The novel “A Doll’s House,” written by Henrik Ibsen, is a play, which concerns the contemporary issue that is women’s rights. This masterpiece exposes to what extent women were restricted in society and the imbalance between them and men. The novel still leaves doubts regarding the main theme, which is feminism or humanism, the author emphasizes. This essay will examine the reasons, which support one or another point of view and bring a conclusion.
It is possible to notice throughout the text that there are various descriptions of weak women’s position in society compared to the men’s superior one. For instance, the dialog between Torvald Helmer and his wife Nora indicates how low is the significance of the woman, even the beloved one, to a man. Torvald says, “no man can be expected to sacrifice his honor, even for the person he loves,” while Nora replies, “millions of women have done it” (“A Doll’s House. Henrik Ibsen” Act I). The other evidence is Nora’s claim, which is “it was great fun, though, sitting there working and earning money. It was almost like being a man” (“A Doll’s House. Henrik Ibsen” Act I). These two of many instances prove that the author tries to reveal and discuss the inadequate women’s status in society. It supports the opinion that the novel is about feminism.
On the other hand, there are statements in the text, which can be considered as hints to the presence and the necessity of humanism to a certain extent. For instance, Torvald’s claim, which is “I should not be a man if this womanly helplessness did not just give you a double attractiveness in my eyes” (“A Doll’s House. Henrik Ibsen” Act I). It implies that taking responsibility for a woman makes a person male, which is similar to the idea that women should be protected, which is a form of humanism.
The themes of humanism and feminism can be found throughout the novel. However, it is possible to state that the motive of the women’s inadequate status in society is expressed considerably higher. The ideas of humanism are rare, and they presented from the position of feminism’s provisions as well. Therefore, the novel “A Doll’s House” is about feminism, the origin of which can be seen during the author’s time.
“A Doll’s House. Henrik Ibsen.” Sparknotes, Web.