The Power of Money and Feminism in a Doll's House

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Words: 651 |

Page: 1|

4 min read

Published: Feb 12, 2024

Words: 651|Page: 1|4 min read

Published: Feb 12, 2024

A Doll's House by Henrik Ibsen is a renowned play that explores themes of feminism as well as the effects of wealth and poverty on individuals. While Ibsen did not explicitly associate the play with the women's rights movement, it is commonly interpreted as a feminist statement that exposes the emotional suffering caused by patriarchy. However, beyond the feminist perspective, the play also delves into the power of money and its impact on people's lives and relationships. The bank serves as a symbol of the control that finances have over the human mind.

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The main character, Nora, undergoes a transformation driven by money. Initially, she sacrifices her and her father's reputation to save her husband, Torvald, from illness by taking out a loan. When Torvald discovers this, he becomes furious and labels her a criminal, revealing how money-related problems can strain even long-standing marriages. Nora realizes that her marriage is built on pretense and begins to question her own identity. She recognizes that she has duties beyond being a wife and mother and must seek her true self. Money becomes the catalyst for Nora to see the true character of her husband and her own condition, leading her to reject her role in the doll's house and pursue independence.

Nora's choice to leave her husband and children is significant because she intentionally rejects the financial advantages provided by Torvald. This decision allows her to break free from the cycle of subordination to her husband's will and embrace her newfound identity as a free person. It also requires her to overcome her addictions, including excessive spending, which she previously relied on Torvald to finance. Nora's rebellion against gender norms and rejection of financial benefits exemplify her as a "new woman" who cannot be controlled by the patriarchy.

On the other hand, Torvald represents the ultimate villain in the play, and money directly influences his behavior towards Nora. His wealth allows him to treat her as an object, belittling her with endearments and imposing his will upon her. He expects Nora to fulfill his desires because he provides for the family financially. Torvald symbolizes the establishment and exercises power over his wife through a combination of male privilege, social standing, and money. The control he exerts over Nora demonstrates the nature of a patriarchal society.

The story of Mrs. Linde and Krogstad also revolves around money. They were unable to marry in the past due to financial constraints. This situation reflects the struggles faced by many individuals who cannot marry without sufficient resources. Ibsen emphasizes how money affects relationships in societies where wealth is a prerequisite for a happy life. People are forced to marry not based on love but on financial considerations, leading to unresolved tragedies and emotional detachment. Krogstad is the only character who displays regret for his actions, illustrating that love has the potential to redeem those consumed by desires for power and money.

The bank in A Doll's House serves as a physical embodiment of greed and immorality. It represents the power of money to control people's actions and dull their human qualities. Characters who work at the bank, such as Torvald and Krogstad, are portrayed as negative figures driven by their desires for wealth. Ibsen's choice to depict them as bank employees further reinforces the negative perception of financial institutions as the root of evil.

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In conclusion, A Doll's House by Henrik Ibsen explores the profound influence of money on people's lives and interactions. The play portrays the bank as a symbol of financial control over human behavior. Money drives Nora's transformation and becomes a vulnerability she must overcome to achieve independence. Torvald uses money to maintain power over Nora, treating her as an object and denying her agency. The relationship between Mrs. Linde and Krogstad is hindered by financial struggles, preventing them from marrying and influencing Krogstad's unethical actions. Overall, Ibsen's play demonstrates the significant role money plays in shaping individuals and relationships.

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Dr. Charlotte Jacobson

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The Power of Money and Feminism in A Doll’s House. (2024, February 12). GradesFixer. Retrieved February 29, 2024, from
“The Power of Money and Feminism in A Doll’s House.” GradesFixer, 12 Feb. 2024,
The Power of Money and Feminism in A Doll’s House. [online]. Available at: <> [Accessed 29 Feb. 2024].
The Power of Money and Feminism in A Doll’s House [Internet]. GradesFixer. 2024 Feb 12 [cited 2024 Feb 29]. Available from:
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