A problem play is one which examines the realistic social issues of group of people and presents them in a way that encourages further discussion.
The core problem in A Doll's House is the way Nora is treated and valued as a woman living in the nineteenth century. At this time, women were not allowed to handle their own financial affairs, and middle-class women were not allowed to work outside the home, either. Therefore, women were fairly trapped in their marriages, knowing that if they dared to leave, they would have no means of supporting themselves and would also likely lose custody of their children.
The pet names Torvald chooses for his wife denotes his degrading attitude toward her. He refers to her as a skylark, a squirrel, his pet, his sweet-tooth, and "poor little Nora." In fact, Nora has gone behind his back to save his life by financing medical treatment that Torvald would never have agreed to himself. Nevertheless, she is not given any credit and is seen as an incompetent little...
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