).
During the 19th century the society viewed women as inferior to men. The Doll’s House emphasizes the facets of a relationship in which women play a dependent role in regards to finance, power, and marriage. "To, love, honor, and obey,” represent the commitment of marriage; however, upon closer analysis of the vows, women have become placed into a subordinate position to men. Nora exemplifies how men have suppressed women from developing into an independent person. Nora illustrates the conflict between what society perceived as an appropriate place for women and the internal struggle that women faced to discover their true selves.
Not only does Torvald view Nora as a child but also as immature and unable to handle the finances. He does not trust Nora with money; he believes Nora would mishandle money. On the rare occasion that Torvald does give Nora money, he worries that she will waste it on childish and useless things. “Bought, you say? All that there? Has the little spendthrift been out throwing money around again?” (Ibsen 5). He calls her his little "sparrow" or "squirrel". "It's a sweet little bird, but it gets through a terrible amount of money. You wouldn't believe how much it costs a man when he's got a little song-bird like you!” (15).
Nora’s first step to becoming an independent woman occurred when she forged her father’s signature on the loan documents. When she takes on the reality of a loan, she symbolically becomes a man. Nora’s deliberate secretive borrowing scheme and money-saving practices contrast with the play’s initial portrayal...