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Ib World Lit Essay

1602 words - 7 pages

English A: Literature
The conflict between social Status and individualism in A Doll’s House

Candidate Name- Harssh Padharia
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School name- Vishwashanti Gurukul
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The conflict between social Status and individualism in A Doll’s House
A very common theme found in this play is the dominance of the strong and rich on the weak and poor. All the characters in the play are affected by the need of money and this itself has become the base of the sculpture of their lives and the way they think. There exists a barrier defined by money and social standing. The power dynamics in the play is such that the powerful characters in the play attempt to pass ...view middle of the document...

There was a time when she would decorate the tree with her own hands but doing the same now was “thinking poor” for her. So she spends as much as she can because now they can afford to “let themselves go a bit”. Later when her friend Kristine comes over, the first thing she mentions is her husband’s new job agreeing that she now feels “so relieved and happy”. The proof for this is when she says that now they “have stacks and stacks of money and not a care in the world”. She tells Kristine about the loan she took from Krogstad in Italy and about the amount of hard work that she did to pay the loan back, saying that her worries “don’t matter anymore because now I’m free!” Through this we come to know that she equates freedom to wealth and more than anything she wants to be free. Later in the play she realizes that even if she is able to clear herself from the debts she will still need the social and the financial support from her husband as only he is rightful to do so. This is the key element which Krogstad takes advantage of. Krogstad, unemployed, in order to get his job back, blackmails Nora to tell her husband to give him his job back or he would tell him about the loan she took from him without the permission of her husband. Doing such a thing during that time in Norway was a crime. This situation of Nora can now be compared to the social status which indeed pushes her towards individualism. The readers get to know this when she leaves Helmer which she called “time to come to terms”. Nora’s entire outlook of her life changes with a change in their economic condition but her social status makes her hide things from her husband which indeed pushes towards a quest for individualism, making her wise enough to understand that money is not as important as love.
Although Torvald in the initial stage of the play possesses characteristics of being a caring and loving husband, a responsible father, and a respected person in the society; his true colors are revealed during the climax of the play. He constructs his life and relation on the basis of the money and status he earns from it although being the man of the house he does understand his responsibilities. He worries about how much Nora is spending, therefore, when Nora suggests to borrow money till he gets a raise, he says “When a household relies on debt, it’s slavery, it’s vile.” This proves that his perception of wealth is parallel to that of Nora’s. They compare wealth to freedom and view these assets on the same grounds, therefore they do not wish to sacrifice this freedom by being in debt of a loan. Not only money, Torvald also cares a lot about his social status. When he finds out that Nora borrowed a loan from Krogstad by forging his signature, the love and affection that he had for Nora turns into hatred as he says that she’s “ruined all his happiness”. More than love or money, Torvald cares about his reputation in the society and his social status. He does not forgive Nora but tells her...

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