Mary Ellen's Reviews > A Doll's House

A Doll's House by Henrik Ibsen
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Nov 25, 07

Read in October, 2007

You know what? This play makes me realize I've been spoiled by being raised with 21st century ideals about what constitutes a feminist act. This was supposed to be a definitive Feminist play, where the sheltered woman liberates herself and leaves domesticity to pursue an education. But the manner in which her liberation is acheived is so unsatisfactory - in the play's final act, she goes from feeble reliance on her husband to "you know what? you don't really love me, i'm out of here" in literally three lines. No plans, no preparation, no forethought for where she will go or what shape her liberation will take - to say nothing of her child, which I guess now will be raised by nannies? The point is just that she's leaving her husband and it ends with the door closing on his disbelief that his precious wife would do such a thing. For me, feminism is something more than realizing how limiting forced domesticity is and abandoning it. It really, really bugs me that she just up and left her child, and we're supposed to applaud her for her single-minded decision.

Then again, this was written in the 1800's, so I guess we should just be happy with it as is without applying 21st century ideals to it. Way to go, Ibsen.
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Comments (showing 1-3 of 3) (3 new)

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message 1: by Sheena (new)

Sheena Kumra Your so right, they should have expanded on what she was going to do for her future. And not speaking about the child was a total problem. Your right, it is the 1800's, and its goo dto know that she spoke against her husband, but not talking about her future, life and children is a horrible way to portray feminists. Women should be shown as strong and independent, not depending and slaving over men. Their love was fake, thought i do respect her for speaking back to Helmer. I'm happy that Ibsen did show feminism.


message 2: by Jackie (new)

Jackie I think that most people confuse this for a feminist play when, in fact, it isn't. I don't believe this was ever meant to be a feminist play, but because she ends up becoming a "stronger" woman people think it is. She's too mindless to be someone for women to look up to. I enjoyed the play and thought it really dug into the idea of how most people look for that "perfect world" (like their marriage in the beginning of the play). Overall, though, I was severely disappointed.


Kelza Pilkington in the play's final act, she goes from feeble reliance on her husband to "you know what? you don't really love me, i'm out of here" in literally three lines. No plans, no preparation, no forethought - Agreed wholeheartedly. This was one of my main issues with the play.

Incidentally, you should see the alternate ending Ibsen wrote because of the controversy of the original. Basically, there's that three line build-up you refer to, Nora's on the verge of walking out and then all of a sudden she decides 'bugger it, I'm staying' because her husband persuades her by showing her their sleeping children. It made the whole play seem sort of redundant, in my opinion.


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