beacon_hill_dollhouse.gifHenrik Ibsen, the author of “A Doll’s House,” wrote during the 19th century in Norway. Many of his plays were considered controversial during the 19th century. Most plays that were preformed in theatres of the time upheld the image of the strict standards expected of families during the 19th century. Ibsen’s plays observed the facades created by families in order to abide to the standards of the idea of a perfect family. Both Nora and Helmer in “A Doll’s House” treat each other as if the other has no faults and can do nothing wrong. In reality Nora has a wide range of secrets that she keeps from Nora, some that are inconsequential, such as eating a small bag of macaroons, and others that are of extreme importance, such as the debt she has created. Helmer treats Nora as if she was a toy and only pays attention to her when he wishes. When both Nora and Helmer realize each other’s faults the idyllic world they have been so careful to preserve quickly falls apart and Nora decides to leave Helmer.
Throughout the play Helmer is condescending towards Nora, treating her as an unintelligent, inconsequential child. He refers to her as his and little and compares her to a variety of woodland creatures such as sparrows and squirrels. Helmer is expressing his superiority has a male in society by saying that Nora is his and comparing all her actions to the flitting acts of a small animal.