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Women's Sacrifices in 'A Doll's House' Play

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The play A Doll’s House by Henrik Ibsen, the protagonist, Nora Helmer, forged money from the bank to save her husband Torvald Helmer which could potentially lead her to sacrifice her marriage. Nora thinks that she will corrupt her children, so she asks her Annie Marie about how did she feel when place her child for adoption. Mrs. Linde is Nora’s friend who married to a man for money to support her family financially. In the fairy tale Snow White by Wilhelm Grimm, the protagonist Snow White’s mother persuades her husband to marry again to take care of Snow White after she dies. Snow White’s stepmother wants to kill her because of beauty and Snow White decided to run away and stay with the seven dwarfs. In the play and the fairy tale. The authors displays that female characters are seen as making tough decisions that eventually make them sacrifice themselves for other people.

Firstly, the authors shows that women make decisions which lead them to sacrifice their happiness and this is communicated through the comparison of Mrs. Linde and Snow White. To begin with, Mrs. Linde sacrifice her happiness by marrying a man she does not love. For example, Mrs. Linde states, “My mother was still alive, but bedridden and helpless- and I had my two younger brothers to look after. In all conscience, I didn’t think I could turn him down”. In the play, it is revealed that Mrs. Linde’s true love is for Krogstad. However, because of her situation with her mother and two younger brothers, she decides to marry another man for money to help her family financially. She sacrifices her own desires and her happiness for the well being of her family. Comparatively, Snow White sacrifices her home to protect herself. This is illustrated when the dwarfs say, “Cook, make beds, wash, sew, knit, and keep everything is clean and orderly, then you can stay with us”. In this case, Snow White decides to stay in the dwarf’s house as a maid in order to protect herself from her stepmom who wants to kill Snow White for her beauty. Hence, she sacrifices her own desires and the luxurious life of a princess in her own home. In conclusion, women sacrifice their happiness in order to make decisions.

Secondly, the author shows that women make decisions, thus sacrifice their love and this is illustrated through the characters Annie Marie and Snow White’s mother. To continue, Annie Marie knows the pain of sacrificing her own child for adoption. This is demonstrated when Annie Marie states, “When I could get such a good place ? A girl who’s poor and who’s gotten in trouble is glad enough for that. Because that slippery fish, he didn’t do a thing for me…”. In this case Annie Marie was forced to place her own child for adoption so as to help herself monetarily and give her child a better life. Annie Marie’s position as a woman left her stranded with a child and unable to acquire a sufficient work in order to support them both. Annie Marie was left helpless with a child because her husband did not help them in anyway. Furthermore, Snow White´s mother convinces her husband to marry again to take care of Snow White after she died. For instance, Snow White´s mother states “take care of my daughter and get married again”. In this case, Snow White´s mother sacrifice her love towards her husband and convinces him to find another partner to marry because as a king he will be not able to look after her baby. To summarize, women make choices which leads them to sacrifice their love.

Finally, the author shows that women’s decision could potentially lead them to sacrifice themselves and this is communicated through the characters Nora and Snow White. Nora decides to take loan from the bank to save her husband’s life. For example, Nora states, “…how painfully humiliating for him if he found out her was in debt to me. That would just ruin our relationship…”. Even Though Nora knows that it would ruin her relationship with her husband for taking a loan from the bank, she did not think about her husband who is against debt and decided to take loan for the trip which could potentially lead her to sacrifice her marriage. Lastly, Snow White opens the door and eats an apple from the old woman. This is demonstrated when Snow White states, “she gave the bread to the old lady and in return she got the poisonous apple”. In this case, the seven dwarves forbidden her to not to open the door for anyone. However, she refuses their order and gave the old woman a bread and in return the old woman gave her the poisonous apple to eat, thus causes her to lose her life. To conclude, women’s decisions could lead to their downfall. This play also shows women’s power and strength in taking life-changing decisions.

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Women’s Sacrifices in ‘A Doll’s House’ Play. (2022, April 29). GradesFixer. Retrieved May 22, 2022, from
“Women’s Sacrifices in ‘A Doll’s House’ Play.” GradesFixer, 29 Apr. 2022,
Women’s Sacrifices in ‘A Doll’s House’ Play. [online]. Available at: <> [Accessed 22 May 2022].
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