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The Peculiarities Of Realism In A Doll's House Play

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Realism is a literary movement that occurred in 20th century, focused on the events that happened in this period. Some writers consider it as reaction against Romanticism which was focused more on imagination because it is formed from factors resulting from world wars, so realism reflects the real life of the society, and discusses the present issues not in the past or fantasy. Realistic literary works focused more on the characters than the plot to be similar to normal people’ lives and their personalities. Henrik Ibsen is a realist; he changed the concepts in conventional theater through choosing issues and themes represented in the life of most of the audience. Therefore, his works became related to people, as if he meant anyone of them in his personalities or events. Thus, this essay will talk about one of the realistic plays written by Ibsen, it is a Doll’s House.

A Doll’s House is one of the few plays that have a strong impact on the global norms and social conditions, it is a play of three acts, about Nora who involved herself with a loan for her husband and kept this a secret. But at the end, she surprised of his reaction when he knows, because he is feared for his reputation and did not appreciate what she did for him. Nora decided to leave him and her children and live the rest of her life for herself. Ever since A Doll’s House was first published in Denmark, on 21 December 1879, it has raised debate and controversy, both because of its splendid dramatic structure and because of its broad ideological impact. Also, it has a role in highlighting on the way that community deals with the fate of a married woman, and some psychological issues which were common in the community.

Themes of A Doll’s House make the novel more realistic because they are real issues in the community. Individual and Social Fabric theme is shown in a doll’s house because most actions of an individual are in response to the society, they live but Nora does not stick to the moral framework of society. Feminism theme, Nora changed Torvald’s traditional concept of women controlled be men; when she decided to support herself instead of supporting her husband, and her children in the past. Deception is a major theme, when Nora borrowed a debt and then forging her father’s signature, these acts show that Nora as a deceptive. Materialism is an essential theme in the play, because the couple talk about money always. Financial autonomy is the key cause for success according to Torvald’s view. Nora also thought that material comfort is the way to win her husband.

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A Doll’s House, by Henrik Ibsen had some similarities with George Bernard Shaw’s play Pygmalion. They both represent the general concept of women during this 20th century by the main male character in both plays–Helmer and Higgins–and their interactions with the female characters. Torvald and Henry are treating Nora and Eliza as one might treat creatures less than a full human–considering the women as if they are of lesser intelligence and understanding. At the end, the climaxes of both Pygmalion and A Doll’s House come when the women realize their position in the minds of Torvald and Henry, resist it as unfair, and leave with a more independent outlook.

The part in which Nora decides to make for the first time a fateful decision in her life herself without following the orders from her husband ‘Travold’ is the part that reflects the subject of the individual and social fabric because some certain concepts of society have been formed in the realism movement, about how everyone lives their lives according to these stereotypes. But Nora here changed the commonly known idea as a woman and decided to find her identity and live as what she wants because she always wished to be treated only as an individual and not as an object less than others.

From my point of view, this play discusses the feminist aspects clearly because the female character in the play suffers at all stages of her life, she faces problems in society only because she is a woman while men go through the same attitudes without any difficulties. Nora’s last decision was the result of all the pressures she suffered as a woman, so the main purpose of the play was to support the feminist movement.

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The Peculiarities Of Realism In A Doll’s House Play. (2022, February 17). Edubirdie. Retrieved February 8, 2023, from
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