In A Dolls House, Ibsen as he often does, criticizes society and the ways of life in that time. Ibsen shows this in Torvolds overwhelming power and control over Nora. This is also seen in the way that Women are weakened by society. Lastly it is shown in the way that Torvold tries to maintain a good reputation to the public. Ibsen critics many different aspects of society from the way that the male figure is so dominant in marriage, next how the woman does not have much of a role in society, and finally how reputation is more important than morals.
First is the way that the marriage between Torvold and Nora is put to shame due to the overpowering actions of Torvold. One example of Torvolds dominance was his forbiddance of macaroons in the house. Another was the way that he dressed her for the Costume party. All this time Nora had pretty much been loyal and listened to all of what Torvold had said, and then the one time that Torvold cold have been loyal to Nora and believed her and been on her side he didnt and instead was thinking about himself.
This shows how much of a one-sided marriage it was and how it was a mock on society, mainly the ways of the upper class. Next is the criticism of the role of the women in society. It was basically a time where the woman could not do anything for herself. An example of this from the book is the loan that Nora took out to save Torvolds life. Nora could not take out the loan herself due to the fact that she was a women and only men could take out loans, a women could only take out a loan if they had the consent of a husband or a father.
Due to the fact that she was doing this for Torvold she went ahead and forged the documents knowing that it was wrong and could end up getting her into trouble. This was a total mockery on society due to fact that even though Nora was doing this to save the life of her husband she not only was not aloud to do it but then Torvold found out he was not happy she saved his life but mad about what it could do to him. Therefore showing the very weak role of women in society by saying that Torvold would have rather died then have a women save him.
Last is the idea that in the upper class of society the most important part of your life is how others portray you, bringing me to my next topic which is how Torvold’s reputation was more important than his family life and morals. As was sad before Nora had been very loyal to him for the years of their marriage and then when it came to the point where Torvold could return the favor to Nora by defending her and he was more concerned with making sure it doesnt get out so that his reputation would not be ruined.
Ibsen is criticizing the social ways in this situation due to the shallowness of the upper class in dealing with this sort of problem. Another author that criticizes society in his work is Harper Lee. In the novel To Kill a Mockingbird Lee does a great job at putting down and mocking society. The difference between Ibsen’s criticism and Lee criticism was that while Ibsen focused on the upper class, Lees criticism is focused more towards the lower class.
An example of criticism in the novel is the way that a black person of that time and place was unjustly accused of a crime just because the color of his skin, and even if their was evidence to support and prove him innocent the jury of all white men would probably convict him once again because the color of his skin. This also brings up the fact that even though Atticus Finch was a lawyer and it was his job to defend the defendant, he was still pressured by the white community even to the point where his life was threatened just for doing his job.
Although this is only a couple examples of criticism it gives a similar idea to that of Ibsen, being that society is full of flaws and the only they can be changed is by criticism to try to connect to the social ways and change them. In conclusion Ibsen criticizes a wide range of social issues of the time. Now although there are three different examples of his criticism there seems to be a relationship between the three, and that is the fact that they are all mocking the ways of the upper class.
From having a fake and overpowering one-sided marriage to being fake to preserve ones reputation to the lacking role of women in society Ibsen manage to do a good job of mocking the ways of life then. Finally even though it was probably not only the upper class for the sake of arguments we will say that it was and the examples and arguments that I have presented all lead to one thing and that is that the upper class in society is not only fake in their actions, and to the point of the womens roll to be so miniscule, but also very concerned with others opinions.