Book Review: A Doll’s House-A New Capacity Approach, Third Wave Feminist Theory

By, Afua Serwah Osei-Bonsu

“A Doll’s House” by Henrik Ibsen, may be viewed through a Feminist Theory lens.  It illustrates and fine tunes what may be some issues for some couples as they delineate their matrimonial roles, when the bar for a woman’s role or education may be too low.  Other woman who have pursued further education, may still be subjected to what I will describe as a “new capacity approach,” where couple roles become defined by their “capacity,” in terms of strength, skill and cooperation.  This woman’s frustration (Nora) or even suffocation within her role, which was described by the character of Helmer as for him she was “wife and child, (Ibsen, 158)”  or in another breath her role was defined as “wife and mother (Ibsen, 157).”  The tension begins when she illustrates for her partner that she is lacking in education and feels subsequently impoverished (Ibsen, 161). Other women may pursue in an educated husband, a partner that is both husband and teacher.  Still others meet and match while within their studies, however many issuers are raised in “A Doll’s House,” like suffocation, or even fear by the husband that the wife’s education is inadequate to educate the children.  Perhaps wife is both mother and governess. Ultimately, Nora felt that it was her husbands fault, that she made nothing of her life (Ibsen, 161).  Perhaps it is at this juncture, that couples conflict when marital roles dominant the time in their life and life does not provide for them their chosen richness.

I chose this theory to engage in advancement of what could now be the third wave feminism.

Works cited:

Ibsen, Henrik, “A Doll’s House.” The Floating Press. 2008

Afua Serwah Osei-Bonsu

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