I am looking for opinions on psychological complexities which complicate the question of gender and sexuality in A Dolls House... anyone???

>>By scoopz   (Tuesday, 16 Dec 2003 20:33)

i think in "A Doll's House" presents how male hegemony represented by the male character turns the woman (as far as i remember it was Nora) into a "doll"
also the house and the kind of life they have is not real but built merely upon appearances, she is not allowed to act herself - if she is ever allowed to act.
the husband is surely patriarchal, and tries to protect his name rather than protecting "the family"
he is, we may say, hypocritical not only to nora but to himself as well
it can be read as how society imposes its values over us at the expense of leading hypocritical lives

>>By papatya   (Wednesday, 17 Dec 2003 12:56)

There are some traces of Edip's complex (or, more likely, Electra's complex), if we want to go there at all... I mean, look at the man Nora chose to marry. Then look at her father. They are both very strong, 'masculine' men who view Nora as their plaything... When you marry a man that resembles your father that closely, that means there is some unresolved Electra's complex there. Now, they way Nora percieves Torvald - not as a husband she would be on the same leve with, but as a fatherly figure - somewhat distant, and above herself (not only socally, but morally, intelectually etc. - which doesn't have to be true, of course; that's , just how Nora had been seeing him for years). And Torvald... Torvald looks at Nora as at a little girl, a child (he even calls her a child, besides from those animal pet names). On the other hand, he is obviously sexually attracted to her.

But it's not only the society that oppresses Nora, I think. She oppresses herself by accepting those values and basically REFUSING to think on them - refusing to think critically at all. She is not interested in other people, not in the way society works, not even in the laws that concerne her closely. She doesn't care... she wants to play with her children, play with her husband (manipulating him a bit), and play at being a selfsacrifying wife... But it's all just a game, really - Nora doesn't think of consequences. Plainly spoken, Nora is immature. She has never grown up from that stage in her life when she sat on her fathers knee listening to his opinions and accepting them as her own. But it's not because she wasn't able to grow up - look at Kristine Linde, she is a mature woman in spite of society and everything - but because Nora didn't WANT to grow up.

Only at the end of the play she realizes that she's been lying to herself for a long time, and with realizing that and accepting the fact, she begins her process of growing up. In that state, she can't continue playing the same old game with Torvald - being a child wife for him. Now she needs a new game, a new role to play - but she still needs to discover what that is...

>>By Dieda   (Thursday, 26 Feb 2004 01:36)

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