Social Psychological Genocide Examples
I have chosen to do assignment 2B, an imaginative or creative piece for my World Literature assignment. This assignment pertains to the play, A Doll's House, by Henrik Ibsen. I will create a transcript of an imaginary interview to show the author's views of women's role in society during the 19th century, that is women should not play the submissive role, but instead be equal to men. For this assignment, Nora and Ms. Linde will be used as support and examples of his thoughts. There will also be reference to sections in the novel and quotes to give further details. The author will be asked a series of questions in which he specific state his opinions and use of the characters in the play. The purpose of this interview is to provide deeper insight into the author's vision for A Doll's House and the theme he is trying to express through the female characters, Nora and Ms. Linde.
Interviewer: Mr. Ibsen, through your play, A Doll's House, what views on women did you want to express?
Ibsen: I wanted to depict in the main theme of my play my views that women are not equal to men.
Interviewer: Nora is the main character in your play, why did you initially choose her, to be the character that contradicts your message?
Ibsen: I chose to do this because I wanted to show Nora's transformation as the play progresses and show what society makes women become. At first, Nora is a typical wife in the 19th century. She lets Torvald treat her like a child, patronizing her with pet names such as "skylark" and "squirrel". However, Nora enables his behavior towards her by acting like a child. Nora is a doll for her husband's entertainment. At the beginning of the play, Nora represents the wife which society expects her to be.
Interviewer: What was Ms. Linde's role in the novel?
Ibsen: Ms. Linde is a key character and serves as the contrasting figure to Nora. In the play, Ms. Linde states "If I could be lucky enough to get a steady job" while conversing with Nora. (52) This simple sentence shows the major difference between Ms. Linde and Nora, while Ms. Linde openly states that she is looking for a job, Nora at the time, could never imagine doing this. Both these characters sympathize with each other. Nora pities Ms. Linde because she has to make a living for herself, while Ms. Linde feels that Nora has never experienced reality and that she is "just a child". (52)
Interviewer: In the play, during Ms. Linde's and Nora's first interaction, Nora reveals her secret of obtaining the money needed to help Torvald, does this action make Nora's depiction of the classic housewife less effective?
Ibsen: No, in contrary, this adds to her character. A detail to notice is that this action is indeed a secret. Nora believes that she can never tell Torvald of her actions since she would hurt his "masculine pride". (54) By not telling him what she has done, she reintegrates the notation that women should not be allowed to do anything by themselves and that it was taboo for a wife to help her husband. Nora shows the submissive role women must play. Another example of how Nora depicts society's standard of women is when Nora offers Dr. Rank a macaroon and tells him, "Torvald had forbidden themâ€¦ he's worried they'll ruin my teeth" and she continues to tell Ms. Linde and Dr. Rank how she had a desire to say " to hell and be damned". (59) Nora's Behavior here shows the society expects her to not act on her own but obtain permission from her husband, in addition, it is inappropriate for her to say words such as damn and is seen as crazy for saying them.
Interviewer: In Act 2, Nora is Blackmailed by Krogstad since he was one the loaned her the money, does this not take away from how women should be equal to men, since in this situation, in which Nora makes her own decisions, she ends up being blackmailed?
Ibsen: No, Nora putting herself in this situation just shows that she is a human being that can make mistakes, and that she is not a prefect doll who obeys her master's orders. The situation allows Nora to be more realistic and this does not in any way support that women should not be equal in society since people are not prefect and are not meant to be. Krogstad for example is also in a predicament since he has earned a bad reputation and is unemployed. In addition, although at this point in the play, Krogstad seems to have the upper hand, further in the play it is revealed that Ms. Linde is actually the one with the power. She is the one that is able to convince Krogstad to stop blackmailing Nora. Mr. Linde's actions illustrate that women can have power equal to or even greater than men can and should be taken seriously.
Interviewer: when do you think Nora begins to realize that she should be treated as an equal and taken seriously?
Ibsen: She begins to realize this when tests Torvald's reaction to discovering Krogstad's letter and her actions. After learning that they were saved, and Krogstad was no longer going to bother them, Nora believed that moment would be a turning point for their marriage. She wanted Torvald to see that she was capable of thinking for herself and was not just a doll. However, Torvald's reaction was the opposite, more than ever, he believed that she should just lean on him since she was not able to handle her affairs, and stated that "I wouldn't be a man if this feminine helplessness didn't make you twice as attractive." (107) Torvald represents the old conservative views of society, and after Torvald's reaction to the prior events, Nora stating that she was "getting out of my costume". (107) By this she meant that she was no longer to to play the doll and was going to seek her independence and break out of the mold the 19th century society had for her.
Interviewer: So the ending of the play where Nora leaves Torvald, were you trying to express that in order for Woman to become equal, they must become independent?
Ibsen: No, that is not the message I was trying to convey. Nora was only forced to leave her marriage because her husband failed to recognize her as an equal. In addition, Ms. Linde, in the play, prove that a woman does not have to leave her marriage to become equal in society, since she instead goes into a relationship with Krogstad, but does not lose her position and power since she was the one who decided whether or not to accept Krogstad into her life. In addition, Ms. Linde shows that she is independent of her actions and has the power to do what she wants, while Nora is not able to convey the rights of her independent actions to Torvald, and thus decides that she cannot be with him. A more accurate interpretation of the ending would be, that women should be considered equal to men in society and if men continue to hold on to old conservative society views, they will be left behind.
Word Count: 1,238
Article name: Social Psychological Genocide Examples essay, research paper, dissertation