A Doll's House's central theme

A Doll's House's central theme

One of A Doll's House's central theme is
secession from society. It is demonstrated by several of its characters
breaking away from the social standards of their time and acting on their
own terms. No one character demonstrates this better than Nora.

During the time in which the play took
place society frowned upon women asserting themselves. Women were supposed
to play a role in which they supported their husbands, took care of their
children, and made sure everything was perfect around the house. Work,
politics, and decisions were left to the males. Nora's first secession
from society was when she broke the law and decided to borrow money to
pay for her husbands treatment. By doing this, she not only broke the law
but she stepped away from the role society had placed on her of being totally
dependent on her husband. She proved herself not to be helpless like Torvald
implied: "you poor helpless little creature!"

Nora's second secession from society was
shown by her decision to leave Torvald and her children. Society demanded
that she take a place under her husband. This is shown in the way Torvald
spoke down to her saying things like: "worries that you couldn't possibly
help me with," and "Nora, Nora, just like a woman." She is almost considered
to be property of his: "Mayn't I look at my dearest treasure? At all the
beauty that belongs to no one but me -that's all my very own?" By walking
out she takes a position equal to her husband and brakes society's expectations.

Nora also brakes society's expectations of staying in a marriage since
divorce was frowned upon during that era. Her decision was a secession
from all expectations put on a woman and a wife by society.

Nora secessions are very deliberate and
thought out. She knows what society expects of her and continues to do
what she feels is right despite them. Her secessions are used by Ibsen
to show faults of society. In the first secession Ibsen illustrates that
despite Nora doing the right thing it is deemed wrong and not allowed by
society because she is a woman. While the forgery can be considered wrong,

Ibsen is critical of the fact that Nora is forced to forge. Ibsen is also
critical of society's expectations of a marriage. He illustrates this by
showing how Nora is forced to play a role than be herself and the eventual
deterioration of the marriage. Throughout the play Nora is looked down
upon and treated as a possession by her husband. She is something to please
him and used for show. He is looked upon as the provider and the decision
maker. Society would have deemed it a perfect marriage. Ibsen is critical
of the fact that a marriage lacked love and understanding, as shown by

Torvald becoming angry with Nora for taking the loan and saving him, would
be consider as perfect.

A Doll's House's central theme of secession
from society was made to be critical of society's view on women and marriage.

Ibsen used Nora's secessions as an example to illustrate that society's
expectations of a woman's role in society and marriage were incorrect.

Her decision to leave was the exclamation point on his critical view of
society.