The Symbiotic Relationship between an Individual and Society in a Doll’s House

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Victorian texts either support or condone ways of thinking in 19th-century England. Society predominantly through meditation. The author's viewpoints are expressed through characterization in the texts. Individuals in the Victorian era generally conformed to the dogmas and confines of society, its values, and ideologies. However, ironically, those who conform to the inherent restriction of, At times, their context are psychologically and physically affected. On the other hand, individuals who confront or resist social structures Via meta-psychological realization of Individual autonomy are valued, and nonconformity is punished either directly or vicariously. Thus, the relationships in Ibsen's A Doll's House and [] present the notion that the relationship between an individual and society is largely symbiotic.

"A Doll's House" encapsulates tensions between the struggle for autonomy and ingrained social expectations. The play was written at a time of social and intellectual change, which epitomized the second half of the 19th century when Marxism confronted authority. The influence of social Darwinism is evident in the play's central paradox when Nora develops a sense of independence and a need for change but continues to play her stereotypical role of a frivolous wife dependent on her husband. Nora symbolizes the dichotomy of social conditions and inherited values of independence in the male. The juxtaposition of "I can't manage without you' and Nora's own wilful individuality in forging a loan document to save her husband represents this, as does her own personal view of being involved with monetary transactions: 'It was almost like being a man.'

The signifying system, or Saussure, of drama reveals Nora confronting the determining social forces of her life in a dramatic space that symbolizes the environment that entraps her. This is evinced in the recurring motif of closing doors: 'closes hall door,' 'shifts door behind them," and 'the door is half opened. Thus the play's staging ironically encapsulates a confining bourgeois existence. In this stifling interior, Nora lives a life of self-deception and subservience to the patriarchal system, with her individuality suppressed. The Wendy's house' and their seemingly perfect marriage are symbolized by a "warm stove' and 'lighted lamps," which in turn are juxtaposed with Nora's desire to rebel, contradicting her husband's orders, for example, the macaroons.

When Nora is talking to Mrs. Linde, we see Nora's individuality in her committing fraud, which reflects 19th-century economic ideologies in that a wife can't borrow money without her husband's permission. Hence, Nora rebels against social strictures and suffers consequentially, claiming she is 'damned' to Mrs. Linde, 'cursed' her children, and 'screwed her husband by committing the immoral act of forgery.

Her terror at her impending punishment and being cast out from Torvald's approval play a large part in her internal conflict. Greimas observes that human beings make meaning by structuring the world into two opposed pairs, hence the antithesis of Nora and Torvald. Nora realizes that her husband's protection of his own "honor" exceeds his idealistic duty to protect her when she believes that he will pay every penny, naturally. It is ironic that she sees Torvald's support as a 'miracle' instead of something she would expect of her husband, being his wife. This realization initiates her desertion of the 'doll's house,' the final symbolic slam of the door, underlining her resolution. However, her individuality comes at a price, as she leaves her three children behind.

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The Symbiotic Relationship Between an Individual and Society in A Doll's House. (2023, Mar 07). Retrieved June 24, 2024 , from

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