AN ANALYSIS OF A DOLL'S HOUSE
BEING WOMAN IN A PATRIARCHAL SOCIETY
 A Doll's House is one of the first feminist and modernist plays written by Henrik Ibsen.
For a man who grew up in a patriarchal society, it was not easy to think and write differently
from his time. Although he predicted the reactions he would receive, the main female
character in his play was born, raised, and found herself in the patriarchal society. He wanted
to be the voice of many women who died and will die without discovering themselves. The
Norwegian writer is regarded as the pioneer of modern theater by literary critics from his
time to the present and is considered to revolutionize the art of theater. Ibsen opposes the
bourgeois morality under the influence of the patriarchal religion and the patriarchal structure
of the bourgeois family that emerged in the 19th century, which is the remnant of the feudal
order and that women have no social role or identity other than being a wife and mother. A
Doll’s House examines the individual's conflict with the social institutions such as family,
religion, and community that progresses economically and politically but behind the
individual intellectually, as well as the inherent mistakes of the capitalist order and
patriarchal family. The play contains elements that reflect the mirror relationship between
theater and reality, the transition and the transformation. It places morality both in Helmer's
personality and in Nora's rebellion, and on the process of emancipation and individuation of
women, which is the most prominent social indicator of modernity and feminism.
 The story of each person begins with discovering his own self, but a woman born in a
patriarchal society is not allowed to discover herself. She is expected to be a puppet of his
own life without discovering who she is, where, and how she would like to be. The woman
should take care of everyday and ordinary household chores, give birth to children, and their
the only duty is to be a mother. Because they know that as long as intelligence, questioning
ability and courage are in a woman, she can change everything. “ HELMER. Why, Nora, how
unreasonable and ungrateful you are! Have you not been happy here? NORA. No, never. I
thought I was, but I never was. HELMER. Not- not happy! NORA. No; only merry. And you
have always been so kind to me. But our house has been nothing but a play-room. Here I
have been your doll-wife, just as at home I used to be papa's doll-child.” Being despised and
in the second place from birth damages the spirit and courage of the woman. Just like the
story of Nora's, as can be understood from the name of the play, the doll has a symbolic
meaning at the beginning. The doll symbolizes Nora, and the house symbolizes children's
play as if they are playing a game in their house. Nora has been used to living her life away
from herself and under the direction of others. With the loss of her mother at a young age, she
was raised like a doll in her father's hands for years, and she accepted all of them without
questioning what her father taught her. With her marriage, she was completely detached from
real life and she adopted a life that is obliged to close herself at home and only take care of
her children, and at the same time obeying her husband's rules like a little girl. Everything in
the house has been furnished to Torvald's taste, and he has all the control. This play is full of
symbols that indicate the desire to dominate and humiliate her. As a matter of fact, he even
decides what Nora can or cannot eat and forbids Nora from eating macarons on the pretext
that her teeth will rot. Although Torvald seems to be considering Nora's health here, the main
reason for the ban is the perception of the "beautiful woman" of the Victorian era, because of
the only assurance that Nora should not lose her beauty. Since this is what Torvald really
cares about, he cannot let Nora's teeth rot and become ugly. In addition to this, Nora wears
the party dress only because her husband wants it, Nora symbolizes beauty and charm only
for her husband. She is attracting attention with its beauty and purity, but she is a woman who
does not give much thought to the foreign affairs of the house. She is a baby and an object of
pleasure in her husband's eyes. Nobody expects Nora to earn money. For her, life consists of
his wife and children. Other symbols are about animals. “HELMER. Is it the squirrel frisking
around? NORA. Yes! HELMER When did the squirrel get home? NORA. Just this minute.
[Hides the bag of macaroons in her pocket and wipes her mouth.] Come here, Torvald, and
see what I've been buying.” and “HELMER. And I don't wish you anything but just what you
are- my own, sweet little song-bird. But I say- it strikes me you look so- so- what shall I call
it?- so suspicious to-day- “ Even though she does not give any response to those insulting
words such as squirrel and song-bird, he emphasizes that Nora is no different from a bird
living in a cage. He continues to imply that she lives like a cage in his house under his rules
and domination, that she has to obey her husband. Naturally, this obedience also has an end,
it is symbolized by the winter. Winter is an iconic symbol of the play. It means actually
coming together, but it also symbolizes death. There is both an emotional death and the death
of a marriage in the game. But there is also the rebirth of Nora to discover herself.
 Nora is a woman who has been pampered by her father and husband, has always been
cherished, has not entered her working life, has not experienced great pain, so she is not
mature. Nora, who has had false happiness in her eight-year marriage, is in a very difficult
the situation as a result of the mistake she made for her husband. Threats, suicidal thoughts, and
searching for a way out expects a miracle to happen at the end of the three to four-day
process, and thanks to the process, she becomes aware of the false happiness in her marriage.
But his wife, who learns the truth, does not act as she hoped and prevents her from even
approaching their children. “ HELMER… But the children cannot be left in your care. I dare
not trust them to you.” However, it is her childhood friend Linde, who corrects the situation,
takes the bonds in the hands of the blackmailer, relieves Nora's distress, and is another
a woman who provides salvation. For Nora, the maturation process has just begun. His
thoughts on self-realization contradict his weakness and the structure of society at that time.
Although it is very difficult to achieve this in the society and period he is in, Nora shows the
courage to step into a new life at the end of the play. She acts with the dream of standing on
her own feet, gaining experience, first performing her duties towards herself. This rebellion is
not only against her husband but also against society. Because it is a society that gives men
this power.
 In a life where the female soul is stuck in a male-dominated system, at a time when the
female self is a toy, to draw a line on all oppressions, painful experiences, and have
prejudices...It is no different from poisoning the soul and joy of life of women every day. A
magnificently realistic play in which the position of the woman is reviewed through her
relations with Nora and her husband. All these gender roles in a patriarchal society,
difficulties and behaviors were enough to give Nora up to her obedient self.
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