Rebellion against Male Oppression

Subject: Gender Studies
Type: Reflective Essay
Pages: 4
Word count: 1223
Topics: Book, Social Issues

The society faced a lot of challenges in the 19th century and before. Some of the challenges that the society faced were because of the kind of set-up that is in place and is set to form a sort of a rules set to guide the way things are handled in a society. The smallest aspect of a society is the family. A family issue is, therefore, considered as a social issue. Gender inequality in the 19th century is based on the kind of roles each gender was expected to serve. In most societies of the world, women were given the lowest rank in the society. They had no power over the men and therefore had to go by the decisions that men came up with. Women did not even take part in economic activities that could help families and even the entire community. Males, on the other side, could not pass any rule to create heavier responsibilities for women. Although most of the philosophers consider this act to be working against the women, there is a lot of evidence showing that such laws oppressed the male-gendered. The book A Doll’s House by Henrik Ibsen gives an address to this the issue of oppression against the male by pointing out from the Norway marriage, some hidden problems that the male faces (Ibsen 98). The book, through the roles it puts across to be played by the males show that males were oppressed and therefore deserved an action that could save them from this situation.

A bird in a cage

A bird in a cage has been used symbolize nature of women in the society. Nora and Torvald are two married adults in the book. Nora, the wife, is described as a bad in the cage. The bird referred to be Nora and the cage is the house that she lives in. Torvald, according to the reading is charged with the responsibility of taking care of all the affairs in the house. All the responsibilities that involve struggle are directed to Torvald and he is expected to get no help form, Nora. Torvald singe handily takes care of all the upkeep responsibilities for Nora and her children. Nora and the whole family depend on the money that Torvald brings home from his work. Although Nora is also of the working age and should be working just like Torvald to bring up the family in a better way, she stays in the house, with ensuring that the house is clean as her only role. Another role that is assigned to her as the wife is to make sure that the resources Torvald has brought in the house are used to keep the family in a stable position (Ibsen 103). Nora is also not concerned with duties that her husband does to get the money for keeping the family stable. 

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Torvald is concerned about himself

The author describes Torvald as someone who loves himself. This symbolizes how much he is concerned about reputations of the family. Family reputations play a core role in enhancing the success of the family. A family with good reputations in the society tends to have higher chances of succeeding than that which is linked with poor reputations. This is because a family that has proper reputations can easily receive the recognition from the community. In a case where an opportunity that can result in an increase in the income of the family comes, the family with good reputations will be given priority over the one with non-standard reputations. It is therefore important to keep the reputations of a family at the best position possible. In Ibsen’s book, Torvald is doing everything he can to keep the reputations of his family. He ensures that he is not linked with any form of crime in the society so that his family can have a better view in the community. Torvald goes to an extent of keeping up with the little income to support his family. When Torvald falls ill, Nora takes the advantage of his inability to make a decision and takes a loan from the bank. Nevertheless, Nora decides to keep it a secret and never reveals it to Torvald. She however secretly expects compassion from her husband, who neither advised nor participated in the decision to take the loan. Later when Torvald comes to know about the crime that his wife had committed, he is forced to make some tough decisions such as divorcing his wife s that he can keep the reputations of his family in the right position and earn a respect for the family. The book, however, considers Torvald as the wrong person and a feeling that Torvald is an irresponsible person in the family is developed in the book. Here, the book is portraying Torvald as a lazy and irresponsible individual yet his intention was just to keep the reputations of his family. All the blames surrounding the crime that his wife committed and keep away from him are made against him. He is even blamed for sending away the man who knew about the crime and helped Nora in keeping it a secret (Ibsen 143). When Nora finally decides to abandon her husband and children, Torvald is viewed as the cause of the abandonment. The book does not show any interest in taking care of the male gender as Torvald did not ask Nora to leave the house.

Decision making role

This is a symbol of power pressure that the males were had. The success of a family and a community at large rely on the kind of decisions that are made when endorsing a developmental strategy. A Doll’s House by Ibsen explains that female gender had no share of whichever decisions are made to seek a better environment for living in a society. Males were forced to conduct a personal based survey and develop points to support their points of view concerning projects in a society. The community laws, in this case, did not favor the en as they had to work extra-hard and balance between developing valid responses to put across when asked to support their views. Moreover, the men even had to make decisions and rules to be followed by women. Keeping order in the family and the society was considered a responsibility for the women. The fact that they made all the decisions put them at the risk of being accountable for any mess as women did not have the authority to review the instructions given by their husbands before they explore what they were told. The community, in this case, had put excess pressure on the male gender and was; therefore, the cause of low development rates in the society during the 19th century.


The book therefore uses symbols in addressing the roles of each gender in the society. Pressure because of power, heavy responsibilities and messes of the female gender and full responsibility in the decision-making process in a family are therefore injustices that the males faced in the society. Every member should be given equal responsibilities and be taken responsible for any mess that comes as a result of a decision he or she makes. These injustices against men are unfair and must be withdrawn so that a free environment for men can be realized in the society.

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  1. Ibsen, Henrik. A doll’s house. A&C Black, 2008.
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