Complete 3 page APA formatted essay: Conformity and Rebellion.
Coming to the concepts of conformity and rebellion, A Doll’s House must not be treated from a feminist perspective. Ibsen just deals with the problem of women’s right in a realistic setup that ironically encourages freedom.
It might be noted that in A Doll’s House, Ibsen doesn’t endeavor to find solutions to the inescapable dilemma Nora,
the female protagonist of the drama, finds herself in. The playwright just highlights the problems of marital understanding in the light of psychological as well as social context. Even though he tries to portray Nora as the ‘real’ woman struggling for her right to equality, many critics think that her decision to break off the marriage in the third act of the play is not the choice any ‘real’ woman would make. However, the play’s ending is a matter of perpetual debate in the realm of readers and critics alike. Both Nora’s husband Torvald and Nora herself find themselves prisoners to their own perceptions of ‘true love’, and they can’t get out of their respective standpoints to reconcile their broken marriage. While Nora wants her husband to give her the respect she deserves and at the same time, the passionate love she longs for, Torvald fails to match his words with his actions. What Nora wants from her husband is not just his care and support, but also his willingness to do anything and everything just to love her. For that, Torvald has to change himself radically, which he doesn’t want to do simply because his real enjoyment in the company of Nora used to come from his own superiority complex. The name A Doll’s House is quite significant in this context. ‘The little squirrel’, as Torvald used to call Nora, carries a complex undertone of being bossy over a female partner. The gradual change in Nora’s mindset becomes quite apparent as the plot advances in that she doesn’t believe anymore that Torvald truly loves him – love from a platform of equality and complement.
While the notion of conformity is reflected in both Nora and Torvald’s desire to keep their marriage unbroken, elements of rebellion become obvious in Ibsen’s treatment of Nora in the end, especially in the third and final act when Nora is transformed completely. Her bold decision to walk out of a marital bondage with the children comes as a shocking yet revealing eye opener for the readers. The sanity in conforming to socially acceptable norms stands in stark contrast to any action that implies willingness to earn freedom, even at the cost of losing one’s partner. However, the playwrights own preference is unmistakably reflected in the final course of action on Nora’s part that voices the triumph of the theory of rebellion over that of conformity. Ibsen literally toys with dramatic techniques such as plot conflict, narrative style, tone, setting, irony and characterization to lend this rebelliously individualistic appeal to A Doll’s House.
The setting of the drama is quite significant with regards to the thesis question. The fact that the marriage of Nora and Torvald will fall apart in the end is foreboded by the single-room apartment of the Torvalds, symbolizing domestic as well cultural suffocation. (Cummings, 2003)
Stage setting and style in Ibsen’s A Doll’s House reflect the uncompromising reality the playwright wants to project through his characterization and theme. He uses a matter-of-fact, everyday language and refrains from using lofty or poetic verbose that was a characteristic of contemporary romantic plays. Ibsen’s use of
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