"A Doll's House is a three-act play in prose by the Norwegian playwright Henrik Ibsen. It premièred at the Royal Theatre in Copenhagen, Denmark"--Wikipedia, via Google.
One of my sisters was lucky enough to read this in an advanced literature class. The U.S. doesn't like Scandinavian culture too much, because they are off-the-scale liberal compared to U.S. They do social mobility through humanism rather than capital. After reading the summary of A Doll's House, I've reasoned it's precisely what is happening to men and women in the U.S.
They're living in times when women don't own property, because in that day, women are supposed to be property, which in equity becomes a loan. The debt of her existence is paid for by her having children as collateral, and as a token of her "appreciation." In the U.S., women are struggling with the decision of becoming Cinderella versus working and getting advanced degrees themselves. Religion, marriage laws, and cultural gender customs used to be a way of avoiding assigning a guaranteed value of money(or time to mature) to any family or individual, and mitigating the cost-benefit analysis of population growth. Population growth and illnesses are a major cost/risk/liability/debt borrowed against people's enjoyment of pleasures in life, namely life itself and sexual relationships. The cost of the liability is passed onto all marrying couples like blanket insurance in anticipation of this risk.
In the story, the woman's situation is unique because a savings bond from someone else made her the man in the situation and allowed her to save her husband's life when he falls ill with tuberculosis. Unfortunately, if parents aren't willing to provide male children with enough collateral, they fall into the situation of the woman without recourse, and they remain owned by their parents for not maturing as a loan.
If you're male and you don't join the military (or get some full-time factory job), your parents or someone else has to act as guarantor of the loan on your life by buying you a big degree if you want a market-selective woman to elect you for a husband. Having you succeed without paying slave-like work or military dues is a huge risk to sovereign governments, because if governments run out of money, someone else owns them. Now, either way, if the woman is traditional, she'll be the man's submissive sheep-person, hence the metaphor of "husbandry." Many women don't want to be a prize to be won or an object to be deserved anymore. So it is very realistic to ask this question regarding the story's situation in which someone becomes unprofitably ill: Should women compete with men and prepare to exceed their husbands' current net worth to forsee market incidents? Who is the superior lender?
Traditionally, United Statesian men don't like taking advice from their wives, and they want to treat their women as children. They generally don't like women in positions of power, because it gives women a license to treat men like children by the women simply being themselves. Regardless, when the tax man cometh, he shuts all mouths from bickering when there isn't enough collateral to cover the value of the loan. The people who received the loan are now in default, becoming owned by someone, as debt. So, whose job is it to keep the family or marriage unit out of debt? The man, the woman, the parents of either, or a benevolent guarantor/co-signer? Who enables who?
I think the point of "A Doll's House" is to be as generous as you can if you have more, and don't worry about roles as long as you love each other. Debt is a part of life, and you have to live your life no matter what the market does. Personal pride and societal disgrace are invariably linked with debts, loans, and market volatility. The story seems to have a whole lot of pity-parties, despairing situations, briberies, and lawsuits calling on the unpaid loans for services rendered(upon late payment for "redemption"). Like Torvald, religious people tend to be hypocritical and narcissistic because they obtain shares rather than sharing, and must always expect to get back more than they put in. That's why religious symbolism is commensurate with financial concepts--they both are population control devices! The "glory" that people achieve from joining the military or being part of a nations "Progress" is bribery, and soapbox propaganda has to be used to convince people that economic progress(e.g. a government getting out of debt) is a good thing.
Answered By: Doink - 12/11/2011