Henrik Ibsen’s A Doll’s House

Henrik Ibsen’s A Doll’s House, considers a very delicate situation experienced by a Scandinavian family in 1879. Nora Helmer, the main character and adored wife of Torvald faces a life-altering dilemma. She has to decide whether to remain with her obsessive husband in his sheltered home, playing the part of a doll, or take the initiative to leave and seek out her own individuality. There are three minor characters that have a significant impact on the final decision that Nora attains. Each one, representing some particular social aspect, is essential to the development of Nora’s character. Krogstad, Dr. Rank and Mrs.

Linde have all had a long-standing relationship with the Helmer family, but neither character can provide Nora with a completely reassuring path to follow. She must discover this for herself, as they can only help to point her in another direction other than the one that Torvald has. Nils Krogstad is in fear of losing his job at the bank. He will stop at nothing in order to retain his position, as he has struggled relentlessly to get to where he is now. Krogstad was guilty of committing the same crime as that of Nora and although their motives were different, the law still regards their actions as fraudulent.

In all of his ruthlessness and selfishness, Krogstad represents the desperation that Nora experience’s throughout the play as she tries to figure a way out of her desperate situation. She had gone to him in her time of need and now he has approached her in his time of despair. However, she is unable to assist him because it would mean that she would have to involve Torvald and that is the last thing she wants to happen. Thus, Krogstad retaliates by explaining to her that if he goes down, she will go with him. ‘But I tell you this: if I’m pitched out a second time, you are going to keep me company’;(Ibsen 29).

He shows no sympathy, as he does not hesitate to destroy the reputations of both Nora and Helmer for his own benefit and to further his own standing in society. The character of Krogstad demonstrates that although one can overcome their fault and eventually move on with life, that person will ultimately revert to other similar acts of ruthlessness later in life. Dr. Rank is also a long-time acquaintance of the Helmer’s and makes frequent visits to their household. Nora enjoys secretly flirting with him until he admits that he has had a profound affection towards her for quite some time. This causes her to become upset towards Dr.

Rank because his confession means that they can no longer continue their secretive game together. The connotation of the name ‘Rank’ has a symbolic meaning in Ibsen’s play. The word rank denotes a stink or rot and may very well represent the depression experienced in Nora’s life. The significance of his life helps to exemplify the loneliness and misery experienced by someone living in solitude. Evidence of his desolation occurs when he says, ‘I’m slowly sinking. There’s nothing to be done about it’; (Ibsen 45), and furthermore when he explains how he does not wish to see Torvald once the dying process begins.

On no account must he. I won’t have it. I’ll lock the door on him. –As soon as I’m absolutely certain of the worst, I’ll send you my visiting card with a black cross on it. You’ll know when the final horrible disintegration has begun (Ibsen 45). The very existence and fate of Dr. Rank manifests a sense of sorrow and despair and this forces Nora to take into consideration the particular lifestyle of his when making her decision to leave her family and home. Mrs. Kristine Linde is a longtime confidante of Nora, and until the beginning of the play, has not seen her for nine or ten years.

Since then, her husband has died and she was left with nothing, having to open a shop and run a school in order to get by. Now, she has returned to the Helmer’s in search of more work. Mrs. Linde represents the social conformity that women can accomplish in that era. An example occurs when Nora asks her how it is possible that she was left with nothing and still able to move on. Mrs. Linde casually replies, ‘Oh, it sometimes happens, Nora’; (Ibsen 8). Although she was able to overcome the death of her husband, it does not mean that she has necessarily been happy all this time, as she states,

These last three years have been one long relentless drudge…Just utterly empty. Nobody to live for any more. That’s why I couldn’t stand it any longer being cut off up there. Surely it must be a bit easier here to find something to occupy your mind’; (Ibsen 11). The character of Mrs. Linde allows Nora to understand that by leaving, she will undergo many hardships however, she provides Nora with assurance, a sense of hope that women can make a living on their own, without a husband at their side.

In the end, all three minor characters have undergone a radical change, having arrived at some other position in life. Krogstad and Mrs. Linde have become a couple, and Dr. Rank is soon to pass away. This is significant, as Nora has chosen to abandon her family to pursue her own independence and individuality. She will no longer play the part of a doll and depend on Torvald to support her and resolve all of her problems and thus, takes a giant step forward towards the development of women as their own individuals.

Ibsen’s A Doll’s House explores the role of women in the late 1800’s and stresses the importance of their realization of this believed inferiority. Living in our present day society sometimes causes us to underestimate the transition that women have undergone throughout these last hundred years. However, Nora’s progression at the end of the play arouses an awareness to an awakening society recognizing the changing view of the status of women at that time.

Nora Helmer in a A Doll’s House

Nora Helmer in a A Dolls House is a women ahead of her time. In order to protect her children from a false life, she inflicts tragedy upon herself by leaving every thing she has by walking away. She puts herself in this tragic situation by not being honest. Nora lies to herself and the ones she cares about. Before she leaves her life is not her own person she is carrying on life as a role. Making others happy, instead of herself. A Dolls House by Henrik Isben is about a young woman and her life.

The main characters name is Nora Helmer. She is married to a bank manager named Trovald. In the early years of their marriage just after their first child Trovald becomes ill. Doctors say that he will not live unless he goes abroad immediately. Nora takes it upon herself and borrows two hundred and fifty pounds from a money leader named Krogstad. She was dishonest with Trovald and said her father gave it to her. It was illegal because she forged her dying fathers signature on the document. Nora was unlike most women of her time period.

Most women would be afraid to do the things Nora did. In the end of the play A Dolls House after the truth has been discovered about Nora she makes a very courageous decision. It was not heard of for a woman to leave her family , but Nora did. She did this because she knew if she stayed with the children it would not be fair for them. She was not best mother for her children even though she loved them like ant mother loves her children. When we learn that the model for Nora was intelligent and ambitious everything falls in to place.

There is no need to wonder about motivation or changes of character sudden revelations (Hardwick). Nora is very wise in many of her ways. She planned to perform a dance at a ball just to dictract Trovald. When all the truth is discovered at the end of the play things become very tense between Nora and Trovald. In the raging depate over the morality of Noras behavior , however, it is all too easy to neglect Trovalds dramatic function in the play (Kashdam). After the ball, Trovalts rage and anger, e calls Nora a hypocrite, liar, and a criminal.

He says she has no religion, morality, or sence of duty. Then as always he confesses his love to her and wants to take care of her. In the final dramatic scene of the play she explains to Trovalt that she feels like his little doll in a doll house. She leaves and wants no contact with Trovalt or children. Nora wants to begin a new life. All through out her marriage, she was not who she wanted to be, she was the perfect image of a wife. She walks away feeling excited, yet inside, is full of tragedy, and full of pride.

Analysis of Irony in A Doll’s House

All scenes of this play take place in the late 1800s home of one of the main characters, Torvald Helmer. Written by Henrik Ibsen, A Dolls House contains many instances of irony. The main characters, Nora and Torvald, are especially involved in this. Many of the examples of irony in this play are types of dramatic irony. Dramatic irony usually refers to a situation in a play wherein a characters knowledge is limited, and he or she encounters something of greater significance than he or she knows.

Throughout the play, most of the dramatic irony displayed is between Nora nd Torvald, with Torvald being the character whose knowledge is limited. Early on in the play, when Mr. Krogstad is threatening to tell Torvald of Noras secret, Nora pleads with him and asks him not to. She says to him that It would be a rotten shame. That secret is all my pride and joy why should he have to hear about it in this nasty, horrid way.. hear about it from you (1431). This is ironic in that her pride and joy is something that her husband would completely disapprove of. Torvald tells Nora No debts!

Never borrow! Theres something inhibited, something unpleasant, about a home built on credit and borrowed money (1415). But nevertheless, she has borrowed money, and it is her pride and joy. She takes pride in the fact that she was able to borrow money, since women are not supposed to be able to, and that she has been able to save and work for enough money to be able to make the payments on her loan. What makes it even more joyful for her is that she knows this helped save her husbands life. The most joyful thing in Noras life is something her husband disapproves of.

What makes this even more ironic is a statement Torvald makes to Nora after discovering her secret. He says to her Oh, what a terrible awakening this is. All these eight yearsthis woman who was my pride and joya hypocrite, a liar, worse than that, a criminal! (1462). He also uses the words pride and joy to describe Nora, just as she describes her secret. Another illustration of irony is the way Nora treats her children as if they were dolls. This is situational irony because Nora is treated like a doll by her husband, and by her father when he was alive.

She says I passed out of Daddys hands into yours. You arranged everything to your tastes, and I acquired the same tastes (1465). She, in turn, influences her children in the same way. Nora buys clothes for the children, and shows them off to visitors, but she doesnt actually mother them, Anne Marie does. Nora leaves her home and family in the end because she realizes the way she has been treated, and she wants to be her own person in the future. But ironically, she treats her children like dolls, and leaves them there to be

Another instance of dramatic irony again involves Torvald. He makes the statement Oh, my darling wife, I cant hold you close enough. You know, Noramanys the time I wish you were threatened by some terrible danger so I could risk everything, body and soul, for your sake (1461). He clearly says that he wants Nora to need him, and to need his help. Then, when the time comes where she needs and expects his help, he does not come to her rescue. He tells her Now you have ruined my entire happiness, jeopardized my whole future (1462).

After everything is clear, Torvald forgives her, which makes Nora realize that all he cares about is himself and A Dolls House is rich in symbols and imagery, and things such as that. But the irony, more than anything in this play, is very clear. Some examples are more obvious than others, but it is all very clear. It is easy to see the irony in the characters situations. Basically, Torvald Helmer has very limited knowledge throughout the play. And therefore, he gets into situations in which he encounters things of greater significance than he anticipates.

Strength in Henrik Ibsen’s A Doll House

Women have played many roles in marriage throughout history but the primary one has been the role of the submissive, attentive, attractive wife. This role mainly composed of living for her husband and her children. Henrik Ibsen, in his play A Doll’s House examines the of the roles of women and men in marriage. A Doll House shows us the story of a woman regaining her strength and self-respect. The main character, Nora begins a difficult search for the self esteem and self worth she has never experienced before. In the beginning of the play Ibsen outlines the typical marital relationship between Torvald and Nora.

Torvald is the strong, dignified husband while Nora is little lark twittering. (1565) Torvald’s continual reference to Nora using bird names parallels Nora’s image of herself. In the first act, Torvald continually refers to Nora as his little spendthrift, his little scatterbrain, his squirrel sulking, and most importantly his song bird. (1565) These images of weak birds characterize Nora as a weak person. The simple twittering, little birds we see every day are very susceptible to cold weather and to dying and so is Nora.

The images of a little spendthrift and a little scatterbrain indicate stupidity and ignorance. Nora can’t think for herself because her thoughts are scattered and unorganized. She can’t assume responsibility for money because she will waste it. In the character of Torvald we are led to believe that he is the loving and accommodating husband. He treats Nora like a child, and she, not knowing any better at this stage, acts accordingly. For example, as a child forbidden by its mother from eating candy before dinner, Nora hides her macaroons from Torvald.

Acting like her parent, Torvald suspects her of hiding macaroons from him. He repeatedly asks her if she is sure she didn’t eat any macaroons. Surely my sweet tooth hasn’t been running riot in town today, has she? he asks (1567) Nora’s response to Torvald shows us her lack of self-esteem. Instead of sharing with him her love for macaroons she hides it. Instead of standing up for her rights as a human being to eat what she likes, she acts like a little bird afraid of her own shadow. In the beginning of the play we are introduced to Nora as the weak, stupid, dependent wife.

The second stage of her independence is introduced by the invitation to the Stenborgs’ costume party. Her invitation to the party with Torvald is extremely significance to her self-esteem. She is desperately trying to find a way to charm Torvald into keeping Krogsard on as an employee at the bank. Through the use of her feminine wiles she hopes to convince her husband that what she requests of him is only a minor request. At this point she is caged as a bird would be caged. She cannot fly away till she gets her independence. Her attendance at the party signifies the fact that she is attempting to break free.

She will dance the Tarantella at the party with wild abandonment as this will prove, she realizes to be her last performance, her swan song. In her attempt to break free, she views Mrs. Linde, her childhood friend, as a woman of the world who has experience in the matters of independence. Whenever Torvald is not around Nora, we can see Nora’s efforts to break free. Nora shows her strength in the fact that she saved her husband’s life. In revealing her secret to Mrs. Linde she attempts to gain independence. When Mrs. Linde comes to visit we see Nora ready to crack wide open with a confession.

In explaining her lifes’ hardships, Mrs. Linde says, You know so little of life’s burdens yourself. (1570) Nora’s answer is of strength, I-? I know so little. (1571) You can hear the sarcasm in Nora’s words. Mrs. Linde continues on to say, You’re just a child. (1571) In response Nora answers, You don’t have to act so superior. (1571) This show of strength is typical of Nora as long as Torvald is not around to hear it. After being fully under the control of Torvald, Nora is desperate in her attempts to break free and she is starting to become her own person.

The third stage of her independence is obvious when Krogstad comes to visit her and reveals her terrible deed: the forgery. After she took matters in her own hands and forged her father’s signature, we are told it was to save her husband’s life. Krogstad decides to blackmail her many years later when his job becomes threatened. She turns on him with a tremendous show of strength when she says: A daughter hasn’t the right to protect her dying father from anxiety and care? A wife hasn’t the right to save her husband’s life?

I don’t know much about law, but I’m sure that somewhere in the books these things are allowed. And you don’t know anything about it-you who practice the law? You must be an awful lawyer, Mr. Krogstad. (1580) Not only did Nora refer to Krogstad as a awful lawyer, but she also calls the law a very poor law. (1580) Her statements show that she has the potential of being a strong woman. Through her confession to Mrs. Linde and her strength of character against Krogstad, Nora prepares herself to engage in the biggest battle yet to come, the battle with Torvald.

It is not until Nora sees the truth of Torvald’s character that she finally manages to break free as a bird from his hand and his imprisonment. Her long expected miracle never took place for Torvald showed his true selfish character. He says to her, But there’s no one who gives up honor for love. (1611) In her answer millions of women have done just that. (1611) She finally comes to a much larger understanding of women’s problems. In this statement, she realizes that she has had many accomplishments and that she is worthy of much more than what life has given her.

It is at this point that Torvald stops referring to her using bird imagery. He has finally noticed that she has a strength of character that possibly exceeds his own. Instead of her relying on him, he becomes dependent on her, he states, But to part! To part from you, No, Nora No,- I can’t imagine it . (1611) He can’t imagine his life without her and he can’t live without her. Nora, on the other hand, has set herself free. Instead of her using his wide wings to shelter her, she breaks free of their snug and cozy home and says I’m freeing you from your responsiblities.

Don’t feel yourself bound, anymore than I will. (1611) In setting her husband free, Nora has set herself free to fly away, as far away as she can. Looking back we can see how difficult Nora’s struggle to break free from her prison has been. In the beginning of the play, she is first weak and child-like. She then gains some strength to stand up to Mrs. Linde, even going as far as helping her with employment, and she learns to manage her problems with Krogstad. Nora, after realizing Torvald’s true character, breaks free of her cage and does what birds do best, she flies.

Going from Child to Woman: The Transformation of Nora Helmer

In Henrik Ibsens, A Dolls House, the character of Nora Helmer goes through the dramatic transformation of a kind and loving house wife, to a desperate and bewildered woman, whom will ultimately leave her husband and everything she has known. Ibsen uses both the characters of Torvald and Nora to represent the tones and beliefs of 19th century society. By doing this Ibsen effectively creates a dramatic argument that continues to this day; that of feminism. We are introduced in Act I with Nora returning from Christmas shopping.

Ibsen utilizes this time for dramatic purposes of the Christian holidays and to show the struggle between a middle class marriage. Nora plans on having a big holiday bash, while Torvald would rather refrain since there is a rather limited cash flow. Nora: Oh yes, Torvald, we can squander a little nowpiles of money (1506). Torvald follows up with, But then it is three full months till the raise comes through (, 1506). Nora at this point in the play is nothing more than a child, careless in her action and not thinking ahead of possible consequences. Nora sees nothing wrong in spending big on Christmas.

Granted this is a righteous cause, since the holidays are about giving to others, but still a parent should know the limit of happiness they should bring. At this point Torvald begins to act as society and unknowingly begins to use condescending terms towards Nora. Are you scatterbrains off again? (1506), my dear little Nora. (1507), (Youre an odd little one (1507). Torvald sees nothing wrong in these little pet names he gives Nora. He is absolutely right there is nothing wrong with pet names. Unfortunately when the pet names are also a part of the larger scheme that woman are inferior, only then do they become evil and no longer childish.

Yes, very-that is if you actually hung onto money I give you, and you actually used it to buy yourself something. (1507). Later in Act I, her friend Mrs. Linde visits Nora. Even in their conversation Mrs. Linde comments on Noras childish behavior. Well my heavens – a little needlework and such Nora, youre just a child. (1511). Nora quickly defends herself, in some sense to regain her standing within her own ranks. Ive also got something to be proud and happy for. Im the one who saved Torvalds life. (1511). By doing this Nora is secretly undermining society and providing for her husband.

In contrast to society beliefs at the time, shouldnt a wife provide for her husband in his sickness? Thus creating an interesting paradox passed upon wedding vows. Apparently not or Nora would have confided in Torvald sooner. Mrs. Linde: And youve never confided (1512). Towards the end of Act I, Krogstad enters. Krogstad is the man whom Nora borrowed the 4,000 crowns to finance the trip to southern Italy. Nora continues to act as a child. Shall we play? What shall we play? Hide and seek? (1577). Krogstad asks a favor of Nora. Would you please make sure that I keep my subordinate position in the bank?

By doing this Krogstad tries to utilize the famine influence that women who are married to men of power often have, yet another role society demands of women. Krogstad, as a typical male of the time assumes she has no head for business. Listen Mrs. Helmer youve either got a very bad memory, or else no head for business. (1519) Once Krogstad leaves we notice a definite change in Nora. Noras children ask her to play with them and she replies; No not now. (1521) Nora begins to talk to herself. Ill do anything to please you, Torvald. Ill sing for you, dance for you- (1521) this is the beginning of the unraveling of Nora.

Her world as she knows it no longer exists. At the very end of Act I, Torvald and Nora are talking. Torvald comments about Krogstad’s criminal act. Helmer: Forgery. Do you have any Helmer: Plenty of men have redeemed (1522) Torvald talks about forgery the crime, with which his wife is quilty of, since she forged her fathers signature on the agreement between herself and Krogstad. Torvald continues on to say, Im not so heartless that Id condemn a man catorgorically for one mistake (1522) Torvald literally says that he is capable of forgiving a man, a complete stranger, for the act, but he still wont forgive his one wife?

Act I ends with Torvald again showing up the 19th century stereotype of women. Almost everyone who goes bad early in life has a mother whos a chronic liar. (1523) Ironic and interesting, because there is no basis for this assumption and unknowingly Torvald is condemning both his wife and his children. Act II opens with Nora unraveled some more. Someones coming! No theres no oneWhy I have three small children (1523) She is becoming more and more manic in her action. The anticipation of something evil being committed by Krogstad is too much for her. Again Mrs. Linde comes to visit and condemns her again of acting like a child. many ways you are still a child (1525) Nora continues her barrage on Torvald to keep Krogstad.

This time she is more aggressive and panicky. If your little squirrel begged you (1526) Torvald demands obedience in the bank and is afraid if he shows favoritism towards Krogstad there will be decision against him there. And I hear hes quite efficientmy place in the bank unbearable. (1527) Nora questions Torvalds authority on the subject and he becomes outraged, acting like a typical 19th century male. Nora: Because these are such. (1528) By doing this she has seriously undermined her husband, a big social taboo.

He immediately snaps back with a sarcastic; There, now little Miss. Willful (1528) The sarcasm of Torvald rips off the page. Later we see how desperate Nora is. Nora: And what if I asked you now for-? No-Nora: I mean – for an exceptionally big favor- (1530) Nora attempts to ask Dr. Rank for the remainder of the money to pay back Krogstad. Previously Nora would never of attempted such a shear act of desperation. Again showing the transformation of Nora into a desperate woman. Krogstad later returns and both he and Nora argue about the money. Krogstad asks what she has thought about doing. Krogstad: So if youve been thinking.

Nora: I was thinking of that? (1533) In this exchange of dialogue Nora truly does acts as a child instead of as an adult. She thinks of running away from her problems instead of facing them, a classic example of childishness. Once both Torvald and Nora return home after the masquerade, Torvald reads the 1st letter that was written by Krogstad explaining the events between both him and Nora. All of the social stereotypes and beliefs of society towards women are spilled forth by Torvald in this scene. Prior to Torvalds reading of the mail, he refers to Nora as: young beauty (1542), songbird (1544), and my darling wife (1544).

Right before Torvald returns, Nora braces herself for his verbal onslaught. Never see him again. Never, never (1545) At this point Nora is almost finished her transformation from child to new age women. Torvald returns in an outrage. Nora: It is true. Ive lovedHelmer: Ah, none of your slippery tricks (1545) Torvald is blinded by his madness and fails to see that she only took the loan out of love for him. Society fails to see the love and compassion that a sympathetic woman could have.

Now youve wrecked all my happinessand you repay me like this (1545) Ill be swept down miserably into the depths on account of a featherbrained woman. 545) Both of these quotes show how Torvald is totally disregarding the fact that this women is not only his wife, but his songbird (1544). Later another letter arrives from Krogstad explaining how the debt is off. Helmer: Nora! Nora! Wait-betterHelmer: You too of course. (1546) Again Torvald is interested in his own salvation, completely forgetting about his wife. Torvald attempts to reconcile with Nora, but to no avail.

Nora has graduated from little girl to a feminist power. Nora realizes; You never loved me. Youve thought it fun to be in love with me thats all. 547) Nora decides to leave Torvald and her children, because nothing is hers. According to society (Torvald) its all the mans.

Torvald brings up her wedding vows and her responsibilities to him and to her family. So youll run out like this on your most sacred vows (1548) Nora recalls that her self worth is more important. I believe that, before else I am a human being, no less than you (1549) In Noras transformation from loving housewife to a women who sees the truth in her relationship, Ibsen managed to awaken or give strength to the feminist movement.

A Doll’s House, a play by Henrik Ibsen

A Doll’s House, a play by Henrik Ibsen, tells the story of Nora, the wife of Torvald Helmer, who is an adult living as a child, kept as a doll by her husband. She is expected to be content and happy living in the world Torvald has created for her. By studying the play and comparing and contrasting the versions presented in the video and the live performance, one can analyze the different aspects of it. Ibsen’s purpose for writing this piece is to entertain while pointing out an injustice. Through the events of the play, Nora becomes increasingly aware of the confines in which Torvald has placed her.

He has made her a doll in her own house, one that is expected to keep happy and busy as a songbird, who acts and does as he deems proper. As a result of this, she is often pointed out to be very simple by the other characters. Her friend Christina calls her “a mere child,” showing how naive she appears to be to the hardships in life. To prove to her friend that she really has achieved something on her own to be proud of, Nora tells Christina of her secret borrowing of money for the trip to Italy that saved Torvald’s life.

Everyone believed that Nora had gotten the money from her father, while actually she found someone to borrow the money from and had been paying her debt back. She did so by spending frugally and always saving some of the money Torvald had given her and by doing odd jobs. She explained to Christine, When Torvald gave me money for clothes and so on, I never spent more than half of it; I always bought the simplest thingsand besides that, I made money in other ways. Last winterI got a heap of copying to do. I shut myself up every evening and wrote far into the night[I]t was splendid to work in that way and earn money.

I almost felt as if I was a man. Later, while discussing his illness with her, Dr. Rank actually comments that Nora is “deeper than[he] thought. ” He too looked at her as like a child. The climax of the story comes when Torvald learns of Nora’s forgery and yells angrily at her. He then finds the promissory note, returned by Krogstad, and realizes that no one has anything over his head any longer. During this episode, Nora realizes what has been going on: that she has become Torvald’s “doll” which plays around his “doll” house. She points out to him:

You have never understood me. I have had great injustice done me, Torvald; first by father, and then by youHe used to tell me all his opinions, and I held the same opinionsHe used to call me his doll-child, and played with me as I played with my dollsThenI passed from father’s hands into yours. You settled everything according to your taste; and I got the same tastes as youI lived by performing tricks for you, Torvald. But you would have it so. You and father have done me a great wrong. It’s your fault that my life has been wasted[O]ur house has been nothing but a play-room.

Here I have been your doll-wife, just as at home I used to be papa’s doll-childI thought it fun when you played with me Here, Nora pulls together the tragic circumstances. She sees that she was never truly happy in the house, just content. Her father kept her as a child would a doll, and Torvald continued this when they were married. They formed her opinions for her, set expectations to which she was supposed to adhere, and wrote a vague script of how she was supposed to act. She was like a puppet, with no thoughts or actions of her own.

When she finally realizes the injustice being done to her, she decides to free herself. The different versions of A Doll’s House studied offer different points of view. The stage version presents a third person-limited point of view. The audience knows everything going on the scene being played out before them, but cannot see beyond the set. They see the movements and hear the dialogue between all the characters within the limitations of the stage. The video offers a different point of view. We see only what the camera wants us to see.

It shows us close-up shots of the actors and actresses while they are talking and many different rooms instead of just the one seen in the live production. This can both an advantage and a disadvantage. While it allows for more focus to be put on the person speaking, it does not allow the audience to see how the other characters are reacting to this, as in the case of a live performance. The genre of A Doll’s House is modern tragedy. Nora seeks to secure a sense of personal dignity when she decides to leave Torvald and accepts responsibility for her actions. Her husband had been treating her like a child and she wanted to break free.

She reveals the tragic circumstances of the situation in the aforementioned passage at the end of the play where she explains to Torvald how both he and her father have kept her as a doll. There are also many examples of tragic irretrievability within the plot as well. These include the letter locked in the box, to which Nora cannot get; Nora’s secret loan to pay for the trip to Italy; the forged signature on the promissory note; and Torvald’s explosive scene in which he calls her a “wretched woman. ” A final characteristic of modern tragedy displayed in the play is the use of everyday language instead of poetic verse or prose.

The style of the play is the way in which it is presented. A Doll’s House takes the form of realism. The story is a “slice of life” that seems to be taken out of reality and placed on stage before us. It consists of real time and real places, and puts real people at the center of our attention. It appears to be true to life: the actors and actresses use everyday language, dress in everyday dress for the time period, and are found in everyday common rooms. The characters encountered could very possibly be real people existing during its particular time period.

This realism is used to express the purpose by setting up a real life situation in which to illustrate the injustice done to Nora. It allows the audience to relate more easily and get the full meaning of the playwright’s message. Nora’s motivation is her want for personal freedom. She realizes how she has been unfairly kept by her father and her husband and decides she needs to be free. Initially, she tries to fulfill this need by doing things on her own, such as taking the loan from Krogstad to take her husband away on a life-saving trip. Her final stand is leaving Torvald in the final scene.

She tells him, “I must try to educate myself. You are not the man to help me in that. I must set about it alone. And that’s why I am now leaving you! ” With this, Nora is stating her need to go out and encounter the world on her own. She feels that being with Torvald hinders her, and she must leave him to enjoy true personal freedom. A Doll’s House is an example of climactic structure. The plot begins later than in those in episodic structure, such as MacBeth. The beginning of the play merely sets the stage for the actions to come. It shows how Nora is content being Torvald’s little “lark.

She spends her days shopping and playing with the children. Also, the characters, locales, and scenes are limited. The characters in this play number only eleven: Nora, Torvald, the three Helmer children, Dr. Rank, Christina, Anna, Krogstad, Ellen, and a porter. The live stage production did not even include the children, as they were not essential to the action of the play. There was but one set in the stage production, and few more in the video, and the play has only three acts. Finally, the construction is tight. There are few, if any, loose ends at the conclusion of the play.

Nora reveals her true feelings to Torvald in an exciting scene, Christina deals with unresolved situations with Krogstad, and Dr. Rank tells the Helmers good-bye. These all neatly tie together the previous conflicts. It is interesting to see how these elements—purpose, point of view, genre, style, motivation, and structure—make up the underlying pieces of the play. Without them, the play becomes little more than a pointless story with which the audience cannot identify. Even with these common pieces, different versions show us different twists on the same play.

Seeking Truth in A Doll’s House

The characters, in Henrik Ibsen’s A Doll’s House, are hiding from each other and seeking the truth about each other and about life. The game of hide and seek that Nora plays with her children, she also plays with her husband. She hides her actions and her true personality from him. He also hides his life from her. Thinking that she would never even understand, he keeps all the business of their relationship secret from her. Although Nora hides from her husband, she also plays the role of seeker. Nora wants to seek out the truth of her life.

Much of the play is a game of hide and seek. Excellent. Nora plays a game of “hide and seek”(Ibsen 506)* with her children. The simple game can be seen also as a symbol of real life in the play. Nora is playing hide and seek with the adults in her life. Nora is trying to keep something away from public knowledge and especially away from her husband. She hides the fact that she borrowed money to save his health. She was afraid that if Torvald knew that she had taken initiative to borrow money to help him that it would be “painful and humiliating”(Ibsen 501) for him.

She knows that Torvald needs to feel in control of everything. So she hides her actions from him. Nora hides the fact that she has done something illegal from Torvald. She is given the opportunity to tell Torvald and maybe get his support or advise on the situation, and she lies to him to hide the truth. She claims that the reason that she does not want Torvald to fire Krogstad is that “this fellow writes in the most scurrilous newspapers… he can do [Torvald] an unspeakable amount of harm”(Ibsen 519). Nora hides the truth and replaces it with lies.

Torvald does not know that if he fires Krogstad that the consequences will affect his whole family. Nora could have told him, but instead she decided to hide the truth from her husband. She also hides her own strength. She plays the part that she has come accustomed to, being the doll. The first time in the play that Torvald refers to Nora, he calls her a “little lark”(Ibsen 493). Throughout the play, he refers to her as a cute little animal, never with any word that might imply a situation of his peer. She seems more like “a pampered family pet”(Heiberg 207) than a woman in a marriage.

She is more a pet or a doll to Torvald than someone who could handle life on her own. His pet names for her indicate that he wishes she were a little plaything of his. To fit this character, Nora hides her true strength until the end of the play. Nora says that “[she] must stand quite alone”(Ibsen 546) and leaves Torvald to be alone. Not only does Nora make the claim that she could stand alone, she follows it with an action, thus the audience knows that Nora can be stronger than she was appearing and that she must have been hiding since the beginning.

She must have been hiding her true strength until that moment. Nora hides her ability to handle money. She does not let Torvald know that she is entirely capable of handling debt. Instead, she leads on that “[she] should not care whether [she] owed money or not”(Ibsen 493). Although she says that she would not care about being in debt, the audience learns that she is handling her own debt. She is saving money here and there to repay the money that she owes. She leads on that she is the little doll who cannot handle anything.

She hides her abilities from Torvald to be his little doll. The hiding and seeking of the characters in the play is reminiscent of the game that Nora plays with her children. In playing games like that with her children, Nora is also hiding from them and her job as mother. She likes to take off their warm outer clothing because “it is such fun”(Ibsen 506). She finds the job of mother fun. However, she is quick to dismiss her job and hide from any motherly responsibilities when the timing becomes inconvenient.

As soon as Krogstad comes to talk with her, she commands her children to “go in to nurse”(Ibsen 507). The job of mother was no longer fun, so she abandons it. She uses the nurse to hide from the children that she gave birth to. Torvald also hides from his wife, Nora. He shares none of his work with Nora. They speak very little about financial matters. When they do talk, it is mostly silly talk not seriously about their financial situation. Their first conversation on stage is about money. He tries pitifully to talk to her seriously about money, but gives up quickly.

He simply assumes that she is just “like a woman”(Ibsen 493) who has no real ideas about spending and having to save money. When her mood turns sour because of her mild reprimand, he appeases her by giving her “ten shillings-a pound-two pounds”(Ibsen 493). He gives her more money to make her happy instead of trying to work out their financial situation. Torvald hides business about money from Nora just like she hides from him. Torvald also hides information about his job from her. Nora barely knows what he does at his job at the bank.

Nora asks of Dr. Rank if “all the people who are employed in the bank dependant of Torvald now”(Ibsen 504). Nora knows that Torvald has had a promotion, but does not even know really what it means. She had to ask a friend if he was really in charge of everyone at the bank. She could not ask Torvald because he keeps everything so hidden. Nora knows that they are hiding from each other. She knows that she must hide from those around her to protect her way of life. Although she is talking to her children at the time, Nora’s words can be applied to her actions throughout the play. Nora says, “Must I hide?

Very well, I’ll hide first”(Ibsen 506). Nora takes on the burden of hiding. She hid throughout most of the play and most of her life. With Torvald, she hid until finally she could not take it and had to go out and be the seeker not the one hiding. Nora and Torvald both hide from each other. Although she hides from her husband, Nora starts seeking truth. She is playing the game on both sides. She hides and she seeks. She is trying to learn about life. Nora wants to find that there can be a life where she does not have to hide from the one she should be closest to.

She is looking to find the world where a man will “treat her as a human being like himself, fully recognizing that he is not a creature of one superior species, Man, living with a creature of another and inferior species, Woman”(Shaw 143). Nora wants to be able to stop hiding. To be able to do that, she must be treated like an equal. That is something that Torvald will not do for her. He will not “sacrifice his honor for the one he loves”(Ibsen 548). Torvald will not bear all of Nora’s weight, even though he does not want her to carry herself.

Nora realizes that “[Torvald was] not the man [she] had thought [him]”(Ibsen 547). The most wonderful thing that could have happened to Nora would be to have Torvald take her problems upon him, and when that did not happen and she was abandoned, she must seek another life. She seeks a life where her sacred duties are “to [herself]”(Ibsen 546) before her husband and children. M. C. Bradbook acknowledges that “in leaving her husband Nora is seeking a fuller life as a human being”(87). Nora is leaving a life in hiding to find a life that is richer and more full than the one where she had to hide her true self.

The hiding and seeking that goes on in the play is far from over when Nora ends the game with the children. It started before then and finished only when Nora walked out on Torvald and her marriage. Nora hides her strength, knowledge and abilities from her husband. She does this because he could not handle having a peer as a wife. He wants a little doll that he can play with when it is convenient. Nora also ends up hiding from the job of mother because she is not needed to fill them. The job of mother is given to the nurse and Nora is only left with playing with her children.

The job of wife to Torvald is filled only with a hidden personality. He wishes something that he can call his own and protect with ease. Nora becomes a seeker when she realizes what kind of life she is leading with her husband. When she realizes what he seeks as a wife, she also realizes that she needs to find another life. The only part of the game that will continue is the seeking. Nora will seek a way of life that gives her respect and a sense of individuality. With leaving her husband, Nora gives the indication that she will no longer tolerate a way of life that forces her to hide.

Noras Pride

Nora Helmer in a A Dolls House is a women ahead of her time. In order to protect her children from a false life, she inflicts tragedy upon herself by leaving every thing she has by walking away. She puts herself in this tragic situation by not being honest. Nora lies to herself and the ones she cares about. Before she leaves her life is not her own person she is carrying on life as a role. Making others happy, instead of herself. A Dolls House by Henrik Isben is about a young woman and her life.

The main characters name is Nora Helmer. She is married to a bank manager named Trovald. In the early years of their marriage just after their first child Trovald becomes ill. Doctors say that he will not live unless he goes abroad immediately. Nora takes it upon herself and borrows two hundred and fifty pounds from a money leader named Krogstad. She was dishonest with Trovald and said her father gave it to her. It was illegal because she forged her dying fathers signature on the document. Nora was unlike most women of her time period.

Most women would be afraid to do the things Nora did. In the end of the play A Dolls House after the truth has been discovered about Nora she makes a very courageous decision. It was not heard of for a woman to leave her family , but Nora did. She did this because she knew if she stayed with the children it would not be fair for them. She was not best mother for her children even though she loved them like ant mother loves her children. When we learn that the model for Nora was intelligent and ambitious everything falls in to place.

There is no need to wonder about motivation or changes of character sudden revelations (Hardwick). Nora is very wise in many of her ways. She planned to perform a dance at a ball just to dictract Trovald. When all the truth is discovered at the end of the play things become very tense between Nora and Trovald. In the raging depate over the morality of Noras behavior , however, it is all too easy to neglect Trovalds dramatic function in the play (Kashdam). After the ball, Trovalts rage and anger, e calls Nora a hypocrite, liar, and a criminal.

He says she has no religion, morality, or sence of duty. Then as always he confesses his love to her and wants to take care of her. In the final dramatic scene of the play she explains to Trovalt that she feels like his little doll in a doll house. She leaves and wants no contact with Trovalt or children. Nora wants to begin a new life. All through out her marriage, she was not who she wanted to be, she was the perfect image of a wife. She walks away feeling excited, yet inside, is full of tragedy, and full of pride.

“A Doll House”: Themes And Theatrics

Ever since “A Doll House” first came to the stage in the 1880’s, critics have argued vehemently about the Ibsen’s intentions while writing the play, and the ambivalence over the play confused not only the plays but also the audience: while some patrons praised the play, others stormed the stages in protest of Nora’s abandonment of her family.

The difference of opinion ranged so far as to incite patron who, after reading reviews of the play that objected to the dialogue in the play, did not hear objectionable dialogues to accuse directors of censorship while in fact “not a word has been cut” and “the text they found so innocent contained every one of the enormities denounced by the critics” (Archer 20).

Aware of the accusations that might be pointed at him, Ibsen, referred to by some as “enemy of the people,” masterfully crafted this short work containing the dramatic development of the heroine Nora along several themes in the process of stirring up overwhelming amount of controversy One of the first themes in the play is the contrast between surface appearances and reality.

From the beginning, Nora possesses every characteristic of an obedient gentlewoman and a submissive wife, but the audience knows that this picture is simply mistaken: for instance, Nora, Torvald’s cute “little squirrel,” disobeys Torvald by eating macaroons behind his back. It is interesting to note that to squirrel something means to hide or store something away in a way quite similar to how Nora slips her macaroon bag in her pocket; Ibsen uses the word “squirrel” to signify the Nora who is cute and childish but at the same time points out her tendency to hide things from Torvald.

In moving Nora in a stealthy fashion to eavesdrop on her husband’s door, the playwrights further accentuates the parallelism between Nora’s actions and the actions of a squirrel, but surely the last thing someone would think to compare a model housewife to would be a playful and secretive squirrel! Further disclosure of “squirreling” around by Nora arises when Nora informs Mrs. Linde about the true identity of the signer of the loan taken out for the purpose of funding the vacation to Italy Nora and Torvald took to improve Torvald’s failing health at the time.

Before Nora opens up to Mrs. Linde, everyone believes that Nora’s father had granted the sum to her daughter and son-in-law, but in reality, Nora went behind Torvald’s back and borrowed the money out of her own accord by forging her father’s name. Not only the information about the loan break the appearance that the money for the trip came from Nora’s father, the news also shatters the illusions that Nora and Torvald have a perfect marriage and their home stands free from debt. Possibly the lights could be made a shad dimmer on the house to show that the perfect image of the home and the family which lives inside is quickly eroding.

Nora proves to be a very crafty “squirrel” indeed: further proof of hidden reality occurs when Torvald accuses Nora of “throwing money around” (Ibsen 601). Because he is kept in the dark from Nora’s secret that she uses some of the money to make payments on the loan she took out, Torvald mistakenly characterizes Nora with prodigality and compares her to a “spendthrift” that “use up a frightful amount of money” (Ibsen 602). To him, all the money he gives Nora simply disappears into the house along with “all sorts of foolish things” and she just keeps coming back for more (Ibsen 602).

To Torvald, it is inconceivable that his little skylark would ever go against his wishes. Not only does this scene portrays yet another contrast of reality with facades, it also underlines the important position money occupies as a central theme in this play. “A Doll House” contains abundant references to money and numerous scenes in which exchanging of money takes place. The imagery of money appears even before the first word is uttered: the stage is adorned with eloquent furnishings suggesting that we are in the drawing room of a fairly well off family.

The exchange of money begins with the appearance of the delivery boy: Nora owes him fifty, but she hands him twice that, a crown, and tells him to keep the change (Ibsen 601). Here, Nora demonstrates her generosity as well as her concern for people over and above money. Nora sees money only as one mean to an end, not an end in itself, and she values money only as a way for people to avoid poverty and live comfortably. Even though the audience sees Nora as a generous woman, Torvald characterizes her as a free spender and criticizes her almost carefree regard to borrowing money.

When Torvald questions her about what she would do if Torvald borrows a large sum of money and something catastrophic happens to him before he starts his new well-paid position as a bank manager, she reaffirms her values and shows her lack of reverence for money-borrowing rules with the reply “If anything so awful happened, then it just wouldn’t matter if I had debts or not” (Ibsen 601). Her concern for living well when she and Torvald are still alive and well far outweighs the possible prospects of running from creditors as a result from losing Torvald.

Nora’s concern for the feeling and well-being of others also surfaces through in the times during her conversation with Mrs. Linde when Nora apologizes for talking excessively about herself while in fact at times Nora’s topic of conversation right before she apologizes happens to be Mrs. Linde! (Ibsen 603) Feeling warmly welcomed by Nora’s concern for her, Mrs. Linde has to ask directly by saying “No, no, no, tell me about yourself” to try to get Nora to speak about her own life. Furthermore, Nora shows the most comfortable seat to Mrs. Linde.

Clearly Nora is a gracious host who desires her the comforts of her guests and cares greatly about things such as others’ feelings. She asks Mrs. Linde questions while at the same time sympathizing with her plight. Nora’s character changes at this point into a mature, understanding, and sympathetic woman speaking to an older woman with respect and warmth, and it is vital that the actress in Nora’s role clearly exhibit this change of character from when Nora is with Torvald to sitting down with Mrs. Linde as to more convincingly portray Nora as a intelligent woman who is capable of thinking for herself.

Torvald’s obstinate views on money, especially borrowing of it, and his antagonism against borrowing did not materialize out of thin air. Early on, we see the reason why Torvald is so careful about spending money. Despite the “richly bound books” on the bookcase and “a porcelain stove with a warming fire burning adorning the set along with prospects of future prosperity as a result of Torvald’s new job as manager of the bank, the Helmer household apparently has been quite poor for a long time (Ibsen 601).

From the start, Torvald had to take on multitudes of extra work going day and night just to provide the needs of the family. The extra stress was so great that it wore him down to such an extent that he fell “deathly ill” (Ibsen 603). The Helmers obviously did not have much money then since they had to rely on outside sources to provide the money required for them to take the much-needed vacation, and as recently as last Christmas, the family had to rely on Nora’s handiwork simply to have decorations on the tree only to have the cat tearing them all up.

Fortunately, the hard times has passed by, and the Helmers are now wealthy enough even to employ a maid to cook for them along with a nurse to take care of the children. Ironically, Torvald now is the manager of a bank, an institution that profits from interests paid for loans people take out while in debt. If everyone hates borrowing as much as Torvald does, the bank would go bankrupt and Torvald would never have obtained his post as a bank manager.

To take the supposition even further, if Nora hadn’t resorted to borrowing, Torvald wouldn’t even be alive! Having gone through an extended time without having much money, Torvald has learned the value of money and the hate of squandering money arises from the rough goings of the past. Role playing appears as another important theme in the play. Nora plays her role as a childish wife in accordance to Torvald’s expectations. She is his “little lark,” “songbird,” and “little squirrel,” but like a child, she does not carry many responsibilities (Ibsen 601).

Like a lark or songbird, she only has to perform tricks without having to think for herself. She is a mother, but she only plays with them while Anne-Marie, the nurse, takes care of the children. She is a wife, but the maid Helene performs most household tasks. Deprived of two traditional roles for women, Nora’s character is left to serve “as the capering, fawning, childlike bride who inhabits her husband’s doll house” and she is complacent to go along with that role (Bryan 160).

She goes along with the childish names that Torvald gives her and makes sulky sounds while prattling Torvald for money with her hands fidgeting and her eyes looking away in similar ways as children evasively ask their parents for money. Nora’s character poses difficulties to cast because her role requires a beautiful young actress who could prance around acrobatically while sulking to Torvald while at the same time appear mature enough as to convince the audience that she is capable of metamorphosing into a free-thinking woman.

Torvald plays his role as a protective husband just as characteristically as Nora plays her role as the childish wife. In addition to calling Nora by playful names, he shows extraordinary concern for her health and well-being and almost gleefully chides her for being wasteful but at the same time enjoys watching her happiness when he gives her money knowing that the money he gives her is going to be gone as quickly as the last forty crowns he has given her. For Torvald, Nora must be kept beautiful and gleam with joy and is cared for almost like a precious ornament for decorating the house.

She is yet another piece of ornament to adorn his beautiful home. He wants to keep Nora perfectly beautiful and sound when he tells her that his new job would mean that she would not have to tire her “precious eyes” and tire her “delicate hands” (Ibsen 602). Torvald enhances his protective image by acting as to encourage spoiled behavior from Nora such as something that a protective parent would and attempts to assert parental roles in warning Nora about things not to do such as eating macaroons and lying.

Portrayed in this fashion, Torvald can be seen as more of a father figure protecting child-like Nora and making sure that nothing happens to her, and this paternal role finally leads to the transformation of Nora. The dramatic gap between Nora’s character at the beginning of the play as compared to her character when she slams the door at the end serves at the central pulpit piece for proponents of a feminist reading of the play.

Feminists have pointed out that Torvald calls Nora by names of pet creatures in effect portrays subordination of women and Nora’s slam of the door at the end of act III signifies a call for all women to rid them of the chains society has bound on women. The staging of the play where only one room is shown, the drawing room, significantly highlights the confinement of Nora in her subordinate role.

During the course of the play, Nora appears on stage in every scene without ever leaving: she is trapped in the doll house by Torvald and even by society as claimed by feminist critics. This use of the stage as a confinement cell for Nora beautifully illustrates Nora in the bondage of her submissively role: like a doll, she stays in the house unless the owner decides to take her out. Not only does the size of the stage not serve as a limitation for “A Doll House,” restricting viewpoints to one room actually improves coherence of the play into the chaining doll house theme.

Going far beyond the power of the written text, the playwright utilizes the characters of the childish yet ready to mature Nora and the protective and appearance-conscious Torvald along with the different aspects of theatre such as the well-decorated drawing room set indicating the importance of money and wealth in the play and movements of the character such as the light and easy way Nora prances about and the fashion Torvald watches and follows Nora like a hawk carefully watches his eyas to ascertain that no danger comes to his young ones.

In doing so, a masterfully written play and an even more artistically glamorous performance on the stage remain intriguing to readers and theatre-goers even after the curtains are drawn.

Ibsen’s A Doll’s House

In reading Ibsen’s A Doll’s House today, one may find it hard to imagine how daring it seemed at the time it was written one hundred years ago. Its theme, the emancipation of a woman, makes it seem almost contemporary. In Act I, there are many clues that hint at the kind of marriage Nora and Torvald have. It seems that Nora is a doll controlled by Torvald. She relies on him for everything, from movements to thoughts, much like a puppet who is dependent on its puppet master for all of its actions. The most obvious example of Torvald’s physical control over Nora is his reteaching her the tarantella.

Nora pretends that she eeds Torvald to teach her every move in order to relearn the dance. The reader knows this is an act, and it shows her submissiveness to Torvald. After he teaches her the dance, he proclaims “When I saw you turn and sway in the tarantella-my blood was pounding till I couldn’t stand it”(1009), showing how he is more interested in Nora physically than emotionally. When Nora responds by saying “Go away, Torvald! Leave me alone. I don’t want all this”(1009), Torvald asks “Aren’t I your husband? “(1009). By saying this, he is implying that one of Nora’s duties as his wife is to physically pleasure him at his command.

Torvald also does not trust Nora with money, which exemplifies Torvald’s treating Nora as a child. On the rare occasion when Torvald gives Nora some money, he is concerned that she will waste it on candy and pastry; in modern times, this would be comparable to Macauly Culkin being given money, then buying things that “would rot his mind and his body” in the movie Home Alone. Nora’s duties, in general, are restricted to caring for the children, doing housework, and working on her needlepoint. A problem with her responsibilities is that her most important obligation is to please Torvald, making her role similar to that of a slave.

Many of Ibsen’s works are problem plays in which he leaves the conclusion up to the reader. The problem in A Doll’s House lies not only with Torvald, but with the entire Victorian society. Females were confined in every way imaginable. When Torvald does not immediately offer to help Nora after Krogstad threatens to expose her, Nora realizes that there is a problem. By waiting until after he discovers that his social status will suffer no harm, Torvald reveals his true feelings which put appearance, both social and physical, ahead of the wife whom he says he loves. This revelation is what prompts Nora to walk out on Torvald.

When Torvald tries to reconcile with Nora, she explains to him how she had been treated like a child all her life; her father had treated her much the same way Torvald does. Both male superiority figures not only denied her the right to think and act the way she wished, but limited her happiness. Nora describes her feelings as “always merry, never happy. ” When Nora finally slams the door and leaves, she is not only slamming it on Torvald, but also on everything else that has happened in her past which curtailed her growth into a mature woman. In today’s society, many women are in a situation similar to Nora’s.

Although many people have accepted women as being equal, there are still people in modern America who are doing their best to suppress the feminist revolution. People ranging from conservative radio-show hosts who complain about “flaming femi-nazis,” to women who use their “feminine charm” to accomplish what they want are what is holding the female gender back. Both of these mindsets are expressed in A Doll’s House. Torvald is an example of today’s stereotypical man, who is only interested in his appearance and the amount of control he has over a person, and does not care about the feelings of others.

Nora, on the other hand, is a typical example of the woman who plays to a man’s desires. She makes Torvald think he is much smarter and stronger than he actually is. However, when Nora slams the door, and Torvald is no longer exposed to her manipulative nature, he realizes what true love and equality are, and that they cannot be achieved with people like Nora and himself together. If everyone in the modern world were to view males and females as completely equal, and if neither men nor women used the power that society gives them based on their sex, then, and only then, could true equality exist in our world.

A Doll’s House’s central theme

One of A Doll’s House’s central theme is secession from society. It is demonstrated by several of its characters breaking away from the social standards of their time and acting on their own terms. No one character demonstrates this better than Nora. During the time in which the play took place society frowned upon women asserting themselves. Women were supposed to play a role in which they supported their husbands, took care of their children, and made sure everything was perfect around the house.

Work, politics, and decisions were left to the males. Nora’s first secession from society was when she broke the law and decided to borrow money to pay for her husbands treatment. By doing this, she not only broke the law but she stepped away from the role society had placed on her of being totally dependent on her husband. She proved herself not to be helpless like Torvald implied: “you poor helpless little creature! ” Nora’s second secession from society was shown by her decision to leave Torvald and her children.

Society demanded that she take a place under her husband. This is shown in the way Torvald spoke down to her saying things like: “worries that you couldn’t possibly help me with,” and “Nora, Nora, just like a woman. ” She is almost considered to be property of his: “Mayn’t I look at my dearest treasure? At all the beauty that belongs to no one but me -that’s all my very own? ” By walking out she takes a position equal to her husband and brakes society’s expectations.

Nora also brakes society’s expectations of staying in a marriage since divorce was frowned upon during that era. Her decision was a secession from all expectations put on a woman and a wife by society. Nora secessions are very deliberate and thought out. She knows what society expects of her and continues to do what she feels is right despite them. Her secessions are used by Ibsen to show faults of society. In the first secession Ibsen illustrates that despite Nora doing the right thing it is deemed wrong and not allowed by society because she is a woman.

While the forgery can be considered wrong, Ibsen is critical of the fact that Nora is forced to forge. Ibsen is also critical of society’s expectations of a marriage. He illustrates this by showing how Nora is forced to play a role than be herself and the eventual deterioration of the marriage. Throughout the play Nora is looked down upon and treated as a possession by her husband. She is something to please him and used for show. He is looked upon as the provider and the decision maker. Society would have deemed it a perfect marriage.

Ibsen is critical of the fact that a marriage lacked love and understanding, as shown by Torvald becoming angry with Nora for taking the loan and saving him, would be consider as perfect. A Doll’s House’s central theme of secession from society was made to be critical of society’s view on women and marriage. Ibsen used Nora’s secessions as an example to illustrate that society’s expectations of a woman’s role in society and marriage were incorrect. Her decision to leave was the exclamation point on his critical view of society.

A Doll’s House Interpretation

“A Doll’s House” is classified under the “second phase” of Henrik Ibsen’s career. It was during this period which he made the transition from mythical and historical dramas to plays dealing with social problems. It was the first in a series investigating the tensions of family life. Written during the Victorian era, the controversial play featuring a female protagonist seeking individuality stirred up more controversy than any of his other works. In contrast to many dramas of Scandinavia in that time which depicted the role of women as the comforter, helper, and supporter of man, “A Doll’s House” introduced woman as having her own purposes and goals.

The heroine, Nora Helmer, progresses during the course of the play eventually to realize that she must discontinue the role of a doll and seek out her individuality. David Thomas describes the initial image of Nora as that of a doll wife who revels in the thought of luxuries that can now be afforded, who is become with flirtation, and engages in childlike acts of disobedience (259). This inferior role from which Nora progressed is extremely important.

Ibsen in his “A Doll’s House” depicts the role of women as subordinate in order to emphasize the eed to reform their role in society. Definite characteristics of the women’s subordinate role in a relationship are emphasized through Nora’s contradicting actions. Her infatuation with luxuries such as expensive Christmas gifts contradicts her resourcefulness in scrounging and buying cheap clothing; her defiance of Torvald by eating forbidden Macaroons contradicts the submission of her opinions, including the decision of which dance outfit to wear, to her husband; and Nora’s flirtatious nature contradicts her devotion to her husband.

These occurrences emphasize the facets of a relationship in which women play a ependent role: finance, power, and love. Ibsen attracts our attention to these examples to highlight the overall subordinate role that a woman plays compared to that of her husband. The two sides of Nora contrast each other greatly and accentuate the fact that she is lacking in independence of will. The mere fact that Nora’s well-intentioned action is considered illegal reflects woman’s subordinate position in society; but it is her actions that provide the insight to this position.

It can be suggested that women have the power to choose which rules to follow at home, but not in the business world, thus again indicating er subordinateness. Nora does not at first realize that the rules outside the household apply to her. This is evident in Nora’s meeting with Krogstad regarding her borrowed money. In her opinion it was no crime for a woman to do everything possible to save her husband’s life. She also believes that her act will be overlooked because of her desperate situation. She fails to see that the law does not take into account the motivation behind her forgery.

Marianne Sturman submits that this meeting with Krogstad was her first confrontation with the reality of a “lawful society” and she deals with it by attempting o distract herself with her Christmas decorations (16). Thus her first encounter with rules outside of her “doll’s house” results in the realization of her naivety and inexperience with the real world due to her subordinate role in society. The character of Nora is not only important in describing to role of women, but also in emphasizing the impact of this role on a woman.

Nora’s child-like manner, evident through her minor acts of disobedience and lack of responsibility compiled with her lack of sophistication further emphasize the subordinate role of woman. By the end of the play this is vident as she eventually sees herself as an ignorant person, and unfit mother, and essentially her husband’s wife. Edmond Gosse highlights the point that “Her insipidity, her dollishness, come from the incessant repression of her family life (721). ” Nora has been spoonfed everything she has needed in life. Never having to think has caused her to become dependent on others.

This dependency has given way to subordinateness, one that has grown into a social standing. Not only a position in society, but a state of mind is created. When circumstances suddenly place Nora in a responsible position, and demand from her moral judgment, she has none to give. She cannot possibly comprehend the severity of her decision to borrow money illegally. Their supposed inferiority has created a class of ignorant women who cannot take action let alone accept the consequences of their actions. “A Doll’s House” is also a prediction of change from this subordinate roll.

According to Ibsen in his play, women will eventually progress and understand her position. Bernard Shaw notes that when Nora’s husband inadvertently deems her unfit in her role as a mother, she begins to realize that her actions consisting of playing with her children appily or dressing them nicely does not necessarily make her a suitable parent (226). She needs to be more to her children than an empty figurehead. From this point, when Torvald is making a speech about the effects of a deceitful mother, until the final scene, Nora progressively confronts the realities of the real world and realizes her subordinate position.

Although she is progressively understanding this position, she still clings to the hope that her husband will come to her protection and defend her from the outside world once her crime is out in the open. After she reveals the “dastardly deed” to her husband, he becomes understandably agitated; in his frustration he shares the outside world with her, the ignorance of the serious business world, and destroys her innocence and self-esteem. This disillusion marks the final destructive blow to her doll’s house.

Their ideal home including their marriage and parenting has been a fabrication for the sake of society. Nora’s decision to leave this false life behind and discover for herself what is real is directly symbolic of woman’s ultimate realization. Although she becomes aware of her upposed subordinateness, it is not because of this that she has the desire to take action. Nora is utterly confused, as suggested by Harold Clurman, “She is groping sadly in a maze of confused feeling toward a way of life and a destiny of which she is most uncertain (256).

The one thing she is aware of is her ignorance, and her desire to go out into the world is not to “prove herself” but to discover and educate herself. She must strive to find her individuality. That the perception of woman is inaccurate is also supported by the role of Torvald. Woman is believed to be subordinate to the domineering husband. Instead of being the strong supporter and protector of his family, Nora’s husband is a mean and cowardly man.

Worried about his reputation he cares little about his wife’s feelings and fails to notice many of her needs. The popular impression of man is discarded in favor of a more realistic view, thus illustrating society’s distorted views. Ibsen, through this controversial play, has an impact upon society’s view of the subordinate position of women. By describing this role of woman, discussing its effects, and predicting a change in contemporary views, he stressed the importance of woman’s realization of this elieved inferiority.

Woman should no longer be seen as the shadow of man, but a person in herself, with her own triumphs and tragedies. The exploration of Nora reveals that she is dependant upon her husband and displays no independent standing. Her progression of understanding suggests woman’s future ability to comprehend their plight. Her state of shocked awareness at the end of the play is representative of the awakening of society to the changing view of the role of woman. “A Doll’s House” magnificently illustrates the need for and a prediction of this change.

Realism in Uncle Vanya and A Doll’s House

A play serves as the author’s tool for critiquing society. One rarely encounters the ability to transcend accepted social beliefs. These plays reflect controversial issues that the audience can relate to because they interact in the same situations every day. As late nineteenth century playwrights point out the flaws of mankind they also provide an answer to the controversy. Unknowingly the hero or heroine solves the problem at the end of the play and indirectly sends a message to the audience on how to solve their own problem.

Henrik Ibsen and Anton Chekov both provide unique analysis on issues their culture never thought as wrong. In the play A Doll’s House Ibsen tackles women’s rights as a matter of importance being neglected. In his play he acknowledges the fact that in nineteenth century European life the role of the women was to stay home, raise the children, and attend to her husband. Chekov illustrates the role of a dysfunctional family and how its members are effected. Both of the aforementioned problems are solved through the playwrights’ recommendations and the actions of the characters.

In the plays A Doll’s House and Uncle Vanya the authors use realism to present a problem and solution to controversial societal issues. While both plays mainly concentrate on the negative aspects of culture, there are positive facets explored by the playwrights. In A Doll’s House Henrik Ibsen focuses on the lack of power and authority given to women, but through Nora we also see the strength and willpower masked by her husband Torvald. To save her husband’s life Nora secretly forges her father’s signature and receives a loan to finance a trip to the sea.

Nora’s naivety of the law puts her in a situation that questions her morality and dedication. Nora is not aware that under the law she is a criminal. She believes that her forgery is justified through her motive. She is not a criminal like Krogstad because his crime was simply a moral failing and not for the good of his family. A morally unjustified crime is the only type of crime. Nora’s believes that her love for her husband is what propelled her to sign her father’s name and pass it off as his own. Nora’s motive is to save her husband’s life and keeping it secret is to save him from pain and humiliation.

If he knew, it would hurt his “manly independence” (p. 22) and upset Nora and Torvald’s “mutual relations” (p. 22). Nora knows that without forging her father’s signature she would not be able to save her husband. Nora uses her wit to find a way to be able to overcome the shackles placed on her by society and get enough money to save Torvald’s life. In Uncle Vanya Chekov ends the play with Sonya and Uncle Vanya returning to their normal lifestyle and forgetting about the upset Serebryakov and Elena’s presence creates.

Sonya protests that she and her uncle “will bear patiently bear the trials fate sends” (Chekov p. 230) and “work for others” (p. 230). Sonya sacrifices her own happiness for that of her father and stepmother. Sonya exudes every positive trait that society contains. She sacrifices her life to work for her father without questioning his motives for leaving. She dedicates herself to her family and overlooks their flaws to help them. Sonya, Uncle Vanya, and Nora’s make sacrifices for the love of their family members and do so without questions.

The sacrifices made by the positive characters are far outweighed by the actions of their counterparts. Torvald sees Nora’s only role as being the subservient and loving wife. He refers to Nora as “my little squirrel” (Ibsen p. 12), “song-bird” (p. 33) or “skylark” (p. 40). To him, she is only a possession. Torvald calls Nora by pet-names and speaks down to her because he thinks that she is not intelligent and that she can not think on her own. Whenever she begins to voice an opinion Torvald quickly drops the pet-names and insults her as a women.

When Nora asks if he can reinstate Krogstad at the bank he claims that she only asks because she fears that he will suffer the same fate as her father. Nora realizes that living with Torvald prevents her from being a real person. He treats her as a doll because that is what he wants. He does not want a wife who will challenge him with her own thoughts and actions. The final confrontation between the couple involves more oppression by Torvald, but by this time Nora has realized the situation he wishes to maintain. Torvald calls her “childish” (p. 70) and “ungrateful” (p. ) even though she saved his life.

Nora expected Torvald to be grateful to her, when this does not happen she decides that the only way to fix the situation is to leave him and her children and find herself independently. Nora wants Torvald to take the blame for the forgery and realize that how he treats her is not the way a husband should treat his wife. When he doesn’t take the blame she knows that independence is the only answer and so she leaves. The oppression of women caused many women to believe that their duty in life was only to be a wife.

Ibsen provides a narrative on one woman’s plight to find her purpose in life. In Uncle Vanya the wrong that is committed is not directed toward one character, but two. Serebryakov dumps the burden of his lifestyle onto his daughter and brother-in-law. Only at the end of Serebryakov’s and Elena’s stay at the family estate is it realized that everyone is miserable. Elena who has been married into this family is the only person who at once comprehends her unhappiness. Sonya tells her stepmother that she is “so happy” (Chekov p. 201).

Sonya has yet to grasp that her father only leaves her at the estate to help make money so he can finance his expensive lifestyle. Serebryakov is concerned with his position in society. He marries a young and beautiful woman and tries to move ahead in life using money. He ignores emotions, even the misery that he feels. In the late nineteenth century rank was determined by who one married and how much money one’s family had. Serebryakov exemplifies this lifestyle by only trying to move ahead in society to the point of sacrificing anything to get to the to top, even his daughter.

These two families point out societies flawed traditions and the subsequent effect upon these people. In presenting these problems the authors end their plays with a solution to the characters’ unhappiness. Ibsen was the first author in Europe to tackle the issue of women’s place in the world and label it as wrong. Nora’s realization of Torvald’s part in her misery allows her to leave him. She does not fully blame Torvald for her unhappiness, but she knows that she can’t be happy with him.

Her expectation of “the most wonderful thing” (Ibsen p. ) leaves her with the knowledge that Torvald will never change. Nora becomes cognizant of the mistreatment she has endured, and consequently leaves to become someone different. Ibsen encourages women to make a change by taking action and not to watch their life pass by unfulfillingly. Nora becomes a role model for change. Chekov on the other hand does not solve his characters’ problem in Uncle Vanya. He ends the play where it began, without resolution. Sonya and Uncle Vanya take on the burden of running the estate for Serebryakov without reimbursement while he lives abroad and enjoys the riches of life.

Uncle Vanya cries while Sonya talks about how hard they will work for her father and expect nothing in return. Unlike Nora, Sonya accepts her life and does not make any change. She does not even try to change the family in which she was born . She believes that if she does what is asked of her she will be rewarded in afterlife. Chekov lets Sonya further entrench herself in the problem. The audience knows from Uncle Vanya’s tears that Sonya’s decision is not the right one. In A Doll’s House and Uncle Vanya the audience gathers a picture of what it was like to live in the late eighteen hundreds.

This picture is not a positive one. More wrongs are committed against the characters of these plays than any sort of reward for the hardships they endure. These plays reflect an accurate representation of the society that existed when they were written. Nora and Sonya find that they are trapped in a world that they do not belong in. Nora finds a way out and Sonya waits for a new world to come along and rescue her. Society oppressed both families by masking the truth of their lives for so long. Chekov and Ibsen contribute to the solution by providing their plays as examples of why Europe was wrong.

The play, A Doll’s House

Ibsen is a writer that uses literature to channel entertainment and express himself throughout the play, A Dolls House. He wrote the play during the transition from mythical and historical dramas to plays dealing with social problems. At the time that Ibsen wrote A Dolls House, the later 1800s, society has created a niche for the woman as a housewife and social partner, lacking emphasis on love. This controversial play features a female protagonist seeking her individuality through realizations and challenging her comfort zone.

Isben, through Nora and her personality, depicts the role of women ot as the usual comforter, helper, and supporter of man, but introduced woman as having her own purposes and goals. The heroine, Nora, progresses during the course of the play eventually to realize that she must discontinue the role of a doll and seek out her individuality. Definite characteristics of womans subordinate role in a relationship are emphasized through Nora’s contradicting actions. As a person, she enjoys making Torvald happy, but will not follow his guidelines.

Her infatuation with luxuries like expensive Christmas gifts ontradicts her resourcefulness in scrounging and buying cheap clothing. Also, her defiance of Torvald by eating forbidden Macaroons contradicts the submission of her opinions, including the decision of which dance outfit to wear, to her husband; and Nora’s flirtatious nature contradicts her devotion to her husband. This sheds light to the characteristics of a dependent woman. It seems at this time women marry for tradition, money, safety, and love.

Ibsen attracts the readers attention to these examples to show the general subordinate role that a woman plays compared to that of her husband. It can be suggested that women have the power to choose which rules to follow at home, but not in the business world, thus again indicating her willingness to be subservient. Nora does not at first realize that the rules outside the household apply to her. This is evident in Nora’s meeting with Krogstad regarding her borrowed money. In her opinion it was no crime for a woman to do everything possible to save her husband’s life.

She also believes that her act will be overlooked because she is used to dealing with a flexible and predictable Torvald, rather than the law. She doesnt see hat the law does not take into account the motivation behind her forgery. Ibsen uses Noras traits to bluntly portray the women in society as in a position of needed change. Her first encounter with rules outside of her “doll’s house” results in the realization of her inexperience with the real world due to her subordinate role in society and Ibsen sparks the thought of change.

A Doll’s House” is also a prediction of change from this subordinate roll. Ibsen foreshadows as well as promotes the change women will eventually make to progress and understand their position. She needs to be more of a olemodel for her children. It was seen that Nora didnt think she was fit to mother them. From this point, when Torvald is making a speech about the effects of a deceitful mother, until the final scene, Nora progressively confronts the realities of the real world and realizes her subordinate position.

From this point, progressively understanding this position, she still clings to the hope that her husband will come to her protection and defend her from the outside world once her crime is out in the open. After she reveals the “dastardly deed” to her husband, he becomes understandably agitated; in his rustration he shares the outside world with her, the ignorance of the serious business world, and destroys her innocence and self-esteem. This disillusion marks the final destructive blow to her doll’s house.

Their ideal home including their marriage and parenting has been a product of society. Nora’s decision to leave this false life behind and discover for herself what is real is directly symbolic of woman’s ultimate realization. Although she becomes aware of her supposed way of being subservient is not because of this that she has the desire to take action. Nora is utterly confused and anxious as seen in, She is roping sadly in a maze of confused feeling toward a way of life and a destiny of which she is most uncertain (256).

The one thing she is aware of is her ignorance, and her desire to go out into the world is not to “prove herself” but to discover and educate herself. Isben wants her to strive to find her individuality. This gives her more struggles to face and over come to gain wisdom. Ibsen, through this controversial play, has an impact upon society’s view of the subordinate position of women. By describing this role of woman, discussing its effects, and predicting a change in contemporary views, he tressed the importance of woman’s realization of this believed inferiority.

Woman should no longer be seen as the shadow of man, but a person in herself, with her own triumphs and tragedies. The exploration of Nora reveals that she is dependant upon her husband and displays no independent standing. Her progression of understanding suggests woman’s future ability to comprehend their plight. Her state of shocked awareness at the end of the play is like the awakening of society to the changing view of the role of woman. Through, “A Doll’s House” Isben magnificently illustrates the need for and a prediction of this change.

Doll’s House By Henrik Ibsen

“A Doll’s House” is classified under the “second phase” of Henrik Ibsen’s career. It was during this period which he made the transition from mythical and historical dramas to plays dealing with social problems. It was the first in a series investigating the tensions of family life. Written during the Victorian era, the controversial play featuring a femaleprotagonist seeking individuality stirred up more controversy than any ofhis other works.

In contrast to many dramas of Scandinavia in that timewhich depicted the role of women as the comforter, helper, and supporter ofman, “A Doll’s House” ntroduced woman as having her own purposes andgoals. The heroine, Nora Helmer, progresses during the course of the playeventually to realize that she must discontinue the role of a doll and seekout her individuality.

David Thomas describes the initial image of Nora as that of a dollwife who revels in the thought of luxuries that can now be afforded, whois become with flirtation, and engages in childlike acts of disobedience(259). This inferior role from which Nora progressed is extremelyimportant. Ibsen in his “A Doll’s House” depicts the role of women assubordinate in order to emphasize the need to reform heir role in society. Definite characteristics of the women’s subordinate role in arelationship are emphasized through Nora’s contradicting actions.

Her infatuation with luxuries such as expensive Christmas gifts contradicts her resourcefulness in scrounging and buying cheap clothing; her defiance ofTorvald by eating forbidden Macaroons contradicts the submission of heropinions, including the decision of which dance outfit to wear, to herhusband; and Nora’s flirtatious nature contradicts her devotion to herhusband. These occurrences emphasize the facets of a relationship inwhich women play a dependent role: inance, power, and love. Ibsenattracts our attention to these examples to highlight the overallsubordinate role that a woman plays compared to that of her husband.

Thetwo sides of Nora contrast each other greatly and accentuate the fact thatshe is lacking in independence of will. The mere fact that Nora’s well-intentioned action is consideredillegal reflects woman’s subordinate position in society; but it is heractions that provide the insight to this position. It can be suggestedthat women have the power to choose which rules to follow at home, but notin the business world, thus again indicating her ubordinateness. Noradoes not at first realize that the rules outside the household apply toher.

This is evident in Nora’s meeting with Krogstad regarding herborrowed money. In her opinion it was no crime for a woman to do everything possible to save her husband’s life. She also believes that heract will be overlooked because of her desperate situation. She fails tosee that the law does not take into account the motivation behind herforgery. Marianne Sturman submits that this meeting with Krogstad was herfirst confrontation with the reality of a “lawful society” and she dealswith it by attempting to distract erself with her Christmas decorations(16).

Thus her first encounter with rules outside of her “doll’s house”results in the realization of her naivety and inexperience with the realworld due to her subordinate role in society. The character of Nora is not only important in describing to roleof women, but also in emphasizing the impact of this role on a woman. Nora’s child-like manner, evident through her minor acts of disobedience and lack of responsibility compiled with her lack of sophistication further emphasize the subordinate role of woman.

By the end of the play this isevident as she eventually sees herself s an ignorant person, and unfitmother, and essentially her husband’s wife. Edmond Gosse highlights thepoint that “Her insipidity, her dollishness, come from the incessantrepression of her family life (721). ” Nora has been spoonfed everythingshe has needed in life. Never having to think has caused her to becomedependent on others. This dependency has given way to subordinateness, onethat has grown into a social standing. Not only a position in society, buta state of mind is created.

When circumstances suddenly place Nora in aresponsible position, and demand from her a moral judgment, she has none togive. She cannot possibly comprehend the severity of her decision toborrow money illegally. Their supposed inferiority has created a class ofignorant women who cannot take action let alone accept the consequences oftheir actions. “A Doll’s House” is also a prediction of change from thissubordinate roll. According to Ibsen in his play, women will eventuallyprogress and understand her position.

Bernard Shaw notes that when Nora’shusband inadvertently deems her unfit in her role as a mother, she begins to realize that her actions consisting of playing with her hildren happilyor dressing them nicely does not necessarily make her a suitable parent(226). She needs to be more to her children than an empty figurehead. From this point, when Torvald is making a speech about the effects of adeceitful mother, until the final scene, Nora progressively confronts therealities of the real world and realizes her subordinate position.

Although she is progressively understanding this position, she still clingsto the hope that her husband will come to her protection and defend herfrom the outside world once her crime is out in the open. After shereveals the “dastardly deed” to her husband, he becomes understandablyagitated; in his frustration he shares the outside world with her, theignorance of the serious business world, and destroys her innocence andself-esteem. This disillusion marks the final destructive blow to herdoll’s house.

Their ideal home including their marriage and parenting hasbeen a fabrication for the sake of society. Nora’s decision to leave thisfalse life behind and discover for herself what is real is directlysymbolic of woman’s ultimate realization. Although she becomes aware ofher supposed subordinateness, t is not because of this that she has thedesire to take action. Nora is utterly confused, as suggested by HaroldClurman, “She is groping sadly in a maze of confused feeling toward a wayof life and a destiny of which she is most uncertain (256).

The one thingshe is aware of is her ignorance, and her desire to go out into the worldis not to “prove herself” but to discover and educate herself. She muststrive to find her individuality. That the perception of woman is inaccurate is also supported by therole of Torvald. Woman is believed to be subordinate to the domineering husband. Instead of being the strong supporter and protector of hisfamily, Nora’s husband is a mean and cowardly man.

Worried about hisreputation he cares little about his wife’s feelings and fails to noticemany of her needs. The popular impression of man is discarded in favor ofa more realistic view, thus illustrating society’s distorted views. Ibsen, through this controversial play, has an impact uponsociety’s view of the subordinate position of women. By describing thisrole of woman, discussing its effects, and predicting a change in contemporary views, e stressed the importance of woman’s realization ofthis believed inferiority.

Woman should no longer be seen as the shadow ofman, but a person in herself, with her own triumphs and tragedies. Theexploration of Nora reveals that she is dependant upon her husband anddisplays no independent standing. Her progression of understandingsuggests woman’s future ability to comprehend their plight. Her state ofshocked awareness at the end of the play is representative of the awakeningof society to the changing view of the role of woman. “A Doll’s House”magnificently illustrates the need for and a prediction of this change.

Nora Helmer Essay

Nora Helmer, Ibsen’s strong-willed heroine is far from being a typical victim of male domination. She is master of the domestic world, dedicated enough to nurse her husband through illness, courageous enough to forge a signature and confident enough to pay back all her debts even in the face of enormous difficulties. But that is not what exactly sets her apart from conventionneither the energy or the initiative she exudes throughout, nor her decision to shatter her notions of marriage and seek independence.

Rather, it is the intention or the motivation with which she carries herself throughout the text and more importantly the sub-text of the play that makes her different. Nora, despite her disenchantment and climactic decision, comes across as a less than innocent woman ambivalently portrayed, incredibly adept at manipulation and who does not, in the end, deserve the full sympathy that the thrust of the dominant narrative demands.

She walks into a comfortably and tastefully furnished room, as soon as the play begins, with a bunch of parcels and immediately asks for the Christmas Tree to be hidden “carefully”, pops a few macaroons into her mouth and then cautiously goes to her husband’s door and listens, eventually remarking “Yes he is in. ” The reason for such cautious behaviour seems quite uncertain as her husband’s presence inside the room is immaterial to her secretive actions (that of eating macaroons) as he is clearly out of sight, which makes us conjecture that perhaps such stealth is part of her normal behaviour.

When Torvald does appear however, something that becomes very noticeable is the way Nora uses her movement, repetitively, like an application, to alleviate Torvald’s argumentative tone. For example, when her husband vehemently opposes the idea of borrowing, Helmer: and we will go on the same way for the short time longer that there need be any struggle. Nora: (moving towards the stove) As you please, Torvald. Helemer: (following her) Come, come, my little skylark must not droop her wings. What is this! Is my little skylark out of temper? (Taking out his purse.

Nora, what do you think I have got here? Nora: Money! Nora deliberately moves away from him, making Torvald uneasy of the emptiness, which results in his softening down and taking out the purse. Nora’s mood suddenly changes on seeing the bag. Remarkably, she repeats the same technique when Torvald, quite accurately, begins suspecting her of eating macaroons. She moves away, creates a space and Torvald follows her to fill up the imagined void, alleviating his suspicions in the process. Nora (going to the table on the right. ) I should not think of going against your wishes.

Helmer: No, I am sure of that; besides you gave me your word(going up to her) Manipulations, or more specifically, efforts at manipulation is quite effectively scattered in the text almost making the relationship between Nora and Torvald very predictable at times. Like a circus ring master and his trained animal which jumps through the ring everytime. Nora is indeed part of a larger circus and a very effective ring master. Though ironically or perhaps uncannily she identifies herself with little, delicate and helpless animals when in conversation with Torvald or rather when asking for a favour.

You haven’t any idea how many expenses we skylarks and squirrels have, Torvald” or “If your little squirrel were to ask you for something very, very prettily–? ” “Your squirrel would run about and do her tricks” “Your Skylark would chirp about in every room” She also engages in presenting herself as a woman of child-like and nimble sensibilities. Nora: (after a short pause, during which she busies herself with the Christmas Tree) Torvald! Helmer: Yes. Nora: I am looking forward tremendously to the fancy-dress ball at the Stenborgs’ the day after tomorrow.

She cleverly engages in light conversation and narrows down to her motive after obviously calling herself silly’ and insignificant’ in the process, “Are you very busy, Torvald? ” acts as if she’s made a revelation, “then that was why this poor Krogstad” decides to present her vulnerability again, “Yes, Torvald, I can’t get along a bit without your help. ” takes a short pause and eventually asks him the question that required such an elaborate performance. “How pretty the red flowers look. But, tell me, was it really something very bad that this Krogstad was guilty of? ” The question remains, why?

Why does Nora Helmer perform in front of Torvald Helmer? The fact that she is performing is beyond doubt and quite apparent as the way she handles her household, money matters and the several acts of deception (from eating macaroons to locking herself in a room to work all night in the guise of Christmas decorations) is quite contradictory to how she potrays herself to Torvald. The interesting factor is that she knows she is performing. “When I was at home with papa, he told me his opinion about everything and if I differed from him I concealed the fact, because he would not have liked it.

He called me his doll child I was simply transferred from papa’s hands into yours. ” Hence, one realizes that Nora is completely aware of her status as a doll, in the relationship, and uses this idea of a doll that she finds herself potraying completely and rather usefully. But she never tried to dissolve this image. On the contrary Nora probably started convincing herself that she truly was a doll. Nimble, sensitive and wonderfully vulnerable. It became an identity that came easily to her and she never winced at exploiting it. Again, why assume such an identity?

The answer is perhaps her complete dependence on her father and then eventually Torvald, her fascination for money, the world and men. “Then I used to sit here and imagine that a rich old gentleman had fallen in love with methat he had died and that when his will was opened it contained, written in big letters, the instruction: The lovely Mrs. Nora Helmer is to have all I possess paid over to her at once in cash’ ” Nora completely comforms to the idea of her existence being nothing but an object of desire complete contrary to her actions at the end of the play making us question which is the performance and which is not.

She knows she is attractive, ” Perhaps I got it from some other admirer. when anyone is as attractive as I am” and she uses this quality of hers completely when it came to Torvald. So we begin to realize, that Nora was not only aware of her potrayal but also aware that it was this specific image that was her identity for Torvald and therefore Torvald loved and was attracted to a superficial Nora all the way through which perhaps explains why she says, (meditatively, and with a half smile) “when my dancing and dressing-up and reciting have palled on him; then it may be a good thing to have something in reserve. nd hence, Nora knows that Torvald doesn’t love her completely which she finally says before leaving, “You have never loved me.

You have only thought it to be pleasant to be in love with me. ” Hence, at this juncture, the most relevant question would obviously be, Did Nora therefore love her husband? (as she professed) Yes’ would sound quite improbable. The relationship that emerges between the two slowly assumes an image of dependence and not love, especially from Nora’s point of view. Even when she scrapes in money to save her husband from dying. e can take only Nora’s word for that exercise anyway)

Moreover, Norah realizes Torvald’s attraction for the doll that she actually isn’t and therefore loving him back can only emerge from that doll and not the real Norah. In this light, one realizes that the “wonderful thing” that needed to happen was perhaps nothing short of an excuse. The fact is that Nora was certainly clever enough to predict her husband’s reaction to the letter. Somebody who is as aware, deceptive and manipulative when it came to her husband, as Nora surely realized what the result will be.

There are quite a few instances in the text as well, Helemer: But tomorrow night, after you have danced Nora: Then you will be free. or, Nora: You will repent not having let me stay, even if it were only for half an hour. and even a confession, Nora (in an expressionless voice): I knew it. Not that she didn’t try preventing the letter from reaching her husband. From danicng wildly and manipulatively to the near-seduction of Doctor Rank where she uses the darkness to her advantage.

“Flesh-coloured. Aren’t they lovely? It is so dark here now, but tomorrow. No, no, no–you must look at the feet. Oh well, you may have leave to look at the legs too. ” She eventually hits the doctor lightly on his ear with her stockings and calls him “naughty”. The reason why she tried to prevent the letter from reaching Torvald, was perhaps because she wouldn’t be able to hide under her disguise anymore. She had willingly assumed two identities and each became a part of another. She became her disguise out of practise and her disguise became her through the years.

Hence, when Torvald did read the letter and the layer between her and reality disappeared, Nora decided to confront it and found herself incapable of living with her husband whom she had constantly cheated. Hence, “the wonderful thing” was indeed an excuse because she knew that “the wonderful thing” could never happen which is also why she was so terrified of it. She left blaming Torvald for something he wasn’t aware of, though he readily agreed to change himself for Nora, she left her children who loved playing hide and seek with her and took lodging at Mrs. Linde’s for the night.

Ironically, Nora is the one who asked Mrs. Linde, “Tell me, is it really true that you did not love your husband? Why did you marry him? ” Nora therefore proves herself to be ambiguous and very unreliable and even though forfeiting her family and a decision to face the world seems quite a large step for a dependent woman like her, Nora’s motivations remain deceptive as she is forever caught between the world of pretense and reality. Perhaps Nora realizes that, and when she does talk about “change” at the end of the play, she refers to herself being removed from the mask she is used to wearing.

Henrik Ibsens play A Dolls House

In Henrik Ibsens play A Dolls House, the personality of the protagonist Nora Helmer is developed and revealed through her interactions and conversations with the other characters in the play, including Mrs. Linde, Nils Krogstad, Dr. Rank and Ann-Marie. Ibsen also uses certain dramatic and literary techniques and styles, such as irony, juxtaposition and parallelism to further reveal interesting aspects of Noras personality. Mrs. Linde provides and interesting juxtaposition to Nora, while Krogstad initially provides the plot elements required for Noras character to fully expand in the play.

Dr. Ranks love for Nora provides irony and an interesting twist in their relationship, while Ann-Marie acts in a parallel role to Nora in that they are both away from their children for long periods of time. Nora Helmers character itself is minimally established and revealed at the beginning of the play, but the reader is further privy to her personality as the play progresses, as she interacts with each of the other minor characters in the play.

Ibsen deliberately chooses to show Noras true self by revealing it in conversations between her and other characters; Mrs. Linde is one of these minor characters who is juxtaposed against Nora. Mrs. Linde married primarily for financial security and future ambitions while Nora sincerely believes that she married Torvald for love and happiness. This provides a conflict for the apparently childlike Nora as she realizes that her partner in the marriage probably didnt marry her for the same reason. Also, an example of dramatic irony arises at the end of the play when Mrs. Lindes relationship with Krogstad revives again while Noras marriage to Helmer crumbles.

As Nora unhappily but determinedly leaves her home or a different life, Mrs. Lindes happiness seems to be just beginning: “How different now! How different! Someone to work for, to live for – a home to build. ” These sentiments ironically portray the very qualities of married life that Nora desired to win, and keep throughout her life; and these feelings add to her established flair for the romantic. Since the main plot of A Dolls House revolves around the debt incurred by Nora upon taking out a loan to pay for Helmers recovery, Krogstad functions primarily to set forth the series of actions, which propels much of the story.

In contrast to Nora, who seems to never have encountered tremendous difficulty or hardship in her life, Krogstads struggles have left him bitter and searching for a better station in life. This attitude is best expressed when he says, “I had to grab hold somewhere; and I dare say that I havent been among the worst. ” This light juxtaposition which affects Nora and Krogstads relationship, combined with Noras secretive borrowing and money-saving practices creates a lasting impression of her desire that no one, including Helmer, discover her debt to the bank.

This clashes directly with the initial portrait of a childlike, carefree and oblivious woman that Nora “was” at the beginning of the play. Noras personality slowly changes from a two-dimensional figure to a fully developed and captivating woman who can independently take care of herself and her family without the guiding hand of a man at her side. This is illustrated by her handling of the debt crisis up to the point that her husband finds out. The prevailing belief in nineteenth century society was that women could not handle affairs suited only for men, such as the management of finances or similar tasks nd occupations.

Ibsens Nora progresses from an innocent, apparently oblivious bystander to the her worlds events to a character who has the courage, determination, and intellect to undertake those tasks that Victorian society prohibited for women. Krogstads demeanor and attitude toward Nora also reveals certain important aspects of their relationship, and thus her personality. For example, while Torvald figuratively and continually refers to Nora as his “little sky-lark” and “squirrel”, Noras conversation with Krogstad contains an undercurrent of cautious respect on the art of Krogstad and fear and foreboding on the part of Nora.

For Krogstad, a woman as independent as Nora is a novelty, and thus he is nowhere near as condescending and parental as Torvald is and a man is expected to be. This element of Nora and Krogstads association is illustrative of Noras unique character and intriguing personality. Ibsen deliberately uses the symbolism of Nora and Krogstads relationship to raise questions about womens actual – as opposed to devised – role in society and to develop Noras persona beyond that of a submissive, role-playing woman.

Another minor character who indirectly reveals much of Noras character is Dr. Rank, an associate and close friend of Nora who professes his love for her later in the play. Although Nora desires to ask Rank for the money required to pay off her debt to the bank, his sudden declaration of love confuses and disorients Nora. Most women in Victorian society were conscious and very mindful of their sexuality. But the reader is introduced to an unique element of Noras personality – she is only now aware that she is seen as a sex object by those around her, including Torvald.

Also, Noras jovial attitude towards Rank during Act One changes after his announcement. Her choice of words and diction markedly differs from her previously friendly conversations with Rank as she says following his declaration, “Now theres nothing you can do for me. Besides, actually, I dont need any help. Youll see-its only my fantasies. ” Her denial of needing anything from Rank illustrates a mind conscious of the moral limits to what she can ask of Rank in such situation, further enriching Noras character in this play.

While most people would take advantage of such a redicament to pay the debt in full and resume the carefree and content life that Nora led, she chooses instead to prevent such a thought from even taking root in her mind, and to face the consequences of her actions. Also, the relationship between Rank and Nora provides an interesting irony in the play. Dr. Rank is, in all aspects, a man who recognizes the elements of Noras personality, including her independent nature and deep affection for her family, as making her very unique in a society of repressed women.

Instead of regarding Nora as a “Capri fishergirl” and a sex object as Helmer has, Rank ealizes Noras deeper sensitivity to the world and her environment. In some ways, Rank is exactly the husband for Nora – he is her best friend and confidant – but he is unable to fill such a role. In his place, Torvald figuratively dresses Nora as a child would a doll, and disregards her hidden qualities. In this irony and paradox, the reader feels sympathy for Nora, and is conscious of her inner strength required to endure Torvalds opinions and restrictions. Finally, Ann-Marie, the nurse of the Helmer household, parallels Nora in some ways.

When Nora asks of her nurse, “Do you think [the children] would forget their mother if she was gone for good? ” Ibsen inserts an aspect of foreshadowing which highlights Noras final departure from her household. Ann-Marie is a matron figure to the childish Nora, as she was the foster mother for the little Mrs. Helmer. Noras deep affection for all members of her household family is emphasized here as her relationship with Ann-Marie is developed. Noras extended time away from her children is analogous to Ann-Maries own association with her children, who she had to leave in order o better serve as Noras nurse.

The reader sympathizes slightly with both women in this fact. Ibsen uses their relationship to further develop Noras personality and feelings towards her relations. Ibsen deliberately portrayed Nora as a woman sensitive to others emotions and thoughts to provoke a genuine and appreciative response from a realistic-minded audience who would realize human elements of Noras personality. Throughout Ibsens play, Nora Helmer is a protagonist who is initially a two-dimensional, oblivious character, ut transforms into a complex and rich personality, mainly through her interactions with minor characters in the play.

Figures such as Mrs. Linde and Ann-Marie provided emotional and physical parallels and contrasts to Nora while Dr. Rank and Nils Krogstad functioned to develop the plot and Noras persona though conversations. Ibsens deliberate use of minor characters in A Dolls House was to create and develop Noras personality; and as the play finishes, Nora is a real and complex character, a woman who is contradictory to societys expectations and ideal for a realistic world.

Nora Helmer of in Ibsen’s A Doll’s House

Nora Helmer in a A Dolls House is a women ahead of her time. In order to protect her children from a false life, she inflicts tragedy upon herself by leaving everything she has by walking away. She puts herself in this tragic situation by not being honest. Nora lies to herself and the ones she cares about. Before she leaves her life is not her own person she is carrying on life as a role. Making others happy, instead of herself. A Dolls House by Henrik Isben is about a young woman and her life. The main characters name is Nora Helmer.

She is married to a bank manager named Trovald. In the early years of their marriage just after their first child Trovald becomes ill. Doctors say that he will not live unless he goes abroad immediately. Nora takes it upon herself and borrows two hundred and fifty pounds from a money leader named Krogstad. She was dishonest with Trovald and said her father gave it to her. It was illegal because she forged her dying fathers signature on the document. Nora was unlike most women of her time period.

Most women would be afraid to do the things Nora did. In the end of the play A Dolls House after the truth has been discovered about Nora she makes a very courageous decision. It was not heard of for a woman to leave her family , but Nora did. She did this because she knew if she stayed with the children it would not be fair for them. She was not best mother for her children even though she loved them like ant mother loves her children. When we learn that the model for Nora was intelligent and ambitious everything falls in to place.

There is no need to wonder about motivation or changes of character sudden revelations (Hardwick). Nora is very wise in many of her ways. She planned to perform a dance at a ball just to dictract Trovald. When all the truth is discovered at the end of the play things become very tense between Nora and Trovald. In the raging depate over the morality of Noras behavior , however, it is all too easy to neglect Trovalds dramatic function in the play (Kashdam). After the ball, Trovalts rage and anger, e calls Nora a hypocrite, liar, and a criminal.

He says she has no religion, morality, or sence of duty. Then as always he confesses his love to her and wants to take care of her. In the final dramatic scene of the play she explains to Trovalt that she feels like his little doll in a doll house. She leaves and wants no contact with Trovalt or children. Nora wants to begin a new life. All through out her marriage, she was not who she wanted to be, she was the perfect image of a wife. She walks away feeling excited, yet inside, is full of tragedy, and full of pride.

Interpretation Of Ibsens “A Dolls House”

“A Doll’s House” is classified under the “second phase” of Henrik Ibsen’s career. It was during this period which he made the transition from mythical and historical dramas to plays dealing with social problems. It was the first in a series investigating the tensions of family life. Written during the Victorian era, the controversial play featuring a female protagonist seeking individuality stirred up more controversy than any of his other works.

In contrast to many dramas of Scandinavia in that time which depicted the role of women as the comforter, helper, and supporter of an, “A Doll’s House” introduced woman as having her own purposes and goals. The heroine, Nora Helmer, progresses during the course of the play eventually to realize that she must discontinue the role of a doll and seek out her individuality.

David Thomas describes the initial image of Nora as that of a doll wife who revels in the thought of luxuries that can now be afforded, who is become with flirtation, and engages in childlike acts of disobedience (259). This inferior role from which Nora progressed is extremely important. Ibsen in his “A Doll’s House” depicts the role of women as ubordinate in order to emphasize the need to reform their role in society. Definite characteristics of the women’s subordinate role in a relationship are emphasized through Nora’s contradicting actions.

Her infatuation with luxuries such as expensive Christmas gifts contradicts her resourcefulness in scrounging and buying cheap clothing; her defiance of Torvald by eating forbidden Macaroons contradicts the submission of her opinions, including the decision of which dance outfit to wear, to her husband; and Nora’s flirtatious nature contradicts her devotion to her husband. These occurrences emphasize the facets of a relationship in hich women play a dependent role: finance, power, and love. Ibsen attracts our attention to these examples to highlight the overall subordinate role that a woman plays compared to that of her husband.

The two sides of Nora contrast each other greatly and accentuate the fact that she is lacking in independence of will. The mere fact that Nora’s well-intentioned action is considered illegal reflects woman’s subordinate position in society; but it is her actions that provide the insight to this position. It can be suggested that women have the power to choose which rules to follow at home, but not n the business world, thus again indicating her subordinateness. Nora does not at first realize that the rules outside the household apply to her.

This is evident in Nora’s meeting with Krogstad regarding her borrowed money. In her opinion it was no crime for a woman to do everything possible to save her husband’s life. She also believes that her act will be overlooked because of her desperate situation. She fails to see that the law does not take into account the motivation behind her forgery. Marianne Sturman submits that this meeting with Krogstad was her first confrontation with the reality of a “lawful society” and she deals ith it by attempting to distract herself with her Christmas decorations (16).

Thus her first encounter with rules outside of her “doll’s house” results in the realization of her naivety and inexperience with the real world due to her subordinate role in society. The character of Nora is not only important in describing to role of women, but also in emphasizing the impact of this role on a woman. Nora’s child-like manner, evident through her minor acts of disobedience and lack of responsibility compiled with her lack of sophistication further emphasize the subordinate role of woman.

By the end of the play this is evident as she eventually sees herself as an ignorant person, and unfit mother, and essentially her husband’s wife. Edmond Gosse highlights the point that “Her insipidity, her dollishness, come from the incessant repression of her family life (721). ” Nora has been spoonfed everything she has needed in life. Never having to think has caused her to become dependent on others. This dependency has given way to subordinateness, one that has grown into a social standing. Not only a position in society, but a state of mind is created.

When circumstances suddenly place Nora in a esponsible position, and demand from her a moral judgment, she has none to give. She cannot possibly comprehend the severity of her decision to borrow money illegally. Their supposed inferiority has created a class of ignorant women who cannot take action let alone accept the consequences of their actions. “A Doll’s House” is also a prediction of change from this subordinate roll. According to Ibsen in his play, women will eventually progress and understand her position.

Bernard Shaw notes that when Nora’s husband inadvertently deems her unfit in her role as a mother, she begins o realize that her actions consisting of playing with her children happily or dressing them nicely does not necessarily make her a suitable parent (226). She needs to be more to her children than an empty figurehead. From this point, when Torvald is making a speech about the effects of a deceitful mother, until the final scene, Nora progressively confronts the realities of the real world and realizes her subordinate position.

Although she is progressively understanding this position, she still clings to the hope that her husband will come to her protection and defend her from the outside world once her crime is out in the open. After she reveals the “dastardly deed” to her husband, he becomes understandably agitated; in his frustration he shares the outside world with her, the ignorance of the serious business world, and destroys her innocence and self-esteem. This disillusion marks the final destructive blow to her doll’s house.

Their ideal home including their marriage and parenting has been a fabrication for the sake of society. Nora’s decision to leave this false life behind and discover for herself what is real is directly symbolic of woman’s ultimate realization. Although she becomes aware of er supposed subordinateness, it is not because of this that she has the desire to take action. Nora is utterly confused, as suggested by Harold Clurman, “She is groping sadly in a maze of confused feeling toward a way of life and a destiny of which she is most uncertain (256). The one thing she is aware of is her ignorance, and her desire to go out into the world is not to “prove herself” but to discover and educate herself. She must strive to find her individuality. That the perception of woman is inaccurate is also supported by the role of Torvald. Woman is believed to be subordinate to the domineering usband. Instead of being the strong supporter and protector of his family, Nora’s husband is a mean and cowardly man.

Worried about his reputation he cares little about his wife’s feelings and fails to notice many of her needs. The popular impression of man is discarded in favor of a more realistic view, thus illustrating society’s distorted views. Ibsen, through this controversial play, has an impact upon society’s view of the subordinate position of women. By describing this role of woman, discussing its effects, and predicting a change in contemporary views, he stressed the importance of woman’s realization of his believed inferiority.

Woman should no longer be seen as the shadow of man, but a person in herself, with her own triumphs and tragedies. The exploration of Nora reveals that she is dependant upon her husband and displays no independent standing. Her progression of understanding suggests woman’s future ability to comprehend their plight. Her state of shocked awareness at the end of the play is representative of the awakening of society to the changing view of the role of woman. “A Doll’s House” magnificently illustrates the need for and a prediction of this change.

Doll’s House Irony

All scenes of this play take place in the late 1800s home of one of the main characters, Torvald Helmer. Written by Henrik Ibsen, A Dolls House contains many instances of irony. The main characters, Nora and Torvald, are especially involved in this. Many of the examples of irony in this play are types of dramatic irony. Dramatic irony usually refers to a situation in a play wherein a characters knowledge is limited, and he or she encounters something of greater significance than he or she knows.

Throughout the play, most of the ramatic irony displayed is between Nora and Torvald, with Torvald being the character whose knowledge is limited. Early on in the play, when Mr. Krogstad is threatening to tell Torvald of Noras secret, Nora pleads with him and asks him not to. She says to him that “It would be a rotten shame. That secret is all my pride and joy why should he have to hear about it in this nasty, horrid way…….. hear about it from you” (1431). This is ironic in that her”pride and joy” is something that her husband would completely disapprove of. Torvald tells Nora “No debts!

Never borrow! Theres something inhibited, something unpleasant, about a home built on credit and borrowed money” (1415). But nevertheless, she has borrowed money, and it is her pride and joy. She takes pride in the fact that she was able to borrow money, since women are not supposed to be able to, and that she has been able to save and work for enough money to be able to make the payments on her loan. What makes it even more joyful for her is that she knows this helped save her husbands life. The most joyful thing in Noras life is something her husband disapproves of.

What makes this even more ironic is a statement Torvald makes to Nora after discovering her secret. He says to her “Oh, what a terrible awakening this is. All these eight years… this woman who was my pride and joy… a hypocrite, a liar, worse than that, a criminal! ” (1462). He also uses the words “pride and joy” to describe Nora, just as she describes her secret. Another illustration of irony is the way Nora treats her children as if they were dolls. This is situational irony because Nora is treated like a doll by her husband, and by her father when he was alive.

She says “I passed out of Daddys hands into yours. You arranged everything to your tastes, and I acquired the same tastes” (1465). She, in turn, influences her children in the same way. Nora buys clothes for the children, and shows them off to visitors, but she doesnt actually mother them, Anne Marie does. Nora leaves her home and family in the end because she realizes the way she has been treated, and she wants to be her own person in the future. But ironically, she treats her children like dolls, and leaves them there to be treated like dolls in the future.

Another instance of dramatic irony again involves Torvald. He makes the statement “Oh, my darling wife, I cant hold you close enough. You know, Nora… manys the time I wish you were threatened by some terrible danger so I could risk everything, body and soul, for your sake” (1461). He clearly says that he wants Nora to need him, and to need his help. Then, when the time comes where she needs and expects his help, he does not come to her rescue. He tells her “Now you have ruined my entire happiness, jeopardized my whole future” (1462).

After everything is clear, Torvald forgives her, which makes Nora realize that all he cares about is himself and he would have never helped her. A Dolls House is rich in symbols and imagery, and things such as that. But the irony, more than anything in this play, is very clear. Some examples are more obvious than others, but it is all very clear. It is easy to see the irony in the characters situations. Basically, Torvald Helmer has very limited knowledge throughout the play. And therefore, he gets into situations in which he encounters things of greater significance than he anticipates.

Women Have Come A Long Way

A Doll House is no more about womens rights than Shakespeares Richard II is about the divine right of kings, or Ghosts about syphilis. . . . Its theme is the need of every individual to find out the kind of person he or she is and to strive to become that person. (Bloom 28) Ibsen portays this behavior in A Doll House through one of the main characters, Nora Helmer, by setting the scene in Norway in 1872. In the late 1800s, women did not play an important role in society at all. Their job was mainly to cook, clean, sew, take care of the children, and keep the house in order.

They were treated as a material possession rather than a human being that could think and act for themselves and looked upon as a decorative member of the household. Women were robbed of their true identity and at the end of the play, Nora leaves everything behind to go out into the world to seek her identity. This behavior can be traced back to the beginning of time when women were to stay home and gather nuts and berries, while the men would go out and do the hunting and fishing. The male always dominated over the women and it was not viewed as unfair.

Male children would go to school to get an education in history, mathematics, science, english/writing, while the female would go to school to learn how to cook, sew, clean, and do household chores. The male could then further advance his education by attending a college or university, whereas no college would accept a women student. The history of mankind is a history of repeated injuries and usurpations on the part of men toward woman, having in direct object the establishment of an absolute tyranny over her.

Declaration of Sentiments) It was believed that women were the inferior gender and had to have special attention given to them. This idea dates back to the Medieval Period in history and is where the whole idea of chivalry came about and men having to provide special care. One can see that the idea of male superiority can be referenced back to very early on in civilization to the day A Doll House was written. Torvald: You stay right here and five me a reckoning.

You understand what youve done? Answer! You understand? (Ibsen 187) Torvald says this to Nora when he finds out that she took out a loan without his consent and forging a signature. It is prevalent that Torvald is in a state of anger and he is dominating the situation, letting Nora know who is in charge and not even wanting an explanation to why? she took out a loan. Women were very limited in their rights in 1872.

Such rights included: women had to submit to laws when they had no voice in their formation, married women had no property rights, husbands had legal power over and responsibility for their wives to the extent that they could imprison or beat them with impunity, divorce and child custody laws favored men, giving no rights to women and when women did work they were paid only a fraction of what men earned, women were not allowed to enter professions such as medicine or law, and women were robbed of their self-confidence and self-respect, and were made totally dependent on men.

Declaration of Sentiments) Ibsen makes references to this using Christine Linde, widow and a friend to Nora. Christines husband died and left her penniless and being that her father passed away, she is able to apply for a position at he the bank. This is the only exception society made in women holding a job outside the household. It is apparent that women have come a long way since 1872, gaining the right to vote in 1920 under the 19th amendment in the constitution, gaining a right to an equal education, owning property, and having a job. These were all results of the womens rights movement amongst others.

Throughout the play, Nora plays the role of a typical women in the 1800s, staying by her husbands side, taking care of the children, and doing all the household chores. She does, however, go behind Torvalds back when she takes out the loan. When she realizes that she is unfit to do anything in life and announces her remedy-I have to try to educate myself (Ibsen 192) she walks out the door and expresses a deal of feminism universally agreed-upon base for womens emancipation, elling Torvald that she no longer knows how to be his wife and no longer knows who she is.

It was uncommon for women to walk out on their husbands as they do today because they were taught since they were little, to always please their husband and do everything in their power to satisfy and make him happy. This does not include walking out on him and leaving him with the children. Nora did not know any better because she came from being treated like a material object in her own house by her father, to being treated like one by Torvald. Youre not the man I thought you were. Both you and my father have both treated me like a doll.

Therefore, her whole life was based around other people making decisions for her and conformed to their way of thinking until the end of the play, when she walks out and makes her own decision. Nora shows her childish ways throughout the play by eating macaroons, listening by Torvalds door, and by playing with the children. It is apparent that she is confused about marriage and her role as a woman in the 1800s. She does, however, make the right decision to leave although society views this as an immoral thing to do.

This was considered sinful and God would punish you if you committed such an act of wrongdoing. In conclusion, I think that women have made an incredible appearance and have play an immense role in todays society. Women are basically treated with equality today with men and the times sure have changed. Ibsens play is a very good example of how life was like for women in the past and they have obviously made progress since then. I am very proud of what women have done for todays society and I know that they will continue fighting this neverending battle for equality until the very end as Nora did.

The expectations imposed upon Nora

The expectations imposed upon Nora were created by society and her husband. In the nineteenth century women had few alternatives to marriage; they were not expected to step beyond their roles as housewife and mother. Females were confined in every way imaginable. Women were limited by their identities as it relates to society and their husband’s expectations. On page 1571, Mrs. Linde says to Nora ‘A wife can’t borrow money without her husband’s consent. ’ Mrs. Linde expects Nora has gotten the money through other means; either the lottery or other indiscreet means.

It wasn’t expected that women with a little business know-how could derive ways to earn or borrow money. Torvald treats Nora like a doll. He calls her by all manner of names: squirrel, silly child, lark, songbird. The names he uses directly relates to how Torvald feels about her at the time. He tends to treat her views and opinions as less than important or trifling. Torvald doesn’t want Nora spending too much money at Christmas. Nora wants to borrow against his upcoming promotion and subsequent raise in salary.

Torvald states on page 1565 ‘Are your scatterbrains off again? What if today I borrowed a thousand crowns, and you squandered them over Christmas week. ’ On the rare occasion when Torvald gives her money, he is concerned that she will waste it on candy and pastry. Nora asks Torvald what her most sacred vows are and he responds ‘And I have to tell you that! Aren’t they duties to your husband and children? ’ Later on he states Before all else, you’re a wife and mother. Torvald states that her sacrifice for him was nothing.

He states on page 1611 ‘I’d gladly work day and night, Nora, and take on pain and deprivation. But there’s no one who gives up honor for love. Torvald reveals his true feelings, which put appearance, both social and physical, ahead of his wife, whom he says he loves. Nora states on page 1611 ‘you neither think nor talk like the man I could join myself to. When your big fright was over – and it wasn’t from any threat against me, only for what might damage you – when all the danger was past, for you it was as if nothing had happened.

I was exactly the same, your little lark, your little doll that you’d have to handle with double care now that I’d turned out so brittle and frail. Torvald in that instant it dawned on me that I’ve been living with a stranger…. ’ As a women she is judged by laws framed by men that judges women from a masculine point of view. In the laws eyes she has committed forgery not an act of love for her husband. Even her husband views it that way. In the nineteenth century if a wife deserts her husband, the law frees him from all responsibility.

Nora states on page 1610 ‘When a wife deserts her husbands house, just as I’m doing, then the law frees him from all responsibility. In any case I’m freeing you from being responsible. Torvald and society’s expectations of women in the nineteenth century were very limited and binding. Women were not expected to have opinions or be able to think for themselves. Oppressed and confused by the belief in authority, she loses faith in her ability, right, and obligation to rear her children.

A Doll’s House: A Push to Freedom

Sometime after the publication of “A Doll’s House”, Henrik Ibsen spoke at a meeting of the Norwegian Association for Women’s Rights. He explained to the group, “I must decline the honor of being said to have worked for the Women’s Rights movement. I am not even very sure what Women’s Rights are. To me it has been a question of human rights” ( ). “A Doll’s House” is often interpreted by readers, teachers, and critics alike as an attack on chauvinistic behavior and a cry for the recognition of women’s rights ( ).

Instead its theme is identical to several of his plays written around the same time period: the haracters willingly exist in a situation of untruth or inadequate truth which conceals conflict and contradiction ( ). In “A Doll’s House”, Nora’s independent nature is in contradiction the tyrannical authority of Torvald. This conflict is concealed by the way they both hide their true selves from society, each other, and ultimately themselves. Just like Nora and Torvald, every character in this play is trapped in a situation of unturth. In “Ghosts”, the play Ibsen wrote directly after “A Doll’s House”, the same conflict is the basis of the play.

Because Mrs. Alving concedes to her minister’s ethical bombardment about her responsibilities in marriage, she is forced to conceal the truth about her late husband’s behavior ( ). Like “A Doll’s House”, “Ghosts” can be misinterpreted as simply an attack on the religious values of Ibsen’s society. While this is certainly an important aspect of the play, it is not, however, Ibsen’s main point. “A Doll’s House” set a precedent for “Ghosts” and the plays Ibsen would write in following years. It established a method he would use to convey his views about individuality and the pursuit of social freedom.

The characters of “A Doll’s House” display Henrik Ibsen’s belief that although people have a natural longing for freedom, they often do not act upon this desire until a person or event forces them to do so. Readers can be quick to point out that Nora’s change was gradual and marked by several incidents. A more critical look reveals these gradual changes are actually not changes at all, but small revelations for the reader to see Nora’s true independent nature. These incidents also allow the reader to see this nature has been tucked far under a facade of a happy and simple wife.

In the first act, she admits to Christine that she will “dance and dress up and play the fool” to keep Torvald happy ( ). This was Ibsen’s way of telling the reader Nora had a hidden personality that was more serious and controlling. He wants the reader to realize that Nora was not the fool she allows herself to be seen as. Later in the same act, she exclaims to Dr. Rank and Christine she has had “the most extraordinary longing to say: ‘Bloody Hell! ‘” ( ). This longing is undoubtedly symbolic of her longing to be out of the control of Torvald and society.

Despite her desire for freedom, Nora has, until the close of the story, accepted the comfort and ease, as well as the restrictions, of Torvald’s home instead of facing the rigors that accompany independence. Ibsen wanted the reader to grasp one thing in the first act: Nora was willing to exchange her freedom for the easy life of the doll house. Ibsen shows that it takes a dramatic event to cause a person to reevaluate to what extent he can sacrifice his true human nature. For Nora, this event comes in the form of her realization that Torvald values his own social status above love ( ).

It is important to understand Nora does not leave Torvald because of the condescending attitude he has towards her. That was, in her eyes, a small price to pay for the comfort and stability of his home. In Bernard Shaw’s essay on “A Doll’s House”, he expresses that the climax of the play occurs when “the woman’s eyes are opened; and instantly her doll’s dress is thrown off and her husband is left staring at her”( ). To the reader “it is clear that Helmer is brought to his senses” when his household begins to fall apart ( ). It is important that Shaw’s grammar is not overlooked.

The tatements “the woman’s eyes are opened… ” and “Helmer is brought… ” both indicate that the subject of the statement is not responsible for the action. Rather, some other force pushes them both into their new realization. Shaw’s clever analysis directly adheres to Ibsen’s view of a person’s reluctant approach to freedom. Although Nora is the central character of the play, she is not the only person to cross the turbulent thresh hold of freedom and bondage. Christine Linde leaves the symbolic harshness of winter and enters the warmth of Nora’s place of captivity early in the first act ( ).

Christine gives the reader an initial impression of Nora’s opposite. She is a pale, worn woman who is completely independent. Her conversation with Nora reveals that Christine was left poor and alone after her husband, for whom she did not care, passed away. Christine had accepted marriage with her husband because she reasoned her present situation left her no other option. She felt she had to take care of her two brothers and bedridden mother. If she had not married this wealthy man, she would have had her freedom, but it would have been a difficult struggle.

Instead, she surrendered her freedom for an easier life. Eight years later, the death of her husband gave her enough of a jolt to set her back in control of her own life. Torvald is certainly not the hero of “A Doll’s House”, but he is not the villain either ( ). He is just as trapped in the same facade of a happy house as Nora. He feigns security and unrelenting support for his wife, but this mask is quickly dropped when he finds himself in danger. The discovery of Krogsdad’s letter leads Torvald to believe his life and social position are on the brink of estruction.

Torvald spouts out ridiculous and stupid remarks as Nora’s face draws tighter and colder with each statement. Nora is freed. When Torvald finishes babbling apologies and forgiveness after the second letter from Krogdad arrives, Nora takes control of the conversation and control of her life. Moments before Nora slams the door on her former life, Torvald’s eyes are opened ( ). He pleads with Nora, “I have the strength to change”, but it is already too late ( ). It takes the departure of his wife before Torvald can awaken to his shallow existence.

The shake-up in Torvald’s life ushers him across the discordant threshold of freedom and bondage. “A Doll’s House” is the most socially influential of Ibsen’s plays ( ). It shocked the public into taking a much more serious look into Women’s Rights. “Ghosts” and “An Enemy of the People” caused equally large shock waves but repercussions were not nearly as phenomenal. The three of these plays, regardless of the extent their social impact, have each earned the title of Classic. Each play is the result of the one written before it. In a letter to

Sophie Aldersparre, Ibsen explained, “After Nora Mrs. Alving had to come” ( ). The same idea two years letter spawned “An Enemy of the People”. The three plays share the common idea of characters existing in situations of falsehood until something causes them to reevaluate their existence. Instead of exploring their personal freedom every moment of their lives, Ibsen’s characters had their eyes cast down on the path of least resistance. This is simply a more strict version of Ibsen’s primary theme in all his works: the importance of the individual and the search for self-realization.

A Doll’s House central theme

During the time in which the play took place society frowned upon women asserting themselves. Women were supposed to play a role in which they supported their husbands, took care of their children, and made sure everything was perfect around the house. Work, politics, and decisions were left to the males. Nora’s first secession from society was when she broke the law and decided to borrow money to pay for her husbands treatment. By doing this, she not only broke the law but she stepped away from the role society had placed on her of being totally dependent on her husband.

She proved herself not to be helpless like Torvald implied: “you poor helpless little creature! ” Nora’s second secession from society was shown by her decision to leave Torvald and her children. Society demanded that she take a place under her husband. This is shown in the way Torvald spoke down to her saying things like: “worries that you couldn’t possibly help me with,” and “Nora, Nora, just like a woman. ” She is almost considered to be property of his: “Mayn’t I look at my dearest treasure? At all the beauty that belongs to no one but me -that’s all my very own?

By walking out she takes a position equal to her husband and brakes society’s expectations. Nora also brakes society’s expectations of staying in a marriage since divorce was frowned upon during that era. Her decision was a secession from all expectations put on a woman and a wife by society. Nora secessions are very deliberate and thought out. She knows what society expects of her and continues to do what she feels is right despite them. Her secessions are used by Ibsen to show faults of society.

In the first secession Ibsen illustrates that despite Nora doing the right thing it is deemed wrong and not allowed by society because she is a woman. While the forgery can be considered wrong, Ibsen is critical of the fact that Nora is forced to forge. Ibsen is also critical of society’s expectations of a marriage. He illustrates this by showing how Nora is forced to play a role than be herself and the eventual deterioration of the marriage. Throughout the play Nora is looked down upon and treated as a possession by her husband. She is something to please him and used for show.

He is looked upon as the provider and the decision maker. Society would have deemed it a perfect marriage. Ibsen is critical of the fact that a marriage lacked love and understanding, as shown by Torvald becoming angry with Nora for taking the loan and saving him, would be consider as perfect. A Doll’s House’s central theme of secession from society was made to be critical of society’s view on women and marriage. Ibsen used Nora’s secessions as an example to illustrate that society’s expectations of a woman’s role in society and marriage were incorrect. Her decision to leave was the exclamation point on his critical view of society.

Willy and Nora, A Doll’s House

Henrik Ibsens, A Doll House, is about how a family, particularly Nora Helmer, deals with an old secret that is about to become known to her husband Torvald Helmer. At the start of the play Nora is talking with Torvald. Nora begins to acting like Torvald’s “little squirrel” in attempt to get money from him. At that time it is not known what she wants the money for, but Nora says it was for Christmas presents. The actual reason for the money is so she can pay on her little secret. Nora’s little secret is monetary loan from Nils Krogstad, a clerk at Torvald’s bank.

What makes the loan so terrible is the fact that she forged her father’s signature on the promissory note. In that time period, that was a horrible crime. Many people had their lives ruined because of a forgery accusation and Krogstad was one of those people. Nora deals with the situation by constantly deceiving Torvald into giving her more money. This works great for a while, but one day Torvald decides to fire Krogstad from his job. Krogstad decided to use his knowledge of the secret forgery to have Nora persuade Torvald to let him stay with the bank.

After a futile attempt from Nora to convince Torvald to not fire Krogstad the situation begins to heat up. Krogstad threatens to expose Nora’s secret and ruin her and Torvald. Nora begins to panic. She tries everything she can to stop Krogstad. She even tries unsuccessfully to get Krogstad’s letter out of the mailbox so that Torvald does not get it. It is at that time Nora contemplates suicide. She figures that by committing suicide she can keep from disgracing Torvald. Later that evening as she is preparing to leave the house, Torvald gets the letter from Krogstad and becomes infuriated.

Torvald begins yelling at Nora like a mad man and even strikes her. After a few minutes a letter is brought to Torvald from Krogstad. In the letter Krogstad apologizes for his action and returns the promissory note absolving Nora of her debt and giving back evidence of Nora’s forgery. Upon receipt of the letter Torvald retracted all of the harsh things he had said to Nora. It was then that Nora had her epiphany. Nora realized that to Torvald she was nothing more than a keepsake or a trophy and not a wife. She decided that she would no longer live that way, and that from now on she would live for herself, and then she left.

In Arthur Miller’s, Death of a Salesman, Willy Loman was an older man who had spent his whole life as a traveling salesman. Willy was a man who believed that in order for a person to be successful, the person only has to be well liked. If a person is well liked, then nothing else really matters. Willy had recently received a cancellation of his salary, and was working on commission alone, which was not making ends meet. Every where Willy turned there were financial issues that could not be solved. Willy also began to have problems with his sanity.

After several years of poor sales, and after requesting a local job, Willy was fired. At that point, Willy was devastated. Suddenly Willy realized what he needed to do to make thing right in his eyes. Willy said, ”You work all your life and you end up worth more dead than alive”, so he decided to commit suicide. By dying, the insurance would pay twenty thousand dollars to his family and every thing would be all right with them. Nora Helmer and Willy Loman were similar in the way that they handled secrecy and the loss of their families’ respect. Nora and Willy both were using money in a way unknown to their family.

Nora was using the money to pay a secret debt, and Willy was borrowing money from Charley on a weekly basis, so it looked like he was making more money than he actually was from his job. Nora knew how much honor and respect from the community meant to Torvald so she dared not tell her secret for fear that destroy both of them. Willy knew that he had lost Biff’s respect a long time ago, but he desperately wanted to keep the respect that Linda had for him. Willy was having a hard time because he was broke and was too proud to go to work for Charley.

At one point, Nora and Willy see suicide as a means to deal with problems. The main difference is that Nora changes her mind and Willie continues with his decision. At the end of A Doll House, Nora decides to go off on her own to deal with her short comings and personal failures, where as Willy decides to end his personal failures by ending his life. A Doll House and Death of a Salesman are both plays about families trying to deal with the failures or the perceived failures of family members. One is about giving up on life and the other is about starting life anew.

A Doll House, by Henrik Ibsen, and A Raisin in the Sun, by Lorraine Hansberry

A Doll House, by Henrik Ibsen, and A Raisin in the Sun, by Lorraine Hansberry, both have central themes of search of self-identity within a social system. This is demonstrated by women characters from both plays breaking away from the social standards of their times and acting on their own terms. In most situations women are to be less dominant than men in society. These two plays are surprisingly different from the views of women in society and of the times and settings that they take place in.

Henrik Ibsen’s A Doll House, which was written during the Victorian era, introduced a woman as having her own purposes and goals, making the play unique and contemporary. Nora, the main character, is first depicted as a doll or a puppet because she relies on her husband, Torvald Helmer, for everything, from movements to thoughts, much like a puppet who is dependent on its puppet master for all of its actions. Nora’s duties, in general, are restricted to playing with the children, doing housework, and working on her needlepoint. A problem with her responsibilities is that her most important obligation is to please Helmer.

Helmer thinks of Nora as being as small, fragile, helpless animal and as childlike, unable to make rational decisions by herself. This is a problem because she has to hide the fact that she has made a decision by herself, and it was an illegal one. In Act I, it seems evident that Nora does not understand the actual value of money but she has an infatuation with luxuries such as expensive Christmas gifts and she justifies this by buying less expensive clothes, which she has confided in Mrs. Linde, her friend. Helmer, immediately labels his wife as a “little spendthrift” (Ibsen, 660).

She seems to think that money can be easily borrowed and paid back. Nora: Oh, but Torvald, we can squander a little now. Can’t we? Just a tiny, wee bit. Now that you’ve got a big salary and are going to make piles and piles of money. (Ibsen, 660) Helmer feels strongly that women and finances should have nothing to do with each other, and that a woman could never rationally economize a household. He feels that taking loans out in order to buy expensive items is unnecessary and most importantly, what would other people think? Helmer: Nora, Nora, how like a woman!

No, but seriously, Nora, you know what I think about that. No debts! Never borrow! Something of freedom’s lost-and something of beauty too-from a home that’s founded on borrowing debt. We’ve made a brave stand up to now, the two of us; and we’ll go right on like that the little we have to (Ibsen, 660). Nora thought she did the right thing by borrowing money when Helmer was sick and not telling him. She knows that it was illegal to forge her father’s signature but feels that this crime should not apply to her because she had the good intention of helping her husband get well.

This can be seen as an example of the subordinate position of women in society. Nora was thinking of the well being of her husband, while not thinking about the rules of the business world which is where men had all of the power at the time and even today. This is evident when Krogstad, the man she borrowed money from, comes to meet with Nora with the forged loan to discuss what she has done. Krogstad: Laws don’t inquire motives. Nora: Then they must be very poor laws. Krogstad: Poor or not-if I introduce this paper in court, you’ll be judged according to law.

Nora: This I refuse to believe. A daughter hasn’t a right to protect her dying father from anxiety and care? A wife hasn’t a right to save her husband’s life? I don’t know much about laws, but I’m sure that somewhere in the books these things are allowed. And you don’t know anything about it-you who practice the law? You must be an awful lawyer, Mr. Krogstad (Ibsen, 669). After Krogstad threatens to expose Nora’s crime, she comes to the realization that what she did was in fact illegal. This is the beginning of the end for Nora’s perfect marriage and family.

She tries to use her feminine charm on the men in her life to make the situation right. Nora tries to please Helmer by dressing up and doing the tarantella dance. She pretends that she needs him to teach her every move in order to relearn the dance. This is evidence of Nora’s submissiveness to her husband. Helmer in turn shows interest in Nora physically and emotionally, but not intellectually which is consistent throughout the play. It is obvious that Helmer looks at Nora as his object. Nora: Torvald, don’t look at me like that! Helmer: Can’t I look at my richest treasure?

At all that beauty that’s mine, mine alone-completely and utterly, Nora (moving around to the other side of the table): You mustn’t talk to me that way tonight. Helmer (following her): The tarantella is still in your blood. I can see-and it makes you even more enticing. Listen. The guests are beginning to go. (Dropping his voice. ) Nora-it’ll soon be quite through this whole house. (Ibsen, 682) When Nora feels that she has no where else to turn to for help in hiding her secret, she goes to Dr. Rank, a friend of Helmer’s, who is also attracted to Nora physically.

Nora feels that Rank will be able to prevent her from the consequences she is about to face with her husband, but he wants to tell her how he feels about her. Just as she is about to tell him about her situation, Dr. Rank professes his love for her, and Nora simply replies, “Really, I don’t know what to say-Why did you have to be so clumsy, Dr. Rank! Everything was so good”. (Ibsen, 675) This proves that Nora’s charm has worked but not for what she really wanted. Nora can be seen as selfish and naive, but she is only a product of the society that she was raised in.

She has been handed everything that she has needed in life by her father and later by her husband because she is a woman. It is obvious that she has become dependent on the men in her life. Nora: I mean, then I went from Papa’s hands into yours. You arranged everything to your own taste, and so I got the same tastes as you-or I pretended to; I can’t remember. I guess a little of both, first one, then the other. Now when I look back, it seems as if I’d lived here like a beggar-just from hand to mouth.

I’ve lived here by doing tricks for you, Torvald. But that’s the way you wanted it. It’s a great sin what you and Papa did to me. You’re to blame that nothing’s become of me. (Ibsen, 686) Nora has never really had to make decisions on her own, and when she did, in the case of forging her father’s signature, she did not think or even know about the consequences. By the end of the play she eventually sees herself as an ignorant person, and unfit wife and mother because of the way she has been treated by society.

When Nora decides that she has to face Helmer and tell him the truth about the loan and forging, she also decides that she has to accept the consequences, which she feels will at first lead Helmer into understanding the position that she has been placed in. Helmer, on the other hand, at first is extremely upset with Nora for going behind his back and committing such a crime. When Helmer is making his speech about Nora now being an unfit wife and mother because of what she did she confronts her position of being subordinate in the eyes of her husband, who is more worried about what other people will think of the situation.

Nora is no longer the innocent, doll-like, wife he thought he loved. Their ideal home and marriage is nothing more than what it looks like. The society at the time probably would have felt that this was in fact a perfect marriage. Nora and Helmer have never really had an actual conversation about what is going on in their relationship until this point. Helmer (sitting at the table directly opposite her): You worry me, Nora. And I don’t understand you. Nora: No, that’s exactly it. You don’t understand me. And I’ve never understood you either-until tonight. No, don’t interrupt.

You can just listen to what I say. We’re closing accounts, Torvald. (Ibsen, 685) When Nora changes her clothes to get ready to leave near the end of the play, it is symbolic of her changing her whole outlook on life, society and the position that she has been placed in. By Nora making the decision to leave her husband, children, and the comfortable life that she has been living, she takes a position that is equal to her husband and breaks society’s expectations. She proves to her husband that she is well able to make decisions for herself, whether or not they are rational is left up to the reader.

Nora’s decision to leave was also a decision to leave all expectations put on a woman, wife, and mother by society. She realizes this and does not care. Nora needs to find her individuality and freedom from her husband, even if it costs her family. As she is leaving, she tells Helmer, “There has to be absolute freedom for the us both”. (Ibsen, 688) In order for a relationship to survive there has to be equality among it’s members. The kind of marriage Nora and Helmer had was far from equal. Many women would have stayed and tried to repair what had gone wrong in their marriage.

When Helmer forgave Nora and begged her to stay, even if it was just to be there for the children, she had already made up her mind, she could no longer be bought by Helmer’s promises, she no longer wants to please him and be his “Doll”. When the door slams behind Nora, there is uncertainty about her future. We have no idea where she is going to go and what she is going to do. But, we are left with a strong feeling that she will survive because she has proved to herself that she is a strong women by standing up to her husband and the norms of society.

Similar to A Doll’s House, A Raisin in the Sun takes place in a society where women are generally submissive to men and take on the roles that society places them in. One of the major themes of the play is the American dream. Beneatha, one of the main characters, displays strength and hopefulness for the future in a society where women have little mobility in the social system to pursue their dreams of a better future. The Younger family is an African-American lower to middle class family who lives in Chicago’s Southside. The family of five live in an old apartment, with only two small rooms.

From the description in the play the apartment is obviously well lived in and too close for comfort. “(It’s furnishings are typical and undistinguished and their primary feature now is that they have clearly had to accommodate the living of too many people for too many years-and they are still tired)” (Hansberry, 1274). Each of the Youngers have dreams for their future that they think a $10,000 insurance check guarantees them. Each family member’s dream is different and is vital to the development of the play. The check that they are waiting to receive is from their deceased father and husband.

Mama’s, Lena Younger, dream is to own her own two story house, so her family will have a nicer place to live and to also provide an education for Beneatha to become a doctor. Walter, Lena’s son, has great plans to become a partner in a liquor store with two acquaintances. Ruth, Walter’s wife, is accepting of her life and the people she lives with but also wants to see everyone happy, typical of the role that many wives play in society. Beneatha’s character is very similar to Nora in A Doll House. She is searching for self-identity within a social structure that constrains her because she is an African American woman.

Like Helmer, Walter, her brother, does not believe that his sister is capable of fulfilling her dreams of going to medical school and becoming a doctor because it is not a typical occupation for a woman to be in. Walter: Who the hell told you you had to be a doctor? If you so crazy bout messing round with sick people-then go be a nurse like the other women-or just get married and be quiet (Hansberry, 1278) Another issue that Walter is worried about is where is the money going to come from to educate her?

He has more important plans with the insurance money than to provide an education for Beneatha, whom he feels should be doing more for the family than worry about becoming a doctor. He feels this way because while the rest of the family is working hard all day trying to make ends meet, Beneatha is at school. When she comes home she brings her ideas and thoughts with her and this makes Walter feel inferior. Unlike Nora, from the beginning, Beneatha wants to be independent. She does not want to have to rely on her family or anybody else to put her through school. When Beneatha is at school, she feels as if she has a place in society.

She is surround with people who are similar to her. When she is at home she is uncertain of her place because of the contradicting views her family has of their social status. She frequently questions the ideas and values of her family. There was a discussion between Mama, Ruth and Beneatha about “rich white people” verses “rich colored people”, and Beneatha was stating that “the only people in the world who are more snobbish than rich white people are rich colored people”. (Hansberry, 1282) Mama immediately said, “You must not dislike people cause they well off”.

Hansberry, 1282) Beneatha felt that her mother did not understand the concept of how society easily labels people of all classes, and she replies, “Why not? It make just as much sense as disliking people cause they are poor, and lots of people do that”. (Hansberry, 1282) Beneatha knows that in her society she may be looked down on because of the color of her skin and her sex, but she will not let that stop her from accomplishing her dreams. While Mama, on the other hand, has lived through many years segregation and has become accepting of her place in society, but wants to see a better life for her children.

Mama puts up with Beneatha expressing her opinions and ideas about issues, but the one thing she will not put up with is Beneatha denouncing God. Mama was raised in a completely different society, where religion was everything, it was something you had and believed in when you had nothing else. When Mama, Ruth and Beneatha, were talking about Beneatha becoming a doctor “only God willing”, Beneatha relied, “God hasn’t got a thing to do with it. Does he pay my tuition? ” (Hansberry, 1282-1283) Mama immediately reprimanded her and slapped her. Not only does Beneatha question society but also religion and it’s purpose.

George Murchison is one of Beneatha’s friends. He is rich, and Beneatha’s family feels that he would be a good husband for her because of this. Beneatha: As for George. Well. George looks good-he’s got a beautiful car and he takes me to nice places and, as my sister-in-law says, he is probably the richest boy I will ever get to know and I even like him sometimes-but if the Youngers are sitting around waiting to see if their little Bennie is going to tie up the family with the Murchisons, they are wasting their time. (Hansberry, 1282)

Beneatha sees past the money and feels she could never love him for who he really is, he is not as interesting to her as Asagai, and their conversations are not as intellectual. It is obvious that George does not go out with her for her because of her mind, unlike Asagai who is interested in her thoughts. Beneatha: Then why read books? Why go to school? George (with artificial patience, counting on his fingers): It’s simple. You read books-to learn facts-to get grades-to pass the course-to get a degree. That’s all-it has nothing to do with thoughts. (Hansberry, 1295)

Beneatha also questions her heritage. Asagai, a friend and romantic interest, who is originally from Nigeria, makes her curious to find out about her origins. He introduces her to African customs and styles of dress. He encourages her to be herself and not to fall into the “assimilationism that is so popular in your country”. (Hansberry, 1286) Beneatha also confides in him when Walter loses the money, and she feels that there is no hope for her dreams. Asagai feels that Beneatha should go back to Africa with him, to help find her identity there, now that she feels Walter has taken it all away from her.

At the end of the play it is unclear whether or not Beneatha would actually leave her family in order to find herself and pursue her dreams of becoming a doctor. She is obviously is not going to marry George, although Walter would like her to because of the money. Living in such close quarters for so many years with her family, she developed a love-hate relationship with all of them. I would be surprised if she did actually go to Africa. Like Nora, Beneatha at the end of the play has a strong sense of self. She knows what she wants, and is determined to accomplish her dream.

A Doll House by Henrik Ibsen

A Doll House by Henrik Ibsen, is a play that was written ahead of its time. In this play Ibsen tackles womens rights as a matter of importance. Throughout this time period it was neglected. A Doll House was written during the movement of Naturalism, which commonly reflected society. Ibsen acknowledges the fact that in 19th century life the role of the woman was to stay at home, raise the children and attend to her husband. Nora Helmer is the character in A Doll House who plays the 19th woman and is portrayed as a victim.

Michael Meyers said of Henrik Ibsens plays: The common denominator in many of Ibsens dramas is his interest in individuals struggling for and authentic identity in the face of tyrannical social conventions. This conflict often results in his characters being divided between a sense of duty to themselves and their responsibility to others. (1563) All of the aspects of this quote can be applied to the play A Doll House, in Nora Helmers character, who throughout much of the play is oppressed, presents an inauthentic identity to the audience and throughout the play attempts to discovery her authentic identity.

The inferior role of Nora is extremely important to her character. Nora is oppressed by a variety of tyrannical social conventions. Ibsen in his “A Doll’s House” depicts the role of women as subordinate in order to emphasize their role in society. Nora is oppressed by the manipulation from Torvald. Torvald has a very typical relationship with society. He is a smug bank manager. With his job arrive many responsibilities. He often treats his wife as if she is one of these responsibilities. Torvald is very authoritative and puts his appearance, both social and physical, ahead of his wife that he supposedly loves.

Torvald is a man that is worried about his reputation, and cares little about his wifes feelings. Nora and Torvalds relationship, on the outside appears to be a happy. Nora is treated like a child in this relationship, but as the play progresses she begins to realize how phony her marriage is. Torvald sees Nora’s only role as being the subservient and loving wife. He refers to Nora as “my little squirrel” (p. 1565), “my little lark” (p. 1565), or spendthrift(1565). To him, she is only a possession.

Torvald calls Nora by pet-names and speaks down to her because he thinks that she is not intelligent and that she can not think on her own. Whenever she begins to voice an opinion Torvald quickly drops the pet-names and insults her as a women through comments like; “worries that you couldn’t possibly help me with,” and “Nora, Nora, just like a woman. “(1565) Torvald is a typical husband in his society. He denied Nora the right to think and act the way she wished. He required her to act like an imbecile and insisted upon the rightness of his view in all matters. Nora is a dynamic character in this play.

Meyers quote is stating that Ibsen has characters who struggle with their authentic identity. Nora is clearly an example of one of these characters. She goes through many changes and develops more than any other character. Nora, at the beginning and throughout most of the play, is inauthentic character. An inauthentic identity is when a person believes their personality is identical to their behavior. However subconsciously they know that it is not true. Nora was inauthentic because her situation was all that she was ever exposed to. She is a grown woman that was pampered all her life by men.

Nora was spoon-fed all of her life by her father and husband. She believes in Torvald unquestionably, and has always believed that he was her god or idol. She is the perfect image of a doll wife who revels in the thought of luxuries that she can afford because she is married. She is very flirtatious, and constantly engages in childlike acts of disobedience such as little lies about things such as whether or not she bought macaroons. Nora goes through life with the illusion that everything is perfect. When a woman of that time loves as Nora thinks she does nothing else matters.

She will sacrifice herself for the family. Her purpose in life is to be happy for her husband and children. Nora did believe that she loved Torvald and was happy. She had a passionate and devoted heart that was willing to do almost anything for her husband. At first she did not understand that these feelings were not reciprocated. Torvald does not want a wife who will challenge him with her own thoughts and actions. The final confrontation between the couple involves more oppression by Torvald, but by this time Nora has realized the situation he wishes to maintain.

Torvald calls her a “featherbrained woman” (1606) and “blind, incompetent child ” (1609) even though she saved his life. Nora expected Torvald to be grateful to her. This does not happen. When Torvald says, Now you have wrecked all my happiness- ruined my future(1606) and Im saved! (1606), Torvald exhibits his self-absorbed nature. The fury Nora saw after Torvalds opening of the letter showed Nora a strange man. Someone she had not been wife to, someone she did not love. Their marriage is fake and mutually beneficial because of their social status. They are not really in love.

Nora says, Yes. I am beginning to understand everything now. (1606) It is now that she can begin to apprehend her forgery was wrong, not because it was illegal, but because it was for an unworthy cause. This is when the readers see Nora embark into her transformation of her authentic character. Nora decides that the only way to fix the situation is to leave Torvald and her children and find herself independently. Slowly Noras character is forced to discontinue her inauthentic role of a doll and seek out her individuality, her new authentic identity.

She comes to realize that her whole life has been a lie. She lived her life pretending to be the old Nora, and hid the changed woman she had become. The illusion of the old Nora continues well after she becomes a new person. When she realizes that responsibilities for herself are more important, Nora slams the door on not just Torvald but on everything that happened in her past. It took time to evolve into a new person, but after she did she became a person who could not stand to be oppressed by Torvald any longer.

Nora says, Ive been your wife-doll here, just as at home I was Papas doll-child. (1608) Ibsen uses the idea of a doll because a doll always maintains the same look, no matter what the situation. A doll must do whatever the controller has them do. Dolls are silent and never express opinions or actually accomplish anything without the aid of others. This doll is Noras inauthentic identity. Her authentic identity is in the process of being built while Torvald calls Nora his little lark, his little squirrel, and a child.

Nora grows even stronger. It is complete and presented to the readers when Nora when she stands up to Torvald and does the opposite of what he wants. Nora tells Helmer at the end of the play that, I have to try to educate myself. You cant help me with that. Ive got to do it alone. And thats why Im leaving you now (1609). Nora tells Helmer, . . . Im a human being, no less than you-or anyway, I ought to try to become one. (1609) She does not tolerate Torvald’s condescending tone or allow him to manipulate her any longer.

Nora must follow her own convictions now and decide for herself what her life will be in the future. Her rebirth has led to her own independence. Another man will never again control her and she is now free of her controlling husband. In conclusion Michael Meyers quote The common denominator in many of Ibsens dramas is his interest in individuals struggling for and authentic identity in the face of tyrannical social conventions. This conflict often results in his characters being divided between a sense of duty to themselves and their responsibility to others. applicable to Nora in A Doll House.

Nora Helmer is a character struggling to realize her authentic identity. Her husband Torvald has always established her identity. Throughout the play Torvald was condescending towards Nora and forced her to act and look in a way that pleased him. Nora allowed Torvald to play dress up with her and no matter what the situation Nora has to consistently remain Torvald’s quiet, happy, little doll. Nora ends her doll life by leaving her doll house to learn and explore on her own. She is no longer a doll under the control of her master.

The Author And His Times

On a chilly April day in 1864, Henrik Ibsen arrived at the docks in the Norwegian capital of Oslo (then called Christiania). The young man was a failure. The theater he’d run had closed, and none of his own plays were successful. He had a wife and a young son to support, but all his possessions had been auctioned off two years before to pay his debts. He’d applied for a grant from his native country, Norway, but was turned down. Disillusioned by his country and society, Ibsen, together with his wife and son, boarded a ship and left Norway, figuratively slamming the door behind him.

Fifteen years later, a similarly disillusioned Nora Helmer would slam the door on stage at the end of A Doll’s House, helping to change the course of modern drama. Ibsen had become disillusioned very early. In 1836, when he was eight years old, his wealthy parents went bankrupt. They were forced to move from town to a small farm. All of their old friends deserted them, and they lived for years in social disgrace. Although young Henrik appeared quiet and withdrawn, his deep, bitter anger at society would occasionally escape in the scathing caricatures he would draw or in tirades against young playmates.

His sole happiness seemed to come from reading books and putting on puppet plays. Ibsen didn’t like his own family any more than he liked the “proper” society that shunned them. His domineering father was an alcoholic, while his quiet mother found comfort in religion. This blend of overbearing husband and submissive wife makes repeated appearances in his plays, most notably in Brand, in A Doll’s House, and in Ghosts, After he left his parents’ home at sixteen in 1844, he never went back, even years later when he got word that his mother was dying.

Hoping eventually to study medicine, Ibsen became a druggist’s pprentice in Grimstad, a small Norwegian village. But he still felt like an outsider, a feeling that would dog him all his life and find expression in many of his plays. (It didn’t help his social standing when he fathered an illegitimate son by a servant girl ten years older than he. Some feel that it was this unwanted child that reappears in many of his plays as a lost or murdered child. In A Doll’s House, the nursemaid gives away her illegitimate child. ) But Ibsen found he wasn’t alone in his contempt for those who controlled society.

He became friends with a boisterous group of young artists who pecialized in political satire. By 1848, a spirit of political unrest was sweeping Europe. Rebellions against monarchy flared in many countries. This spirit of revolution was intoxicating for Ibsen and his friends. Royalty and aristocracy seemed on their way out; the people were coming into their own. Two years later, Ibsen moved to Oslo to attend the university but failed to complete the entrance examinations. He was so caught up in politics and writing, however, that he really didn’t care.

After all, modern society seemed to be at a crossroads, and the world offered infinite possibilities. But things began to go wrong. The revolutions of 1848 faltered and finally were crushed. Artists and politicians alike lost their idealism. The world of infinite possibilities didn’t really exist. Years later, Ibsen would use the experiences of this period in his plays. Certain of his characters (like Nora in A Doll’s House and Lovborg and Hedda in Hedda Gabler) reflect the possibility of a society where people can reach their individual potential.

But these are lonely characters who must struggle against society as well as their own human failings. Although he avoided any further active involvement in politics, Ibsen remained a nationalist. For the first time in centuries, Norway had its own government and was trying to escape the political and artistic influence of Denmark and Sweden. Authors wrote Norwegian sagas, and the Norwegian Theater was opened in Bergen. Young Ibsen became active in Norway’s artistic rebirth. His first plays were filled with sweeping poetry about Vikings and political heroes.

In fact, the fourteen plays Ibsen wrote between 1850 and 1873 are said to make up his Romantic Period. Ibsen quickly forgot about being a doctor. On the merit of two plays, he became the director of the theater at Bergen, with the ssignment to write one original play each year. But things did not go well for him there. Not only were his own plays failures, but he was forced to produce plays he considered mindless and unimportant- such as drawing room comedies by the contemporary French playwright Augustin Eugene Scribe.

Although Ibsen ridiculed Scribe’s plays, he absorbed much about their structure, known as the piece bien faite (well-made play). These were tightly woven melodramas, designed primarily to entertain, to keep theatergoers on the edge of their seats. Such plays usually included a young hero and heroine, umbling parents, and a dastardly villain. The action hinged on coincidences, misplaced letters, misunderstandings, and some kind of time limit before which everything had to work out. There is a real art to writing a piece bien faite, because there can be no unnecessary scenes or dialogue; every word and action sets up a later action.

Ibsen would use this tight structure in A Doll’s House, but he would add elements that turned an entertainment into modern drama. In 1858, while in Bergen, Ibsen married Susannah Thoresen. Hardly a subservient wife, she helped manage his career, run his house, and screen his guests. All through his life, however, Ibsen continued to have flirtations with pretty young women (including Laura Kieler, who was the model for Nora, and Emilie Bardach, who may have had some of Hedda Gabler’s traits). Ibsen left Bergen to become the artistic director of the Norwegian theater in Oslo.

The hardship of these next few years took their toll. The theater went bankrupt in 1862, and Ibsen, destitute, reportedly became involved with moneylenders, who may have provided the model for Krogstad in A Doll’s House. Despairing, Ibsen turned to drink, and, like Eilert Lovborg in Hedda Gabler, he almost lost his genius to lcohol. Finally, in April 1864, he left Norway with Susannah and their son Sigurd. Over the next twenty-seven years they lived in Rome, Dresden, and Munich. Curiously, the first play that Ibsen wrote after leaving Norway became his first Norwegian hit.

And it was this play, Brand (1865), that finally persuaded the Norwegian government to grant Ibsen a yearly salary to support his writing. Success changed Ibsen’s life. He no longer had to scrape for money, He was ready for his new role. He altered his wardrobe, his appearance, and even his handwriting. He consciously made himself over nto the man he always thought he could be- successful, honored, sought-after. Even though Ibsen had left Norway, he retained strong ties to the country and all but one of his plays are set there. He kept up with literary events and trends in Scandinavia.

One of these events prepared him for another major change in his thinking. In 1872 the Danish critic Georg Brandes attacked Scandinavian writers for dealing only with the past. It was time to start discussing modern problems, he said. Ibsen listened and agreed. The time was ripe for a change in world drama. In France, Alexandre Dumas, ils [the son], was dramatizing social ills in plays like La Dame aux Camelias (Camille); in Russia, Anton Chekhov was mourning the death of the aristocracy, and Count Leo Tolstoy was glorifying the peasants.

Even though the popular revolutions had been defeated, social change was in the air. An educated middle class was flexing its muscles. Women were beginning to question the submissive behavior they had been taught. They were now allowed to move in educated circles although seldom permitted anything beyond a rudimentary education. Often little more than decorative servants, women could not vote and had few roperty rights. They were expected to be passive, no matter what their true personality was. Ibsen sided with women who sought to change their traditional role.

He decided to write plays about modern people who would use contemporary, everyday language. Writing in prose instead of poetry, he turned from imaginary, romantic settings to “photographically” accurate everyday settings. His first realistic prose play was The Pillars of Society (1877). It was a success, but some readers feel it was only practice for his next play, A Doll’s House (1879). It’s hard for us to realize just how revolutionary A Doll’s House was. It took the form and structure of the “well-made play” but turned it from a piece of fluff into a modern tragedy.

In addition, the “hero” isn’t a prince or a king- or even a member of the aristocracy. Instead, it’s a middle-class woman, who decisively rebels against her male-dominated surroundings. A play that questioned a woman’s place in society, and asserted that a woman’s self was more important than her role as wife and mother, was unheard of. Government and church officials were outraged. Some people even blamed Ibsen for the rising divorce rate! When some theaters in Germany refused to perform the play the way it was ritten, Ibsen was forced to write an alternate ending in which the heroine’s rebellion collapses.

Despite the harsh criticism of A Doll’s House, the play became the talk of Europe. It was soon translated into many languages and performed all over the world. The furor over Ibsen’s realistic plays helped him to become an international figure. Some writers like Tolstoy thought Ibsen’s plays too common and talky; but the English author George Bernard Shaw considered Ibsen to be more important than Shakespeare. No matter what individual viewers thought about its merits, in A Doll’s House, Ibsen had developed a new kind of drama, called a “problem play” because it examines modern social and moral problems.

The heroes and heroines of problem plays belonged to the middle or lower class, and the plays dealt with the controversial problems of modern society. This seems commonplace today, as popular entertainment has been dealing with controversial topics for years. Until Ibsen’s day, however, it just wasn’t done. Many of the most important plays written in our day, like Death of a Salesman by Arthur Miller, have their roots in the problem play. Ibsen’s Realistic Period (1877 to 1890) earned him a place as a heater giant.

Not only did he introduce controversial subjects, everyday heroes, and modern language, he resurrected and modernized the “retrospective” plot, which had been popular with the ancient Greek playwrights. In a retrospective play, like A Doll’s House and Hedda Gabler, the major events have taken place before the curtain goes up. The play concerns the way the characters deal with these past events. Hedda Gabler was another innovative experiment for Ibsen. Instead of presenting a merely social problem, he painted a psychological portrait of a fascinating and self-destructive woman.

Hedda Gabler has many striking resemblances to A Doll’s House, even though it appeared eleven years later, in 1890. In both plays, the action takes place in the drawing room. The characters include a husband and, wife, the husband’s friend (who completes a romantic triangle), an old school friend of the wife’s, and this friend’s love interest. Both wives are in a psychological crisis: Nora is not in touch with her aggressive or “male” side, while Hedda cannot bear her own femaleness. (It’s interesting to note that Ibsen wrote these plays before Freud expressed his idea that everyone has both male nd female components.

Nora, a member of the middle class, deals constructively with her search for self-knowledge. Her final closing of the door at the end of the play signifies that she is going out into the world, which is full of possibilities. On the other hand, Hedda Gabler, a member of the dying aristocracy, becomes destructive and predatory. Her final action is suicide. Despite his success, Ibsen was never satisfied with his work. He felt his major characters had all failed to achieve something important, something dramatic- and he felt the same way about himself.

He was in his sixties when he wrote Hedda Gabler and it signaled another change in his life and writing. In 1891, after twenty-seven years of exile, Ibsen moved back to his native Norway and into his third phase of plays, called his Symbolist Period. The main characters in these plays aren’t women, but spiritually defeated old men. Ibsen had a stroke in 1900 from which he never completely recovered. But he remained an opposing force to the end. In 1906, as he was coming out of a coma, the nurse commented to his wife that he seemed a little better. “On the contrary! ” Ibsen snapped. He died a few days later.

A Dolls House – Noras Rebellion Against Society

There are similarities in the relationships between men and women in Susan Glaspell’s Trifles and Henrik Ibsen’s A Doll House. The assumptions that men have about women lead to conflicts in both plays. Conflicts in these two plays are a result of a male-dominated society. The men believe that women focus on trivial matters and are incapable of intelligent thinking, while the women quietly prove the men’s expectations wrong. In the plays Trifles and A Doll House men believe women only focus on trivial matters. While Mrs.

Wright is being held in jail for the murder of her husband, she is concerned about the cold weather causing her jars of fruit to freeze and burst. Mrs. Peters and Mrs. Hale discuss Mrs. Wright’s concern over her canned fruit after finding a broken jar. Mrs. Peters voices Mrs. Wright’s concern, “She said the fir’d go out and her jars would break” (Glaspell 1. 27). The Sheriff’s response is, “Well can you beat the women! Held for murder and worryin’ about her preserves” (Glaspell 1. 28). The women realize the hard work involved in canning this fruit and understand Mrs.

Wright’s concern. The men see this as unimportant compared to the trouble Mrs. Wright is facing. Likewise, in Isben’s play A Doll House Helmer believes that his wife Nora only focuses on trivial matters. Three weeks prior to Christmas Nora spent every evening working alone. Helmer believes that Nora is making the family Christmas ornaments and other treats for the Christmas holidays. In reality, Nora is working for money to repay a loan that she illegally acquired when Helmer was ill. The house cat is blamed for destroying the nonexisting ornaments.

Helmer reminds her of the long hours spent away from the family. Helmer says, “It was the dullest three weeks I ever spent” (Isben 1. 73). While Helmer believes Nora to be spending her time on trivial ornaments, she is actually working on something important. Another example showing that Helmer believes his wife concentrates on unimportant matters is the way he treats her after she returns from shopping. Helmer says, “Hasn’t Miss Sweet-Tooth been breaking rules in town to-day? . . . There, there, of course I was only joking” (Isben 1. 57-65).

While Helmer says he is only joking about Nora eating sweets, Nora lies and says she would not go against his wishes. This suggests Helmer has rules that he expects Nora to follow. This example shows the childlike behavior Nora resorts to because of Helmer’s rules. In both plays the men treat women as if they are not intelligent enough to think beyond simple matters. A second similarity between Trifles and A Doll House is that women appear to conform to the men’s expectations. In the play A Doll House, Nora conforms to her father and husband’s expectations.

Nora says, “When I was home with papa, he told me his opinion about everything, and so I had the same opinions; and if I differed from his opinion I concealed the fact, because he would not have liked it” (Isben 3. 280). Nora’s life has been shaped by a dominant father, as well as her submissive attitude. This also set a pattern for her marriage with Helmer. On the surface, Nora plays the role of a loving wife and mother. Nora plays with the children and does the things that Helmer likes. Nora says to Helmer, “You arranged everything according to your own taste, and so I got the same tastes as you-or else I pretend to” (Isben 3. 80). Nora plays her role so well, she thinks she is happy.

Then one day, after her husband does not support her, Nora realizes the two of them do not know each other very well. Nora says to Helmer, “Torvald-it was then it dawned upon me that for eight years I had been living here with a strange man, and had borne him three children” (Isben 3. 349). Nora has conformed to men for so long she no longer has a personal identity. Likewise, in the play Trifles Mrs. Wright conforms to the expectations of a dominant husband. Mr. Hale attempts to get Mr. Wright to go in with him to get a party telephone line, but Mr. Wright refuses.

Mr. Hale later thinks that if he brings up this subject with Mr. Wright in front of Mrs. Wright, he might be successful in convincing him to get a telephone. Mr. Hale later says, “I don’t know as what his wife wanted made much difference to John-” (Glaspell 1. 9). Whether or not Mrs. Wright would enjoy having a telephone is unknown, but the fact is known; Mr. Wright makes decisions without consulting his wife. Another example of this domination in Mrs. Wright’s life is her lack of socializing with other women.

Mrs. Hale says, “She used to wear pretty clothes and be lively, when she was Minnie Foster, one of the town girls singing in the choir. But that-oh, that was thirty years ago” (Glaspell 1. 56). Mrs. Hale reflects on the happiness in Mrs. Wright’s life before she was married. Mrs. Wright, at that time, had a lively spirit and took pride in the way she dressed. Now, Mrs. Wright keeps to herself. She is not a member of the local Ladies Aid which it seems almost every woman belongs to. Mrs. Hale attributes this to Mrs. Wrights shabby feelings. These feelings are not only her physical appearance, but also her emotional state.

Mrs. Wright has been summoned by her husband to do her farm duties without outside interference. Mrs. Wright and Nora conform to dominant men in their lives. It is rebellion against this dominance that eventually sets them free. A last similarity in these two plays is the women being treated as if they are incapable of intelligent thinking. In the play Trifles, Mrs. Hale and Mrs. Peters discover a quilt Mrs. Wright is making. Mrs. Hale asks, “I wonder if she was goin’ to quilt it or just knot it? ” (Glaspell 1. 72). The men hear the women talking about the quilt and laugh at them; this makes the women resentful.

The men continue to joke and play off of these words. The men view the quilt as insignificant. The women realize the knot in the quilt is an important clue in the murder investigation, but they do not tell the men. In the meantime, the men are looking for clues throughout the farm but are having trouble building a case against Mrs. Wright. Another example where women are fraid that Mr. Krogstad will use this information against him. In the end, after the threat of blackmail has passed, Helmer patronizes Nora by saying, “You have lrts and Henry E. Jacobs.

The Myth of Perfection

Perfection is a much sought-after quality, yet is completely impossible to obtain. Because we do not have a clear definition of what perfection truly is, when a person attempts to become “perfect”, they are usually transforming into what seems to be perfect to . In both “A Doll’s House” and “The Metamorphosis”, we see that human beings cannot achieve a state of total perfection. When Gregor Samsa, from “the Metamorphosis”, attempts to be the perfect provider that his family expects him to be, he inadvertently turns his life into an insectoid existence.

Likewise, when Nora from “A Doll’s House” tries to live up to her usband’s expectations of a perfect wife, she builds up enough self-hate to leave everything that she loves and start an entirely new life. Striving to be this ideal person, like attempting to acquire any other impossible goal, is damaging to the characters in both cases. The fortunes of these characters illustrate the harm in attempting to achieve these impossible objectives. As human beings, we have no conception of any absolute values, such as perfection and imperfection or hot and cold. We can only perceive changes or comparisons based on what we already know.

Through experience, we can tell what is hotter or colder, but never actually tell what the absolutes are. This is a central aspect of what makes perfection impossible to achieve. What exactly is perfection? Seeing as we have no inherent knowledge of what is perfect or imperfect, these ideals are usually set by the expectations of others who are in positions of control over us. Therein lies one of the fundamental dangers in attempting to achieve perfection. When the aims and goals of our lives are governed by an outside force, we are transferring a great amount of power over urselves to someone else who may not have the best intentions.

Those who have power over us, in most circumstances, will use it to their own benefit. This is Gregor Samsa’s main problem. He transfers control of his life over to his family, who hardly had the best intentions for Gregor’s well-being. They merely wanted a way to get money and food to support themselves. With Gregor working, his father has an excuse to continue doing nothing, and allows the family to remain stagnant at the level that they are at. Directly and indirectly, his family enforces the view that a son should work to support his amily and not himself.

They did this by showing love and commending Gregor when he brought them food and money, showing him that this was their idea of what a perfect son was. “He (Gregor) felt a certain pride that he had managed to provide his parents and his sister with such a life in such a beautiful apartment. What now if all calm, all prosperity, all contentment should come to a horrifying end? ” p. 142 At this point, Gregor shows how much working for his family has come to mean to Gregor. Needing a source of love in his life, took this opportunity and became working man in order to help his family.

Gregor obsessively sacrifices his social and professional life for a group of people who take his sacrifices as if they were due to them. In his pursuit of perfection, Gregor turns what is usually an admirable quality into a self-destructive one. In the same way, Nora allows too much power to Helmer, and finds herself in the uncomfortable position of having her life governed by a man whose ideas of female perfection were completely different than what her character was like. “HELMER: There, there! My little singing bird mustn’t go drooping her ings, eh? Has it got the sulks, that little squirrel of mine?

Nora, what do you think I’ve got here? NORA: Money! ” p. 3 Helmer uses his control over Nora in order to get the adulation that he needs to support his ego. He enforces the ideas of submission on Nora so that she will fit into his view of what women should be like. In very much the same way as Gregor, Nora is controlled by the flow of money. In an attempt to fit into a view of perfection, she sacrifices herself to become what another perceives as good. When one attempts to become perfect often they must sacrifice vital parts of urselves to fit into the image that they desire. Nora is, at heart, a strong character.

Nora first demonstrates this when we learn of the hardships that she had to endure because of the IOU. A truly subservient woman would not risk herself in this way, or presume to be able to help a man in his area of expertise. However, this is not the only place in which Nora’s strength of character shines through. “NORA : You speak disrespectfully of my husband and I’ll show you to the door. KROGSTAD: So the lady’s got courage. ” p. 25 Nora shows her resilience in this passage. After Helmer has enforced his ideas f female submission into Nora, she retains a some of her original strength in resisting Krogstad.

This, unfortunately, does not last long. While in Helmer’s presence, Nora does everything that she can to fit into his narrow vision of what a woman should be. She performs as a circus animal would, jumping for treats and always being obedient, merely for Helmer’s praise. Her strength is fully exposed in the last scene of the novel, when Nora renounces her family, her social status, and her husband, an action which would undoubtably give her intense emotional pain for years. As we can clearly see from Nora’s actions in the play, it is not at all in her true character to be either submissive or obedient.

Mirroring Nora’s self-sacrifice, Gregor sacrifices his own personal whims and desires. “If I weren’t holding back because of my parents, I would have given notice long ago. I would have marched straight up to the boss and told him off from the bottom of my heart. ” p. 119 Obviously Gregor does not enjoy the job in which he works, but is trapped into staying at it by his “obligations” to his family. Through the picture of Gregor on the table, we can see that he was not always he subservient vermin that he is for the duration of the novel. In the picture, Gregor was a strong, handsome military man.

Like Nora, we can see that at one time he had potential to be a strong character. However, he contrasts Nora in the way that he did not live up to his potential. Gregor was too worried with keeping his job and supporting his family to consider ways of escaping the rut in which he had dug for himself. Instead of fighting back and becoming stronger, Gregor becomes addicted to the “love” he recieves from his family, and slowly degenerates until his untimely demise. Ironically, near the time of Gregor’s eath, they preferred the image of Gregor from the photo as opposed to what he had become to help them.

If we wish to become better people, we must learn to percieve our imperfections and accept them. Perfection is a concept which is far too abstract for anyone to strive for. Because of this abstraction, we are forced to look to others to help us understand what being perfect is. Upon observation of the characters in these books, it becomes clear that attempting to become “perfect” will only result in emotional pain and distress. Thus, both Kafka and Ibsen illustrate a negative attitude to the concept of perfection.

Nora Helmer as A Dolls House

In Isben’s, A Dolls House Nora, the protagonist is treated like a doll – the property of Torvald Helmer. In Act I, there are many clues that hint at the kind of marriage Nora and Torvald have. It seems that Nora is a doll controlled by Torvald. She relies on him for everything, from movements to thoughts, much like a puppet that is dependent on its puppet master for all of its actions. The most obvious example of Torvald’s physical control over Nora is his re-teaching her the tarantella. Nora pretends that she needs Torvald to teach her every move in order to relearn the dance.

This act shows her submissiveness to Torvald. After he teaches her the dance, he proclaims “When I saw you dance the tarantella, like a huntress, a temptress, my blood grew hot, I couldn’t stand it any longer”(1530), showing how he is more interested in Nora physically than emotionally. When Nora responds by saying “Leave me, Torvald! Get away form me! I don’t want all this”(1530), Torvald asks “Aren’t I your husband? ”(1530). By saying this, he is implying that one of Nora’s duties as his wife is to physically pleasure him at his command.

Torvald also does not trust Nora with money, which exemplifies Torvald’s treating Nora as a child. On the rare occasion when Torvald gives Nora some money, he is concerned that she will waste it on candy and pastry. Nora’s duties, in general, are restricted to caring for the children, doing housework, and working on her needlepoint. A problem with her responsibilities is that her most important obligation is to please Torvald, making her role similar to that of a slave. When Torvald does not immediately offer to help Nora after Krogstad threatens to expose her, Nora realizes that there is a problem.

By waiting until after he discovers that his social status will suffer no harm, Torvald reveals his true feelings, which put appearance, both social and physical, ahead of the wife whom he says he loves. Nora’s personality changes from a two-dimensional figure to a fully developed and captivating woman who can independently take care of herself and her family without the guiding hand of a man at her side; this is illustrated by her handling of the debt crisis up to the point that her husband finds out. This revelation is what prompts Nora to walk out on Torvald.

When Torvald tries to reconcile with Nora, she explains to him, in their first real conversation, how she had been treated like a child all her life; her father had treated her much the same way Torvald does. Both male superiority figures not only denied her the right to think and act the way she wished, but limited her happiness. Nora describes her feelings as “always merry, never happy. ” When Nora finally slams the door and leaves, she is not only slamming it on Torvald, but also on everything else that has happened in her past which curtailed her growth into a mature woman.

A Doll’s House, by Henrik Ibsen

A Doll’s House, by Henrik Ibsen shocked its first audience back when it first came out. The plays realist perception on modern life was nothing that had ever been viewed in theatre at the time. Even though it disturbed many viewers during its first showings they had just experienced the birth of modern drama.

In the early 1900’s and prior women were treated as property. They were told what to do, wear, say and how to act and this was accepted. Ibsen wanted to show how inhumane this was in A Doll’s ignorant House and it was portrayed little by little, as the play progressed, by a ajor theme, the replacement of appearance by reality.

Throughout the entire play Nora is constantly being treated as a young child. Torvald is the main character responsible for his wife’s childish behavior. For example, he is always calling Nora by a “pet name”, such as “little sky-lark” or “little squirrel”, as though she is his daughter, rather then his spouse. He also restricts Nora from certain privileges, as a father would, like denying her the right to eat macaroons because it will ruin her teeth.

When she goes against Torvald’s word and till eats the macaroons it is the slightest showing that she does not agree with Torvald and wants to do some things against his will. Yet in the beginning of the play, there are still no obvious clues that show how Nora truly wants to be treated by Torvald and she plays along. She seems happy with her current life yet she craves to live independently. Even Mrs. Linde, Nora’s close friend, says that she is being treated like a spoiled child and getting whatever she wants because Nora’s father and husband have money.

Mrs. Linde states that Nora has never had any problems because “daddy” always paid the bills and took care of her; through comments like, “you haven’t known much trouble or hardship in your own life. ” (Ibsen 54). Still Nora hides her true self and says things that make her seem that she enjoys the life she is living like, “Oh, Kristine, I feel so light and happy! Won’t it be lovely to have stacks of money and not a care in the world? ” (Ibsen 49) Nora is childlike throughout the entire play, never taking responsibility or being serious.

For example, when her children get home with Anne Marie Nora just tosses their cloths on to the floor. Also, she plays games with them like she is one of their sisters, not an authority figure-mother. Torvald does not ask Nora to tend to the household responsibilities; however, she does not inquire or participate in any of the duties, like a carefree child. Until the last scene where she completely shows her true self to Torvald. She explains that her whole life of living as Torvald’s doll has not been the life she has wanted to live.

She sees that if she would stay with Torvald there would be no possible escape from the life she is living so she abruptly decides to leave him and start anew. Torvald was completely dumbfounded by her decision; he could not see through her phony appearance to the reality of what she truly needed. This theme is shown throughout the entire play in minor events also. For instance, Dr. Rank and Nora have been great friends for many years, but in reality Dr. Rank has always admired Nora and decides after he figures out that he is on his death bed he will tell Nora his true feelings owards her.

Nora is upset when Dr. Rank shatters the appearance that their relationship is innocent. The theme occurs in even more simplistic part of the play and even in single lines of characters such as Torvald being appalled when Krogstad calls him by his first name at the bank-it doesn’t appear proper and how Dr. Rank wants to appear healthy and hide the reality of his conditions. All of these appearances and masks that the characters put on are in time taken off and expose the how the characters truly feel about themselves.

A Dolls House – The Transformation of Nora Helmer

In Henrik Ibsens, A Dolls House, the character of Nora Helmer goes through the dramatic transformation of a kind and loving house wife, to a desperate and bewildered woman, whom will ultimately leave her husband and everything she has known. Ibsen uses both the characters of Torvald and Nora to represent the tones and beliefs of 19th century society. By doing this Ibsen effectively creates a dramatic argument that continues to this day; that of feminism. We are introduced in Act I with Nora returning from Christmas shopping.

Ibsen utilizes this time for dramatic purposes of the Christian holidays and to show the struggle between a middle class marriage. Nora plans on having a big holiday bash, while Torvald would rather refrain since there is a rather limited cash flow. “Nora: Oh yes, Torvald, we can squander a little nowpiles of money” (1506). Torvald follows up with, “But then it is three full months till the raise comes through” (, 1506). Nora at this point in the play is nothing more than a child, careless in her action and not thinking ahead of possible consequences.

Nora sees nothing wrong in spending big on Christmas. Granted this is a righteous cause, since the holidays are about giving to others, but still a parent should know the limit of happiness they should bring. At this point Torvald begins to act as “society” and unknowingly begins to use condescending terms towards Nora. “Are you scatterbrains off again? ” (1506), “my dear little Nora. ” (1507), (Youre an odd little one” (1507). Torvald sees nothing wrong in these little pet names he gives Nora. He is absolutely right there is nothing wrong with pet names.

Unfortunately when the pet names are also a part of the larger scheme that woman are inferior, only then do they become evil and no longer childish. “Yes, very-that is if you actually hung onto money I give you, and you actually used it to buy yourself something. ” (1507). Later in Act I, her friend Mrs. Linde visits Nora. Even in their conversation Mrs. Linde comments on Noras childish behavior. “Well my heavens – a little needlework and such Nora, youre just a child. ” (1511). Nora quickly defends herself, in some sense to regain her standing within her own ranks.

Ive also got something to be proud and happy for. Im the one who saved Torvalds life. ” (1511). By doing this Nora is secretly undermining society and providing for her husband. In contrast to society beliefs at the time, shouldnt a wife provide for her husband in his sickness? Thus creating an interesting paradox passed upon wedding vows. Apparently not or Nora would have confided in Torvald sooner. “Mrs. Linde: And youve never confided” (1512). Towards the end of Act I, Krogstad enters. Krogstad is the man whom Nora borrowed the 4,000 crowns to finance the trip to southern Italy.

Nora continues to act as a child. “Shall we play? What shall we play? Hide and seek? ” (1577). Krogstad asks a favor of Nora. “Would you please make sure that I keep my subordinate position in the bank? ” (1518) By doing this Krogstad tries to utilize the famine influence that women who are married to men of power often have, yet another role society demands of women. Krogstad, as a typical male of the time assumes she has no head for business. Listen Mrs. Helmer youve either got a very bad memory, or else no head for business. ” (1519) Once Krogstad leaves we notice a definite change in Nora.

Noras children ask her to play with them and she replies; “No not now. ” (1521) Nora begins to talk to herself. “Ill do anything to please you, Torvald. Ill sing for you, dance for you-” (1521) this is the beginning of the unraveling of Nora. Her world as she knows it no longer exists. At the very end of Act I, Torvald and Nora are talking. Torvald comments about Krogstad’s criminal act. “Helmer: Forgery. Do you have any Helmer: Plenty of men have redeemed” (1522) Torvald talks about forgery the crime, with which his wife is quilty of, since she forged her fathers signature on the agreement between herself and Krogstad.

Torvald continues on to say, “Im not so heartless that Id condemn a man catorgorically for one mistake” (1522) Torvald literally says that he is capable of forgiving a man, a complete stranger, for the act, but he still wont forgive his one wife? Act I ends with Torvald again showing up the 19th century stereotype of women. “Almost everyone who goes bad early in life has a mother whos a chronic liar. ” (1523) Ironic and interesting, because there is no basis for this assumption and unknowingly Torvald is condemning both his wife and his children. Act II opens with Nora unraveled some more.

Someones coming! No theres no oneWhy I have three small children” (1523) She is becoming more and more manic in her action. The anticipation of something evil being committed by Krogstad is too much for her. Again Mrs. Linde comes to visit and condemns her again of acting like a child. “in many ways you are still a child” (1525) Nora continues her barrage on Torvald to keep Krogstad. This time she is more aggressive and panicky. “If your little squirrel begged you” (1526) Torvald demands obedience in the bank and is afraid if he shows favoritism towards Krogstad there will be decision against him there.

And I hear hes quite efficientmy place in the bank unbearable. ” (1527) Nora questions Torvalds authority on the subject and he becomes outraged, acting like a typical 19th century male. “Nora: Because these are such. ” (1528) By doing this she has seriously undermined her husband, a big social taboo. He immediately snaps back with a sarcastic; “There, now little Miss. Willful” (1528) The sarcasm of Torvald rips off the page. Later we see how desperate Nora is. “Nora: And what if I asked you now for-?

No-Nora: I mean – for an exceptionally big favor-” (1530) Nora attempts to ask Dr. Rank for the remainder of the money to pay back Krogstad. Previously Nora would never of attempted such a shear act of desperation. Again showing the transformation of Nora into a desperate woman. Krogstad later returns and both he and Nora argue about the money. Krogstad asks what she has thought about doing. “Krogstad: So if youve been thinking. Nora: I was thinking of that? (1533) In this exchange of dialogue Nora truly does acts as a child instead of as an adult.

She thinks of running away from her problems instead of facing them, a classic example of childishness. Once both Torvald and Nora return home after the masquerade, Torvald reads the 1st letter that was written by Krogstad explaining the events between both him and Nora. All of the social stereotypes and beliefs of society towards women are spilled forth by Torvald in this scene. Prior to Torvalds reading of the mail, he refers to Nora as: “young beauty” (1542), “songbird” (1544), and “my darling wife” (1544). Right before Torvald returns, Nora braces herself for his verbal onslaught.

Never see him again. Never, never” (1545) At this point Nora is almost finished her transformation from child to new age women. Torvald returns in an outrage. “Nora: It is true. Ive lovedHelmer: Ah, none of your slippery tricks” (1545) Torvald is blinded by his madness and fails to see that she only took the loan out of love for him. Society fails to see the love and compassion that a sympathetic woman could have. “Now youve wrecked all my happinessand you repay me like this” (1545) “Ill be swept down miserably into the depths on account of a featherbrained woman. 1545)

Both of these quotes show how Torvald is totally disregarding the fact that this women is not only his wife, but his “songbird” (1544). Later another letter arrives from Krogstad explaining how the debt is off. “Helmer: Nora! Nora! Wait-betterHelmer: You too of course. ” (1546) Again Torvald is interested in his own salvation, completely forgetting about his wife. Torvald attempts to reconcile with Nora, but to no avail. Nora has graduated from little girl to a feminist power. Nora realizes; “You never loved me. Youve thought it fun to be in love with me thats all. 1547)

Nora decides to leave Torvald and her children, because nothing is hers. According to society (Torvald) its all the mans. Torvald brings up her wedding vows and her responsibilities to him and to her family. “So youll run out like this on your most sacred vows” (1548) Nora recalls that her self worth is more important. “I believe that, before else I am a human being, no less than you” (1549) In Noras transformation from loving housewife to a women who sees the truth in her relationship, Ibsen managed to awaken or give strength to the feminist movement.

A Dolls House-Nora

In Henrik Ibsens play A Dolls House, the personality of the protagonist Nora Helmer is developed and revealed through her interactions and conversations with the other characters in the play, including Mrs. Linde, Nils Krogstad, Dr. Rank and Ann-Marie. Ibsen also uses certain dramatic and literary techniques and styles, such as irony, juxtaposition and parallelism to further reveal interesting aspects of Noras personality. Mrs. Linde provides and interesting juxtaposition to Nora, while Krogstad initially provides the plot elements required for Noras character to fully expand in the play.

Dr. Ranks love for Nora provides irony and an interesting twist in their relationship, while Ann-Marie acts in a parallel role to Nora in that they are both away from their children for long periods of time. Nora Helmers character itself is minimally established and revealed at the beginning of the play, but the reader is further privy to her personality as the play progresses, as she interacts with each of the other minor characters in the play.

Ibsen deliberately chooses to show Noras true self by revealing it in conversations between her and other characters; Mrs. Linde is one of these minor characters who is juxtaposed against Nora. Mrs. Linde married primarily for financial security and future ambitions while Nora sincerely believes that she married Torvald for love and happiness. This provides a conflict for the apparently childlike Nora as she realizes that her partner in the marriage probably didnt marry her for the same reason. Also, an example of dramatic irony arises at the end of the play when Mrs. Lindes relationship with Krogstad revives again while Noras marriage to Helmer crumbles.

As Nora unhappily but determinedly leaves her home for a different life, Mrs. Lindes happiness seems to be just beginning: “How different now! How different! Someone to work for, to live for – a home to build. ” These sentiments ironically portray the very qualities of married life that Nora desired to win, and keep throughout her life; and these feelings add to her established flair for the romantic. Since the main plot of A Dolls House revolves around the debt incurred by Nora upon taking out a loan to pay for Helmers recovery, Krogstad functions primarily to set forth the series of actions, which propels much of the story.

In contrast to Nora, who seems to never have encountered tremendous difficulty or hardship in her life, Krogstads struggles have left him bitter and searching for a better station in life. This attitude is best expressed when he says, “I had to grab hold somewhere; and I dare say that I havent been among the worst. ” This light juxtaposition which affects Nora and Krogstads relationship, combined with Noras secretive borrowing and money-saving practices creates a lasting impression of her desire that no one, including Helmer, discover her debt to the bank.

This clashes directly with the initial portrait of a childlike, carefree and oblivious woman that Nora “was” at the beginning of the play. Noras personality slowly changes from a two-dimensional figure to a fully developed and captivating woman who can independently take care of herself and her family without the guiding hand of a man at her side. This is illustrated by her handling of the debt crisis up to the point that her husband finds out. The prevailing belief in nineteenth century society was that women could not handle affairs suited only for men, such as the management of finances or similar tasks and occupations.

Ibsens Nora progresses from an innocent, apparently oblivious bystander to the her worlds events to a character who has the courage, determination, and intellect to undertake those tasks that Victorian society prohibited for women. Krogstads demeanor and attitude toward Nora also reveals certain important aspects of their relationship, and thus her personality. For example, while Torvald figuratively and continually refers to Nora as his “little sky-lark” and “squirrel”, Noras conversation with Krogstad contains an undercurrent of cautious respect on the part of Krogstad and fear and foreboding on the part of Nora.

For Krogstad, a woman as independent as Nora is a novelty, and thus he is nowhere near as condescending and parental as Torvald is and a man is expected to be. This element of Nora and Krogstads association is illustrative of Noras unique character and intriguing personality. Ibsen deliberately uses the symbolism of Nora and Krogstads relationship to raise questions about womens actual – as opposed to devised – role in society and to develop Noras persona beyond that of a submissive, role-playing woman.

Another minor character who indirectly reveals much of Noras character is Dr. Rank, an associate and close friend of Nora who professes his love for her later in the play. Although Nora desires to ask Rank for the money required to pay off her debt to the bank, his sudden declaration of love confuses and disorients Nora. Most women in Victorian society were conscious and very mindful of their sexuality. But the reader is introduced to an unique element of Noras personality – she is only now aware that she is seen as a sex object by those around her, including Torvald.

Also, Noras jovial attitude towards Rank during Act One changes after his announcement. Her choice of words and diction markedly differs from her previously friendly conversations with Rank as she says following his declaration, “Now theres nothing you can do for me. Besides, actually, I dont need any help. Youll see-its only my fantasies. ” Her denial of needing anything from Rank illustrates a mind conscious of the moral limits to what she can ask of Rank in such situation, further enriching Noras character in this play.

While most people would take advantage of such a predicament to pay the debt in full and resume the carefree and content life that Nora led, she chooses instead to prevent such a thought from even taking root in her mind, and to face the consequences of her actions. Also, the relationship between Rank and Nora provides an interesting irony in the play. Dr. Rank is, in all aspects, a man who recognizes the elements of Noras personality, including her independent nature and deep affection for her family, as making her very unique in a society of repressed women.

Instead of regarding Nora as a “Capri fishergirl” and a sex object as Helmer has, Rank realizes Noras deeper sensitivity to the world and her environment. In some ways, Rank is exactly the husband for Nora – he is her best friend and confidant – but he is unable to fill such a role. In his place, Torvald figuratively dresses Nora as a child would a doll, and disregards her hidden qualities. In this irony and paradox, the reader feels sympathy for Nora, and is conscious of her inner strength required to endure Torvalds opinions and restrictions. Finally, Ann-Marie, the nurse of the Helmer household, parallels Nora in some ways.

When Nora asks of her nurse, “Do you think [the children] would forget their mother if she was gone for good? ” Ibsen inserts an aspect of foreshadowing which highlights Noras final departure from her household. Ann-Marie is a matron figure to the childish Nora, as she was the foster mother for the little Mrs. Helmer. Noras deep affection for all members of her household family is emphasized here as her relationship with Ann-Marie is developed. Noras extended time away from her children is analogous to Ann-Maries own association with her children, who she had to leave in order to better serve as Noras nurse.

The reader sympathizes slightly with both women in this fact. Ibsen uses their relationship to further develop Noras personality and feelings towards her relations. Ibsen deliberately portrayed Nora as a woman sensitive to others emotions and thoughts to provoke a genuine and appreciative response from a realistic-minded audience who would realize human elements of Noras personality. Throughout Ibsens play, Nora Helmer is a protagonist who is initially a two-dimensional, oblivious character, but transforms into a complex and rich personality, mainly through her interactions with minor characters in the play.

Figures such as Mrs. Linde and Ann-Marie provided emotional and physical parallels and contrasts to Nora while Dr. Rank and Nils Krogstad functioned to develop the plot and Noras persona though conversations. Ibsens deliberate use of minor characters in A Dolls House was to create and develop Noras personality; and as the play finishes, Nora is a real and complex character, a woman who is contradictory to societys expectations and ideal for a realistic world.

A Woman’s Subordinate Nature

A Doll’s House is classified under the “second phase” of Henrik Ibsen’s career. It was during this period that he made the transition from mythical and historical dramas to plays dealing with social problems. It was the first in a series investigating the tensions of family life. Written during the Victorian era, the controversial play featuring a female protagonist seeking individuality stirred up more controversy than any of his other works.

In contrast to many dramas of Scandinavia in that time which depicted the role of women as the comforter, helper, and supporter of man, A Doll’s House introduced a woman as having her own purposes and goals. The protagonist, Nora Helmer, progresses during the course of the play eventually to realize that she must discontinue the role of a doll and seek out her individuality. David Thomas describes the initial image of Nora as that of a doll wife who revels in the thought of luxuries that can now be afforded, is become with flirtation, and engages in childlike acts of disobedience (259).

This inferior role from which Nora progressed is extremely important. Ibsen, in his A Doll’s House, depicts the role of women as subordinate in order to emphasize the need to reform their role in society. Definite characteristics of the women’s subordinate role in a relationship are emphasized through Nora’s contradicting actions. Her infatuation with luxuries, such as expensive Christmas gifts, contradicts her resourcefulness in scrounging and buying cheap clothing. Her defiance of Torvald, by eating forbidden Macaroons, contradicts the submission of her opinions, including the decision of which dance outfit to wear.

Nora’s flirtatious nature contradicts her devotion to her husband. These occurrences emphasize the facets of a relationship in which women play a dependent role. Ibsen attracts our attention to these examples to highlight the subordinate role that a woman plays compared to that of her husband. The two sides of Nora contrast each other greatly and accentuate the fact that she is lacking in independence of will. The mere fact that Nora’s well-intentioned action is considered illegal reflects a woman’s subordinate position in society, but it is her actions that provide the insight to this position.

It can be suggested that women have the power to choose which rules to follow at home, but not in the business world, thus again indicating her subordinateness. Nora does not at first realize that the rules outside the household apply to her. Her lack of realization is evident in her meeting with Krogstad. In her opinion, it was no crime for a woman to do everything possible to save her husband’s life. She also believes that her act will be overlooked because of her desperate situation. She fails to see that the law does not take into account the motivation behind her forgery.

Marianne Sturman submits that this meeting with Krogstad was her first confrontation with the reality of a “lawful society” and she deals with it by attempting to distract herself with her Christmas decorations (16). Thus her first encounter with rules outside of her “doll’s house” results in the realization of her naivety and inexperience with the real world due to her subordinate role in society. The character of Nora is not only important in describing to role of women, but also in emphasizing the impact of this role on a woman.

Nora’s child-like manner, evident through her minor acts of disobedience and lack of responsibility compiled with her lack of sophistication, further emphasizes the subordinate role of woman. By the end of the play, this is evident as she eventually sees herself as an ignorant person, and unfit mother, and essentially, her husband’s wife. Edmond Gosse highlights the point that “Her insipidity, her dollishness, come from the incessant repression of her family life (721). ” Nora has been spoon-fed everything she has needed in life.

Never having to think has caused her to become dependent on others. Her dependency has given way to her subordinateness that has grown into a social standing. When circumstances suddenly place Nora in a responsible position and demand from her a moral judgment, she has none to give. She cannot possibly comprehend the severity of her decision to borrow money illegally. A Doll’s House is also a prediction of change from this subordinate role. According to Ibsen’s play, women will eventually progress and understand their position.

Bernard Shaw notes that when Nora’s husband inadvertently deems her unfit in her role as a mother, she begins to realize that her actions consisting of playing with her children happily or dressing them nicely do not necessarily make her a suitable parent (226). She needs to be more to her children than an empty figurehead. From this point, when Torvald is making a speech about the effects of a deceitful mother, until the final scene, Nora progressively confronts the realities of the real world and realizes her subordinate position.

Although she eventually understands this position, she still clings to the hope that her husband will come to her protection and defend her from the outside world once her crime is out in the open. After she reveals the “dastardly deed” to her husband, he becomes understandably agitated. In his frustration, he shares the outside world with her, the ignorance of the serious business world, and destroys her innocence and self-esteem. This disillusion marks the final destructive blow to her doll’s house.

Their ideal home, including their marriage and parenting, has been a fabrication for the sake of society. Nora’s decision to leave this false life behind and discover for herself what is real is directly symbolic of a woman’s ultimate realization. Although she becomes aware of her supposed subordinateness, it is not because of this that she has the desire to take action. Nora is utterly confused, as suggested by Harold Clurman, “She is groping sadly in a maze of confused feeling toward a way of life and a destiny of which she is most uncertain (256).

The one thing she is aware of is her ignorance, and her desire to go out into the world is not to “prove herself” but to discover and educate herself. She must strive to find her individuality. That the perception of woman is inaccurate is also supported by the role of Torvald. A woman is believed to be subordinate to the domineering husband. Instead of being the strong supporter and protector of his family, Nora’s husband is a mean and cowardly man.

Worried about his reputation, he cares little about his wife’s feelings and fails to notice many of her needs. The popular impression of a man is discarded in favor of a more realistic view, thus illustrating society’s distorted views. Ibsen, through this controversial play, has an impact upon society’s view of the subordinate position of women. By describing this role of a woman, discussing its effects, and predicting a change in contemporary views, he stressed the importance of a woman’s realization of this believed inferiority.

A woman should no longer be seen as the shadow of man, but a person in herself, with her own triumphs and tragedies. The exploration of Nora reveals that she is dependant upon her husband and displays no independent standing. Her progression of understanding suggests women’s future ability to comprehend their plight. Her state of shocked awareness at the end of the play is representative of the awakening of society to the changing view of the role of women. A Doll’s House magnificently illustrates the need for and a prediction of this change.

The Myth of Perfection

Perfection is a much sought-after quality, yet is completely impossible to obtain. Because we do not have a clear definition of what perfection truly is, when a person attempts to become “perfect”, they are usually transforming into what seems to be perfect to . In both “A Doll’s House” and “The Metamorphosis”, we see that human beings cannot achieve a state of total perfection. When Gregor Samsa, from “the Metamorphosis”, attempts to be the perfect provider that his family expects him to be, he inadvertently turns his life into an insectoid existence.

Likewise, when Nora from “A Doll’s House” tries to live up to her usband’s expectations of a perfect wife, she builds up enough self-hate to leave everything that she loves and start an entirely new life. Striving to be this ideal person, like attempting to acquire any other impossible goal, is damaging to the characters in both cases. The fortunes of these characters illustrate the harm in attempting to achieve these impossible objectives. As human beings, we have no conception of any absolute values, such as perfection and imperfection or hot and cold. We can only perceive changes or comparisons based on what we already know.

Through experience, we can tell what is hotter or colder, but never actually tell what the absolutes are. This is a central aspect of what makes perfection impossible to achieve. What exactly is perfection? Seeing as we have no inherent knowledge of what is perfect or imperfect, these ideals are usually set by the expectations of others who are in positions of control over us. Therein lies one of the fundamental dangers in attempting to achieve perfection. When the aims and goals of our lives are governed by an outside force, we are transferring a great amount of power over urselves to someone else who may not have the best intentions.

Those who have power over us, in most circumstances, will use it to their own benefit. This is Gregor Samsa’s main problem. He transfers control of his life over to his family, who hardly had the best intentions for Gregor’s well-being. They merely wanted a way to get money and food to support themselves. With Gregor working, his father has an excuse to continue doing nothing, and allows the family to remain stagnant at the level that they are at. Directly and indirectly, his family enforces the view that a son should work to support his amily and not himself.

They did this by showing love and commending Gregor when he brought them food and money, showing him that this was their idea of what a perfect son was. “He (Gregor) felt a certain pride that he had managed to provide his parents and his sister with such a life in such a beautiful apartment. What now if all calm, all prosperity, all contentment should come to a horrifying end? ” p. 142 At this point, Gregor shows how much working for his family has come to mean to Gregor. Needing a source of love in his life, took this opportunity and became working man in order to help his family.

Gregor obsessively sacrifices his social and professional life for a group of people who take his sacrifices as if they were due to them. In his pursuit of perfection, Gregor turns what is usually an admirable quality into a self-destructive one. In the same way, Nora allows too much power to Helmer, and finds herself in the uncomfortable position of having her life governed by a man whose ideas of female perfection were completely different than what her character was like. “HELMER: There, there! My little singing bird mustn’t go drooping her ings, eh? Has it got the sulks, that little squirrel of mine?

Nora, what do you think I’ve got here? NORA: Money! ” p. 3 Helmer uses his control over Nora in order to get the adulation that he needs to support his ego. He enforces the ideas of submission on Nora so that she will fit into his view of what women should be like. In very much the same way as Gregor, Nora is controlled by the flow of money. In an attempt to fit into a view of perfection, she sacrifices herself to become what another perceives as good. When one attempts to become perfect often they must sacrifice vital parts of urselves to fit into the image that they desire. Nora is, at heart, a strong character.

Nora first demonstrates this when we learn of the hardships that she had to endure because of the IOU. A truly subservient woman would not risk herself in this way, or presume to be able to help a man in his area of expertise. However, this is not the only place in which Nora’s strength of character shines through. “NORA : You speak disrespectfully of my husband and I’ll show you to the door. KROGSTAD: So the lady’s got courage. ” p. 25 Nora shows her resilience in this passage. After Helmer has enforced his ideas f female submission into Nora, she retains a some of her original strength in resisting Krogstad.

This, unfortunately, does not last long. While in Helmer’s presence, Nora does everything that she can to fit into his narrow vision of what a woman should be. She performs as a circus animal would, jumping for treats and always being obedient, merely for Helmer’s praise. Her strength is fully exposed in the last scene of the novel, when Nora renounces her family, her social status, and her husband, an action which would undoubtably give her intense emotional pain for years. As we can clearly see from Nora’s actions in the play, it is not at all in her true character to be either submissive or obedient.

Mirroring Nora’s self-sacrifice, Gregor sacrifices his own personal whims and desires. “If I weren’t holding back because of my parents, I would have given notice long ago. I would have marched straight up to the boss and told him off from the bottom of my heart. ” p. 119 Obviously Gregor does not enjoy the job in which he works, but is trapped into staying at it by his “obligations” to his family. Through the picture of Gregor on the table, we can see that he was not always he subservient vermin that he is for the duration of the novel. In the picture, Gregor was a strong, handsome military man.

Like Nora, we can see that at one time he had potential to be a strong character. However, he contrasts Nora in the way that he did not live up to his potential. Gregor was too worried with keeping his job and supporting his family to consider ways of escaping the rut in which he had dug for himself. Instead of fighting back and becoming stronger, Gregor becomes addicted to the “love” he recieves from his family, and slowly degenerates until his untimely demise. Ironically, near the time of Gregor’s eath, they preferred the image of Gregor from the photo as opposed to what he had become to help them.

If we wish to become better people, we must learn to percieve our imperfections and accept them. Perfection is a concept which is far too abstract for anyone to strive for. Because of this abstraction, we are forced to look to others to help us understand what being perfect is. Upon observation of the characters in these books, it becomes clear that attempting to become “perfect” will only result in emotional pain and distress. Thus, both Kafka and Ibsen illustrate a negative attitude to the concept of perfection.

“A Doll House”, A Very Controversial Act

In “A Doll House” Ibsen made a very controversial act, by having Nora leave her husband and her family. After first reading the play I thought that what Nora did was the right thing to do. But after thinking about I now realize that wasn’t the right thing to do. Yes, Torvald was not the best husband in the world, but Nora should have considered that before she married him. To turn your back on your spouse is one thing, but to turn your back on your children is another. Nora was around in an era were women were looked down upon, not considered equal to men, so it would be hard for her to find a job.

If Nora were to leave her Torvald she would have no were to go. Nora was a doll all of her life, first to her father then to Torvald, if she were to leave more then likely she would just become someone else’s doll. Torvald was not the best husband in the world, but Nora chose to marry him. Nora never really got a chance to know Torvald. Torvald had his eye on Nora from the beginning. So he help her father and for that Nora was grateful, and thus became Mr. & Mrs. Helmer. It sounds like a very romantic story, but little did Nora know what would be in store for her.

Torvald treated Nora like she was his child, I guess that is because he took no part in raising his children the he and Nora had together. If Nora would have taken the time to find out if Torvald was the one for her, then maybe it wouldn’t have taken her eight years to realize that she never really loved him. If you are unhappy in your home then you leave your spouse, but you are never to leave your children. Even though Nora never really spent much time with her children she loved them to death.

When Nora finally decided to turn her back on Torvald she decided to turn her back on her children as well. It might not have affected the children right away, but eventually it would have. Girls need a women figure to talk to about female things. Not only that but if Nora left and then later on down the road decided to enter back into the children’s lives, they might have resentment towards her. Another reason why Nora shouldn’t leave her children is because Torvald may one day decide to remarry.

“She needs to be more to her children than an empty figurehead. Thomas cyberessay. com) The children’s new mother might try to take the place of Nora. If she were to succeed, the children might not remember Nora. But on the other hand maybe she wouldn’t succeed in taking Nora’s place, and that would be very hard on the children as well. Nora was around at a time when women weren’t considered equal to men, so it would be hard for her to get a job, if she could find one at all. “The mere fact that Nora’s well-intentioned action is considered illegal reflects woman’s subordinate position in society.

It can be suggested that woman have power to choose which rules to follow at home, but not in the business world, thus indicating her subordinateness. “(Thomas, cyberessays. com) If Nora were to look for a job she would probably hear a sexist remark like, “shouldn’t you be at home raising the children. ” “Ibsen saw women’s proper role as motherhood, and motherhood only. “(Frank Magil, 1572) It is hard enough in the new millennium for a women to get a good job to support herself, let alone in 1879, when this story took place.

If Nora were to have stayed with Torvald, he could have provided her with everything that she needed or wanted. Torvald would have done anything in his power to make sure that Nora was happy. Another reason that she would not be able to get a job is that she had no skills. The one thing that she could do was sew. That probably would not land her a job at that time though because many women were able to sew around this period. Sewing was considered a women’s job, so that meant that most of the women that went out looking for jobs more than likely ended up with sewing job.

Since there were so many women that knew how to sew, that meant that there was not a demand for them, so they didn’t have to pay the women that much. If she did find a job, it may not pay well being that her level of education was not as high as most men in the workforce. If Nora were to leave Torvald, she would more than likely become someone else’s doll. Nora was a doll all her life, first to her father then to Torvald. Nora knew of nothing else but being a doll. Nora would act like a child to get what she needed.

She would allow Torvald to call her pet names like “squirrel”,”Is that my squirrel rummaging around”(Ibsen, 1240), “lark”, “spendthrift”, and “little bird. ” “Nora was definitely a care free woman, just like a lark, and Torvald refers to her as such. “(Gladstone, gladstone. uoregon. edu) “On the other hand, Nora must be some sort of scrounge, because Torvald also refers to her as his “little squirrel. “(Gladstone, gladstone. com) She would even use sex to get what she wanted. “Her insipidity, her dollishness, comes from the incessant repression of her family life.

Nora has been spoon-fed everything she has needed in life. Never having to think has caused her to become dependant on others. ” (Thomas, cyberessays. com) I feel that even though Nora might have felt that she was making the right decision in leaving Torvald, there were many things that she should have put into consideration. Instead of just leaving before getting a chance to weigh her options. When people are mad they do things out of haste. When she left, she probably realized what all she had done, and asked Torvald to take her back.

Siddhartha and A Dolls House

Though Siddhartha and A Dolls House share a completely different storyline, they are very much similar because of the development of the main characters throughout the two stories. Nora, from the play A Dolls House, changes her image after recognizing what kind of life she was living. Siddhartha, from the book Siddhartha, becomes aware that life cannot be taught, and that it had to be experienced first-hand. Both of the main characters seemed to have suddenly awakened from what I consider enslavement of the mind.

I believe this because they are not free to think about things without the influence of their surrounding society. Nora notices that she is living her life in wretchedness at the end of the play, when she says, here is your ring back. Give me mine. (Act III) This quote displays Noras ambition to move on in life and free her mind from the interrogations brought to her from Torvald. Siddhartha reaches this awakening while he is young. He mentions to his father about leaving the house to join the teachings of the Samanas.

He moved on again and began to walk quickly and impatiently, no longer homewards, no longer to his father, no longer looking backwards. This quote shows that Siddhartha is ready to move on and leave the everyday society, and beliefs of his parents. These quotes convey the spark of these characters new beliefs. Nora, appearing as the ordinary housewife, really is not what she appears to be. The play greatly lets off the vibe of the saying, ignorance is bliss.

I receive this vibe because Nora seemed mentally enslaved and totally ignorant to what was going on around her. Her father owned her and made her do everything he wanted, and now her husband is playing that role. Her whole life seems to be awful, but then the plot thickens, and Nora awakens from her everyday, coma of ignorance. Nora has morphed from a housewife into a liberated woman. These changes occur throughout the three acts of A Dolls House, and are the basis of the play.

Nora, the innocent little housewife, starts off as a harmless little doll but soon changes. She is Torvalds perfect wife in the beginning of the play, but little does he know that she has a mind of her own and isnt really his little doll. The opening of Noras ulterior personality starts when she opens up to Mrs. Linde (Act 1). Nora bleeds to Mrs. Linde her financial problems with the trip that she spent two hundred and fifty pounds on, on her husband. Being the reader, I was shocked to hear so knowing how harmless and perfect Nora appeared to be.

Then later on, the plot unfolds and reveals the incriminating fact that Nora had been owing Krogstad this money the whole time and had been paying him back in increments with the allowance given to her by Torvald. It is crazy that Nora had been so sneaky all along and had been keeping it away from Torvald all along. Nora is then stuck in a dilemma when Krogstad blackmailed her by telling her that she has to get his job back or hell reveal the whole thing to Torvald. This means that Noras life is not as simple as it seemed.

Towards the peak of the play Nora is a much different character than in the beginning. The plot twists and turns due to her sneakiness and her image changed from a boring housewife to a full-fledged woman. Siddhartha, on the other hand, didnt as much change his views, but traveled a path to enlightenment. If he had not left his home, he would be the average individual, and not the enlightened one. Siddharthas experiences are a bit supernatural. It would definitely be hard to undergo the life of Siddhartha in todays society, even though it sounds like it is the right path to take.

Society cannot be escaped like it could have been years ago. It holds bonds to people, and keep them from escaping to a freedom of mentality. The natural items such as life, liberty, and happiness, are something that has to be worked for in todays society, rather than found. Siddhartha, not like most in his time, freed himself and found happiness. A Dolls House and Siddhartha both shared common themes of finding ones self. Despite their different time periods, and storyline, they are very much alike when analyzed closely.

A Doll’s House Unmasked

Henrik Ibsens A Dolls House opens with a playful atmosphere between Torvald and his wife Nora. They seem as a happy couple with nothing to hide from each other. As the play continues to develop, this idea of cheerfulness becomes a misconception. Torvald manipulates Nora and treats her like a doll. Nora seems to enjoy this relationship, but when the reader learns about her true feelings and her past actions, we can observe that her true desire is to be free from her husbands manipulation.

The apparent joy and good-humored environment present at the Torvalds household is just a way to hide the secrets and differences between the couple. In A Dolls House, when Nora lies about eating macaroons, it can be considered as an example of an ostensibly humorous episode emphasized by a much more serious purpose. It is funny how Torvald asks Nora in a childish manner if she has gone against his will by eating macaroons: (wagging his finger at her) Hasnt Miss Sweet Tooth been braking rules in town today? Nora hides the truth by answering that she has not had any macaroons that day.

Torvald seems to be joking around with her, but the fact that for such a trivial subject Nora has to lie, denotes the tension in their relationship. Nora lies about the macaroons twice, first to Torvald and then to Dr. Rank. Rank and Mrs. Linde appear to be involved in a deep conversation about society when Nora breaks up into laughter at the thought of Torvalds power at the bank. What do I care about tiresome society? replies Nora. She suddenly takes out a bag from her pocket and offers Rank some macaroons.

She then lies, saying that Mrs. Linde had given her the macaroons, and makes both Dr. Rank and Mrs. Linde eat some. Nora feels the need to lie about eating the macaroons because she feels guilty. The macaroons symbolize Noras deceptions, which reach the point of committing forbidden acts. These deceptions are the roots of the problems between the apparent happy couple. Nora fakes her attitude towards her husband in order hide all their faults. Eating the macaroons appears to be an inconsequential action with no importance, but for Nora it is important that Torvald does not find out she has been eating them.

It is also extremely important for her that Torvald does not find out the truth about the forged signature and the illegal loan she acquired from Krogstad to save Torvalds life. As we have seen with Henrik Ibsens A Doll House, authors frequently add humor to scenes that convey a serious memessage. The humor may be seen as a mask for the reader to uncover and discover the true message conveyed. The elements used for humor, in this case the macaroons, are usually important symbols for the plot of the literary work.

A Closer look at Ibsens A Dolls House

“Everything is relative” or so the flippant motto of the post-modern generation would say. Interestingly enough, this aphorism is brilliantly applied by Henrik Ibsen to enhance his characters in the acclaimed drama, A Dolls House. Often, we see things relative to their surroundings, and as the contrast between objects heighten, each becomes more visible. Within the first act of A Dolls House, we encounter Christine Linde, a childhood friend of the main character, Nora, and Dr. Rank, a friend of the family.

Ibsen paints distinctive pictures of both Christine and Rank as individuals, and, having established them with the audience uses them as contrasts, or foils, for Nora and Torvald. Ibsen develops both Christine and Dr. Rank as individual characters and significant elements of the plot. Christine, left destitute by an unloving marriage, reflects a sense of endurance. She is enduring, wizened, and searching for a new beginning. Whereas Nora is girlish and petty, Christine is wise and observant. Commenting on Krogstad: “Still I think it is the sick who need taking care of” (p. ) she shows her heartfelt concern for others.

Christine is discerning, intelligent, and kind. Her amour-propre is based entirely on interactions with other people. Her livelihood is derived from being useful to others. Dr. Rank is jovial, but insightful, kind, but tainted. While at first glance he is a family friend, he is also in love with Nora. “Nora: Tell mewhat shall we two wear at the next [ball]? . . . Rank: Yes, I can tell you. You shall go as a good fairy Helmer: What do you suggest as an appropriate costume for that? Rank: Let your wife go as she is in everyday life” (57).

His body is rotting, but he maintains his jocund outlook on life, even as death encroaches upon him. The themes of the play, men and women, their relationship to one another, and to the outside world-, carry through to Rank and Christine. In developing them as individual characters, the audience/reader embraces them, or, at least relates to them, to a greater extent than they would have had Ibsen left Rank and Christine bland plot-catalysts built on stereotypes. As individual characters they can serve stronger and more original. Christine, most importantly, provides numerous contrasts throughout the play.

Most obvious is her contrast to Nora. While Nora has been sheltered and lived an easy life since the time she and Christine were girls, Christine has endured the death of her parents and the resulting care she had to provide her younger siblings. This contrast is most visible when Nora divulges the secret of her loan to Christine. Deciding to tell Christine this seems more like a childish boast than an adult conversation. Nora toys with several lies about a suitor, and only divulges her secrets when Christine calls her a child. Christine, by contrast, is wise. There still exists a grave hollowness in Christines life, however.

Her livelihood comes from helping others, “My poor mother needs me no more, for she is gone; and the boys do not need me either; they have got situations and can shift for themselves. Nora: What a relief you must feel it Christine: No, indeed; I only feel my life unspeakably empty. No one to live for any more” (10). Christines hollowness provides a contrast, or foil, for Noras belief in the importance of motherhood and marriage. Similarly, Ibsen uses Dr. Rank as a foil for Torvald. In the majority of well-written plays, there is a moral figure, often male, who the other members of the cast look to for moral guidance.

Ibsen sets up Dr. Rank perfectly to assume the roll: he is older, kind, and wise. But, much to the surprise of the audience, Dr. Rank is both physically and morally tainted. He is dying from a disease begotten by his fathers sexual indiscretions. Furthermore, he is very much in love with Nora. Dr. Rank provides a contrast to Torvalds immutable sense of morality. Dually, Dr. Ranks humor serves as a comic relief in an otherwise serious play. . “Nora: Tell mewhat shall you be at the next ball? Rank: Well, I think I shall be invisible” (57). Rank, aforementioned, is as syphilitic.

Ranks syphilis, more so, his open discussion of it, was considered extremely taboo in Ibsens Victorian era. But syphilis, being a sexually transmitted disease, is as basic an illustration of inter-gender relationships as one could hope to have. Ranks openness about his disease is a micro-reflection of the play as a whole: radical, taboo, but honest and truthful. The disease itself is also symbolic of Torvald and Noras relationship: a few painless chancres on the outside, but disintegration hidden away from the eyes, which ultimately leads to death. Dr. Rank and Christine are significant to the play in multiple ways.

Most importantly, they contrast Torvald and Nora in a variety of ways. These contrasts bring highlight the Nora and Torvalds actions, motivations, and personalities. This strengthens them as characters and in turn, makes better the play as a whole. They also present vehicles for Ibsen to address other issues. Through Rank, Ibsen takes aim at sex, disease, and death, and through Christine, he speaks boldly about love verses money, and the hollowness of a purely serving lifestyle. A Dolls House without Christine and Rank would be but a “fool, who frets his hour upon the stage . . . signifying nothing. “

Interpretation of A Doll’s House

“A Doll’s House” is classified under the “second phase” of Henrik Ibsen’s career. It was during this period which he made the transition from mythical and historical dramas to plays dealing with social problems. It was the first in a series investigating the tensions of family life. Written during the Victorian era, the controversial play featuring a female protagonist seeking individuality stirred up more controversy than any of his other works.

In contrast to many dramas of Scandinavia in that time which depicted the role of women as the comforter, helper, and supporter of man, “A Doll’s House” introduced woman as having her own purposes and goals. The heroine, Nora Helmer, progresses during the course of the play eventually to realize that she must discontinue the role of a doll and seek out her individuality.

David Thomas describes the initial image of Nora as that of a doll wife who revels in the thought of luxuries that can now be afforded, who is become with flirtation, and engages in childlike acts of disobedience (259). This inferior role from which Nora progressed is extremely important. Ibsen in his “A Doll’s House” depicts the role of women as subordinate in order to emphasize the need to reform their role in society. Definite characteristics of the women’s subordinate role in a relationship are emphasized through Nora’s contradicting actions.

Her infatuation with luxuries such as expensive Christmas gifts contradicts her resourcefulness in scrounging and buying cheap clothing; her defiance of Torvald by eating forbidden Macaroons contradicts the submission of her opinions, including the decision of which dance outfit to wear, to her husband; and Nora’s flirtatious nature contradicts her devotion to her husband. These occurrences emphasize the facets of a relationship in which women play a dependent role: finance, power, and love. Ibsen attracts our attention to these examples to highlight the overall subordinate role that a woman plays compared to that of her husband.

The two sides of Nora contrast each other greatly and accentuate the fact that she is lacking in independence of will. The mere fact that Nora’s well-intentioned action is considered illegal reflects woman’s subordinate position in society; but it is her actions that provide the insight to this position. It can be suggested that women have the power to choose which rules to follow at home, but not in the business world, thus again indicating her subordinateness. Nora does not at first realize that the rules outside the household apply to her.

This is evident in Nora’s meeting with Krogstad regarding her borrowed money. In her opinion it was no crime for a woman to do everything possible to save her husband’s life. She also believes that her act will be overlooked because of her desperate situation. She fails to see that the law does not take into account the motivation behind her forgery. Marianne Sturman submits that this meeting with Krogstad was her first confrontation with the reality of a “lawful society” and she deals with it by attempting to distract herself with her Christmas decorations (16).

Thus her first encounter with rules outside of her “doll’s house” results in the realization of her naivety and inexperience with the real world due to her subordinate role in society. The character of Nora is not only important in describing to role of women, but also in emphasizing the impact of this role on a woman. Nora’s child-like manner, evident through her minor acts of disobedience and lack of responsibility compiled with her lack of sophistication further emphasize the subordinate role of woman.

By the end of the play this is evident as she eventually sees herself as an ignorant person, and unfit mother, and essentially her husband’s wife. Edmond Gosse highlights the point that “Her insipidity, her dollishness, come from the incessant repression of her family life (721). ” Nora has been spoonfed everything she has needed in life. Never having to think has caused her to become dependent on others. This dependency has given way to subordinateness, one that has grown into a social standing. Not only a position in society, but a state of mind is created.

When circumstances suddenly place Nora in a responsible position, and demand from her a moral judgment, she has none to give. She cannot possibly comprehend the severity of her decision to borrow money illegally. Their supposed inferiority has created a class of ignorant women who cannot take action let alone accept the consequences of their actions. “A Doll’s House” is also a prediction of change from this subordinate roll. According to Ibsen in his play, women will eventually progress and understand her position.

Bernard Shaw notes that when Nora’s husband inadvertently deems her unfit in her role as a mother, she begins to realize that her actions consisting of playing with her children happily or dressing them nicely does not necessarily make her a suitable parent (226). She needs to be more to her children than an empty figurehead. From this point, when Torvald is making a speech about the effects of a deceitful mother, until the final scene, Nora progressively confronts the realities of the real world and realizes her subordinate position.

Although she is progressively understanding this position, she still clings to the hope that her husband will come to her protection and defend her from the outside world once her crime is out in the open. After she reveals the “dastardly deed” to her husband, he becomes understandably agitated; in his frustration he shares the outside world with her, the ignorance of the serious business world, and destroys her innocence and self-esteem. This disillusion marks the final destructive blow to her doll’s house.

Their ideal home including their marriage and parenting has been a fabrication for the sake of society. Nora’s decision to leave this false life behind and discover for herself what is real is directly symbolic of woman’s ultimate realization. Although she becomes aware of her supposed subordinateness, it is not because of this that she has the desire to take action. Nora is utterly confused, as suggested by Harold Clurman, “She is groping sadly in a maze of confused feeling toward a way of life and a destiny of which she is most uncertain (256).

The one thing she is aware of is her ignorance, and her desire to go out into the world is not to “prove herself” but to discover and educate herself. She must strive to find her individuality. That the perception of woman is inaccurate is also supported by the role of Torvald. Woman is believed to be subordinate to the domineering husband. Instead of being the strong supporter and protector of his family, Nora’s husband is a mean and cowardly man.

Worried about his reputation he cares little about his wife’s feelings and fails to notice many of her needs. The popular impression of man is discarded in favor of a more realistic view, thus illustrating society’s distorted views. Ibsen, through this controversial play, has an impact upon society’s view of the subordinate position of women. By describing this role of woman, discussing its effects, and predicting a change in contemporary views, he stressed the importance of woman’s realization of this believed inferiority.

Woman should no longer be seen as the shadow of man, but a person in herself, with her own triumphs and tragedies. The exploration of Nora reveals that she is dependant upon her husband and displays no independent standing. Her progression of understanding suggests woman’s future ability to comprehend their plight. Her state of shocked awareness at the end of the play is representative of the awakening of society to the changing view of the role of woman. “A Doll’s House” magnificently illustrates the need for and a prediction of this change.

A Doll’s House Act I Analysis

Act I, in the tradition of the well made play in which the first act serves as an exposition, the second an event, and the third an unraveling (though Ibsen diverges from the traditional third act by presenting not an unraveling, but a discussion), establishes the tensions that explode later in the play. Ibsen sets up the Act by first introducing us to the central issue: Nora and her relation to the exterior world (Nora entering with her packages). Nora serves as a symbol for women of the time; women who were thought to be content with the luxuries of modern society with no thought or care of the world in which they lived.

Indeed, there is some truth in this (the extent of this is debatable). As the play reveals, Nora does delight in material wealth, having been labeled a spendthrift from an early age. She projects the attitude that money is the key to happiness. By presenting this theme of the relationship between women and their surroundings at the beginning, Ibsen indicates to the reader that this is the most basic and important idea at work in the play. However, it is also clear that Nora’s simplistic approach to the world is not entirely her fault.

Torvald’s treatment of Nora as a small helpless child only contributes to Nora’s isolation from reality. Just as Nora relates to the exterior world primarily through material objects, Torvald relates to Nora as an object to be possessed. The question becomes who is more detached from reality? Though Torvald’s attitude pervades every word he speaks to Nora, his objectification of her is most evident in his use of animal imagery. He refers to her as his little “lark” and “squirrel”small harmless animals. Similarly, Torvald repeatedly calls Nora his “little one” or “little girl”, maintaining the approach of a father rather than husband.

Nora is fully dependent on Torvald, from money to diet (the macaroons); and, because she is so sheltered, her perception of the world is romanticized. Nora’s skewed vision of the world is most evident in her interactions with Mrs. Linde. Whereas her old school friend is wizened and somber, Nora is impetuous. Her choice to tell Mrs. Linde about her secret seems to be more of a boast of a small child than a thoughtful adult; in fact, Nora only reveals her secret after being called a child by Mrs. Linde. Similarly, in her talk with Krogstad, Nora seems unable to accept that what she sees as acts of love could be seen as illegal and wrong.

She refuses to believe that she is just as guilty as Krogstad. However, it is apparent that Nora is at least partly aware of the falseness of her life. When pressed as to whether she will ever tell Torvald about the loan, she replies that she would, but only in time. For now, she believes that it would upset the lies that have built her home: Torvald’s “manly independence” and even the basis of their marriage. This suggests that Nora is at least vaguely aware that Torvald’s position as the manly provider and lawgiver is just as fabricated as her role as the helpless child-wife and mother.

Indeed, it is important to examine the language of the opening scene between Nora and Torvald and realize that Nora’s words can be read as both sincere and insincere; the text suggests an ambiguity in Nora’s awareness of her situation. However, though Nora is somewhat aware, she does not want to face the implications of this reality, believing that material wealth will render her “free from care”, allowing her to play with her children, keep the house beautifully, and do everything the way that Torvald likes. The lie can be preserved.

Moreover, it seems that it is her lie, her knowledge that she has done something for Torvald that keeps Nora happy. Mrs. Linde’s complaint that she feels unspeakably empty without anyone to care for reinforces the importance of this role for women in general in the text. Consequently, Nora is content to continue to act as a child, romping with her children as if she is one of them. Indeed, it is clear that, just as she is not as much a wife as a child in her marriage, she is not a mother in any real sense either.

It is the nurse who actually takes care of the children; Nora mostly plays with them and occasionally takes on more serious responsibilities but only because she views them as “great fun”. When Nora realizes that all may not go to plan after her talk with Krogstad because she is unable to either influence Torvald or talk to him on a straight level about her predicament, she begins to feel helpless. In the last scene of the act, when Nora is trimming the tree and conversing with Torvald, the full falseness of her situation becomes clear.

Acting helpless, Nora tells Torvald that she absolutely needs his help, even with such a trifling thing as picking a costume for the upcoming ball. Torvald is not surprised and is even delighted, promising to help her. When the subject turns to the more serious matter of Torvald’s views on Krogstad, it becomes apparent that Torvald is perhaps hopelessly invested in a false and twisted image of the world in which women are charged with the moral purity of the world, claiming that if men turn out badly it is because of poor mothering.

As a result, at the end of the scene, when Nora reassures herself that “it must be impossible”, she is worried both about the impossibility of her position in the immediate sense (i. e. , concerning the loan) as well as the impossibility of her larger situationas a participant in a marriage and family built on lies. In fact, it is possible to view her last words of the acta defiance of Torvald’s views on womenas the beginning of her rejection of the marriage altogether.

Act II Analysis: Whereas Act I set up the initial invasion of reality into Nora’s world and the rattling of the basic underpinnings of the falseness of Nora’s life (i. , marriage and motherhood), Act II eventually sees her set up a test that will determine whether or not her world is false. In other words, she is confronted with the fact that Torvald will find out about her lie but believes that, if he is the man she thinks he is, his discovery will only strengthen their marriage. Her reaction to Krogstad finally dropping his letter in the letter box is the climax of the play. In the traditional well made play, this would be followed by a unraveling and moral resolution of the dilemma set up in the first act and brought to head in the second.

However, Ibsen deviates from this mold, turning the third act into a discussion. At the beginning of the second Act, before the climax, Nora is still trying to confront the fact that her world can be touched and shattered. Though she is shaken, she still believes that her family and her material comforts will protect her. However, she is worried enough about the matter that she has already begun to consider the idea of both running away and committing suicide (though she admits that she does not have the courage for this last part). Luckily, the ball temporarily distracts her.

This ball is extremely important for Nora because, through the costumes and dance, she is able to embrace the basic elements of the basis of her relationship with Torvald that she is still trying to preserve; she can sing and dance for him as a lovely creature. Mrs. Linde refers to Nora’s dress as her “fine feathers” reinforcing the general perception of Nora as a non-human entity, a creature free of cares. In fact, the dress itself serves as a potent symbol of Nora’s “character”. Like Nora, it is torn and in need of repair. However, as in real life, Nora feels she is incapable of fixing the problem herself, giving the dress to Mrs.

Linde to mend. The idea of the dress serving as a symbol for Nora’s everyday mask is reinforced when Nora reports that Torvald dislikes seeing dressmaking in action. In other words, Torvald enjoys the character that Nora adopts but has no desire to see its origins, the real Nora. Indeed, Nora tries to maintain her relationship with Torvald, unsuccessfully attempting to manipulate him on behalf of Krogstad through playing the part of his innocent and darling creature. One of the key turning points of the play comes when Torvald tells her that, come what may, he will take everything upon himself.

Whereas before, Nora merely sought to find some way to avoid this disaster, now the idea that this episode may prove the strength of her marriage has been planted in her head. An important quotation to look at is Nora’s remarks after she is left alone that “He was capable of doing it. He will do it. He will do it in spite of everything. No, not that! Never, never! Anything rather than that! Oh, for some help, some way out of it! ” One way to read this is as a comment on Krogstad’s actionsthat he will reveal her after all.

Another way to read this statement is as a commentary on Torvald’s decision to fire Krogstad and the problems it will cause. Still another way to read this is as concern that Torvald will take responsibility for her actions as he promised. After this realization, Nora begins to act a bit more daring than before, using her awareness of the possibility of Dr. Rank’s affection to manipulate him. When things go too far for her, however, and he admits that he is in love with her, she can not continue, her manipulation ruined by the blatant statement of reality.

After all, Dr. Ranks’ revelation that he, like Torvald, would give his life to save Nora’s ruins her belief that Torvald’s position is somehow unique. Nora’s hopes of averting disaster are dashed when she sees Krogstad drop the letter into Torvald’s box. Perhaps already aware of the inherent problems of the relationship, she exclaims that all is lost for her and Torvald as Krogstad deposits the letter. Nora’s fear, now that she knows that there is no turning back, is that the “wonderful thing” will happen: that Torvald will try to take this all upon himself and that, by knowing what she has done for him, they will become equal partners in the marriage.

Nora both fears this and wishes for it. But, Nora is not ready to face this just yet. She wants to act out her last chance to be a creature for Torvald, dancing the tarantella. It is only after this dancing that she consents to letting him free. Interestingly, her last statement that she only has thirty-one hours to live can be read two different ways. On the one hand, it can be interpreted as saying that she plans on committing suicide in order to free Torvald from having to take the responsibility on himself; she would die knowing that she had once again saved his life.

On the other hand, it may be a comment only that her life as she knows it will be over and that, in thirty-one hours, she will have to embark upon a new, radically different life because her relationship with Torvald will be over. Act IIIAnalysis: Act III is extremely important in A Doll’s House. Rather than presenting the traditional unraveling of the well made play, it confronts the reader or viewer with a discussion of the themes presented in the first two acts. The act is also the deciding point of Nora’s life: will the “wonderful thing” happen or not? It begins with a foil for Nora and Torvald’s marriage.

In fact, Mrs. Linde and Krogstad’s decision to be together can be seen as ironic in the context of Nora and Torvald’s marriage because, though Mrs. Linde and Krogstad both suffer from significant personal and moral problems, they have a better chance of a happy and true marriage than Nora and Torvald. Mrs. Linde advocates revealing all to Torvald because, as her union with Krogstad suggests, she believes that it is possible to build a relationship of mutual dependence of unformed characters as long as both parties are fully aware of each other’s motives.

Mrs. Linde hopes that, through this union, both she and Krogstad can become the better people they know that they can be. The extent of Torvald’s investment in a fantasy world and the importance of Nora’s false characterization is revealed when he describes how, at parties, he pretends not to know her so that he may seduce her all over again. And, perhaps more importantly, Nora is quite candid about her understanding of all this, telling him flatly that she knows. It is important to notice that Nora’s time at the party has been the first time that she has left the confines of the one room in the entire play.

Moreover, she has to be dragged back in. This suggests that it is Torvald’s own desires to have Nora entertain him that necessarily forces Nora to journey into the real world. Also, it is interesting to note that she also temporarily leaves the room to exchange her party dress for everyday clothing, her first lone foray from the room. This new trend is the beginning of her final departure from the rooma departure that ends the play, shattering the values that had supported the walls of the house.

But, when she leaves for the final time, she is leaving for reasons other than what she had intended at the beginning of the Act. Before Torvald confronts her with the letter, she is on her way to commit suicide, determined that Torvald should not have to sacrifice his life for hers. She considers this the appropriate thing to do because she believes that he would willingly give his life for hers as well. In this way, they have an equal relationship. However, she is extremely disappointed to discover that he clearly has no intention of sacrificing himself for her.

Instead of refusing to abide by Krogstad’s demands and taking the blame on himself, Torvald accuses Nora of ruining his life, telling her that she will no longer be able to see her children or maintain their marriage except in public appearances. Nora even asks him whether he would give his life for her and her fears are confirmed when he answers that he would never sacrifice his honor for a loved one. Consequently, Nora resolves to leave Torvald, aware that true wedlock is impossible between them because neither of them loves the other, or is even capable of doing so.

A Doll’s House Central Theme

One of A Doll’s House’s central theme is secession from society. It is demonstrated by several of its characters breaking away from the social standards of their time and acting on their own terms. No one character demonstrates this better than Nora. During the time in which the play took place society frowned upon women asserting themselves. Women were supposed to play a role in which they supported their husbands, took care of their children, and made sure everything was perfect around the house.

Work, politics, and decisions were left to the males. Nora’s first secession from society was when she broke the law and ecided to borrow money to pay for her husbands treatment. By doing this, she not only broke the law but she stepped away from the role society had placed on her of being totally dependent on her husband. She proved herself not to be helpless like Torvald implied: “you poor helpless Nora’s second secession from society was shown by her decision to leave Torvald and her children.

Society demanded that she take a place under her husband. This is shown in the way Torvald spoke down to her saying things like: “worries that you couldn’t possibly help me with,” and “Nora, Nora, just like a woman. She is almost considered to be property of his: “Mayn’t I look at my dearest treasure? At all the beauty that belongs to no one but me -that’s all my very own? ” By walking out she takes a position equal to her husband and brakes society’s expectations.

Nora also brakes society’s expectations of staying in a marriage since divorce was frowned upon during that era. Her decision was a secession from all expectations put on a Nora secessions are very deliberate and thought out. She knows what society expects of her and continues to do what she feels is right despite them. Her secessions are used by Ibsen to show aults of society. In the first secession Ibsen illustrates that despite Nora doing the right thing it is deemed wrong and not allowed by society because she is a woman.

While the forgery can be considered wrong, Ibsen is critical of the fact that Nora is forced to forge. Ibsen is also critical of society’s expectations of a marriage. He illustrates this by showing how Nora is forced to play a role than be herself and the eventual deterioration of the marriage. Throughout the play Nora is looked down upon and treated as a possession by her husband. She is something to please him and used for show. He is looked upon as the provider and the decision maker. Society would have deemed it a perfect marriage.

Ibsen is critical of the fact that a marriage lacked love and understanding, as shown by Torvald becoming angry with Nora for taking the loan and saving A Doll’s House’s central theme of secession from society was made to be critical of society’s view on women and marriage. Ibsen used Nora’s secessions as an example to illustrate that society’s expectations of a woman’s role in society and marriage were incorrect. Her decision to leave was the exclamation point on his critical view of society.

Reality, Illusion and Foolish Pride

In the play “The Cherry Orchard” by Anton Chekhov set in Mrs. Ranevsky’s estate and ” A Doll’s House” by Henrik Ibsen set in Helmers’ flat the protagonists shape the story. In both plays the protagonists’ mental beliefs combine reality and illusions that shape the plot of each respective story. The ability of the characters to reject or accept an illusion, along with the foolish pride that motivated their decision leads to their personal downfall. In the Cherry Orchard, by AntonChekhov, Gayev and Miss.

Ranevsky, along with the majority of their family, refuse to believe that their estate is close to bankruptcy. Instead of accepting the reality of their problem, they continue to live their lives under the illusion that they are doing well financially. The family continues with its frivolous ways until there is no money left. One specific example of this is when the family throws an extravagant party on the final night before the house is auctioned off laughing in the face of impending financial ruin.

Even when Lopakhin attempts to rescue the family with ideas that could lead to some of the estate being retained, they dismiss his ideas under the illusion that the situation is not that desperate that they need to compromise any of their dignity. The inability on the behalf of the family to realize the seriousness of their situation is seen in the passage between Lopakhin, Gayev and Mrs. Ranevsky: Lopakhin: As you know, your cherry orchards being sold to pay your debts. The Auctions on the twenty-second of August. Here’s my plan….

All you have to do is break up your cheery orchard and the land along the river into building plots and lease them out for country cottages. You’ll have an income of at least twenty- five thousand a year. Gayev: I’m sorry, but what utter nonsense! Mrs. Ranevsky: Cut down? My dear man, I’m very sorry but I don’t think you know what you’re talking about (249). If they had recognized the situation they were in they might have been able to save some of their money, or even curbed their spending. This ultimately could have saved them from financial ruin.

Unfortunately, once things got bad for them, they refused to accept the fact that circumstances had changed, and instead continued to live as though nothing were wrong. They adopted this illusion as a savior of their pride, and the illusion eventually became reality for the family. Their pride would not allow for anything else. They were too proud to accept their social status, and financial status was in jeopardy, so they chose to live a life of illusion. In their imaginary situation, they were going to be fine. It is easier to believe something when you want it to be true.

Unfortunately, outside situations do not change, even if you can fool yourself into thinking they do not exist. The illusion that they used to run their lives became the source of their downfall. Since they grasped at their illusion so tightly, in vain hopes that it would replace reality, they failed to deal practically with their problem, until it got to the point where they had to. They were forced out onto the street, and had all their material possessions stripped from them. The most important thing they had their, status was gone.

In a “Doll’s House”, by Henrik Ibsen, property and status are again destined to be lost. The illusion is twisted. At the beginning of the play, Nora leads a life under the illusion that everything was perfect. She lives for eight years with the knowledge that she has broken the law, and betrayed her husband. Though it was necessary, the psychological toll it took on her and the family was hardly worthwhile. Along with Nora’s flaws, her husband was also at fault. He could not accept what Nora had done, would not have been able to deal with the extreme changes she had under gone.

His pride would not let him accept that he needed a woman to help; that he could not handle everything alone without the help of another person. His self-confidence would not have been strong enough to take that kind of blow to his ego. If she had forced her husband into handling the situation, by having him borrow money himself, everything would have turned out just fine. She, instead, took out the loan on her own, and did not even clue in her husband. She tried to avoid having his pride injured by forcing him to borrow money, even though it was necessary to save his life. From this experience she grew.

She learned about human nature, and about the value of money, and had even learned a lesson of practicality. Instead of clueing in her husband in about what she had, she kept quiet and left him ignorant. She lived her life in an illusion, pretending to be the old Nora that she was, and not the new and changed women she had developed into. She did not let the person she had become permeate all the aspects of her life. She let the illusion of the old Nora continue well after she had become a new person. Eventually she evolved into a person who could not be married to Helmer anymore.

Helmer: Nora, I would gladly work for you night and day, and endure sorrow and hardships for your sake. But no man can be expected to sacrifice his honor, even for the person he loves. Nora: Millions of Women have done it (85). Helmer: Oh, you think and talk like a stupid child (83). Nora: That may be. But you neither think nor talk like a man I could share my life with as I am now, I am no wife for you (85). If she had continued to grow, and mature, and had accepted the kind of person she became, then perhaps she would have gained the courage to tell her husband what she had done.

She would not have had to leave. She could have educated him gradually Instead of immediately surrendering any hope by leaving everything she has ever known. Nora’s failure to accept to what she had really become led to the end of her life with Helmer, and her downfall in society. In the end Helmer downfall socially and emotionally became apparent. Throughout each of these plays, the main characters faced a reality that they cease to accept, and instead live in an illusion. The refusal to accept a reality or illusion led to the characters’ fall in status and/or emotional well being.

A Doll’s House – Central Theme

One of A Doll’s House’s central theme is secession from society. It is demonstrated by several of its characters breaking away from the social standards of their time and acting on their own terms. No one character demonstrates this better than Nora.

During the time in which the play took place society frowned upon women asserting themselves. Women were supposed to play a role in which they supported their husbands, took care of their children, and made sure everything was perfect around the house. Work, politics, and decisions were left to the males. Nora’s first secession from society was when she broke the law and decided to borrow money to pay for her husbands treatment. By doing this, she not only broke the law but she stepped away from the role society had placed on her of being totally dependent on her husband. She proved herself not to be helpless like Torvald implied: “you poor helpless little creature!”

Nora’s second secession from society was shown by her decision to leave Torvald and her children. Society demanded that she take a place under her husband. This is shown in the way Torvald spoke down to her saying things like: “worries that you couldn’t possibly help me with,” and “Nora, Nora, just like a woman.” She is almost considered to be property of his: “Mayn’t I look at my dearest treasure? At all the beauty that belongs to no one but me -that’s all my very own?” By walking out she takes a position equal to her husband and brakes society’s expectations. Nora also brakes society’s expectations of staying in a marriage since divorce was frowned upon during that era. Her decision was a secession from all expectations put on a woman and a wife by society.

Nora secessions are very deliberate and thought out. She knows what society expects of her and continues to do what she feels is right despite them. Her secessions are used by Ibsen to show faults of society. In the first secession Ibsen illustrates that despite Nora doing the right thing it is deemed wrong and not allowed by society because she is a woman. While the forgery can be considered wrong, Ibsen is critical of the fact that Nora is forced to forge. Ibsen is also critical of society’s expectations of a marriage. He illustrates this by showing how Nora is forced to play a role than be herself and the eventual deterioration of the marriage. Throughout the play Nora is looked down upon and treated as a possession by her husband. She is something to please him and used for show. He is looked upon as the provider and the decision maker. Society would have deemed it a perfect marriage. Ibsen is critical of the fact that a marriage lacked love and understanding, as shown by Torvald becoming angry with Nora for taking the loan and saving him, would be consider as perfect.

A Doll’s House’s central theme of secession from society was made to be critical of society’s view on women and marriage. Ibsen used Nora’s secessions as an example to illustrate that society’s expectations of a woman’s role in society and marriage were incorrect. Her decision to leave was the exclamation point on his critical view of society.

English presentation on A Doll’s House by Henrik Ibsen

All great literary writers are very critical about their word choices. They try to select the words and the sentences to maximize the effects on developing the themes of their works. As a famous modern playwright, Henrik Ibsen also chooses his words and sentences very deliberately. In one of his best-known plays, A Dolls House, Ibsen makes many changes and additions to his earlier drafts in order to achieve the most [appropriate and sufficient] dramatic effects on the themes, and on the audience and the readers in his final version the play.

The deliberate situation, word and sentence choices are evidenced in three passages in ACT III, which is known as the discussion act and falling action of the play.

From the very end of page 57 to the middle of page 58, Torvald describes how, at parties, he pretends not to know her so that he may seduce her all over again, and he is very amorous with Nora until Dr. Rank interrupted. However, in the earlier draft, Mr. Helmer has not drunk too much champagne and is not so amorous with Nora.

Ibsen emphasized on the mental condition of Mr. Helmer and his acts as a result of his condition. As I know, peoples drunken words often reveal their real thoughts. Since Torvald is not sober, he reveals to Nora that their marriage is just a result of his seducing of her, which further demonstrates us that Torvalds affection of Nora is only for his own enjoyment.

Then, at the end of page 63, Mr. Helmer cries, I am saved, Nora, I am saved! instead of You are saved in the original draft. The deliberate word exchange from you to I is used to emphasize that Torvald is much more concerned about himselfhis own appearance other than his wifeNora.

Later, in the middle of page 70, Ibsen added two lines to his draft:

Hel.  But no man would sacrifice his honor for the one he loves.
Nora. It is a thing hundreds of thousands of women have done.

The addition of those two lines illustrates that Torvald puts his honor above anything else, even above his wife who loves him and makes sacrifices for him. Those two lines also reveal the theme of the inequality between husband and wife in a marriage. Although all women are willing to make sacrifices for their loved ones, men are not.

The phase hundreds of thousands is a contrasts with the word no to emphasize the huge difference of the roles between a husband and a wife. The contrast also affects the mood of the audience and reader to result their sympathy towards women in that society.

Overall, Ibsen makes changes and additions of situations, words and sentences to produce completely different dramatic effects than that of the drafts. His deliberate word choices set the tone of his play and thus reveal and strengthen the themes. The passages in the final version affect the mood of the audience and readers. The changes and additions also produce the dramatic effect of symbolism. On the first level of symbolism, the three passages work together to contribute to the characterization of the antagonist Torvald, vividly reveals that he is in love with himself instead of Nora, which is also evidenced in the movie we watch when Torvald looks at himself in the mirror. On the second level of symbolism, the three passages reveal the theme of play, which is the inequality in a marriage relationship.

Dramatic Effects produced by the Addtions and Changes in the Final Version

(English presentation on A Dolls House by Henrik Ibsen)

All great literary writers are very critical about their word choices. They try to select the words and the sentences to maximize the effects on developing the themes of their works. As a famous modern playwright, Henrik Ibsen also chooses his words and sentences very deliberately. In one of his best-known plays, A Dolls House, Ibsen makes many changes and additions to his earlier drafts in order to achieve the most [appropriate and sufficient] dramatic effects on the themes, and on the audience and the readers in his final version the play.

The deliberate situation, word and sentence choices are evidenced in three passages in ACT III, which is known as the discussion act and falling action of the play.

From the very end of page 57 to the middle of page 58, Torvald describes how, at parties, he pretends not to know her so that he may seduce her all over again, and he is very amorous with Nora until Dr. Rank interrupted. However, in the earlier draft, Mr. Helmer has not drunk too much champagne and is not so amorous with Nora.

Ibsen emphasized on the mental condition of Mr. Helmer and his acts as a result of his condition. As I know, peoples drunken words often reveal their real thoughts. Since Torvald is not sober, he reveals to Nora that their marriage is just a result of his seducing of her, which further demonstrates us that Torvalds affection of Nora is only for his own enjoyment.

Then, at the end of page 63, Mr. Helmer cries, I am saved, Nora, I am saved! instead of You are saved in the original draft. The deliberate word exchange from you to I is used to emphasize that Torvald is much more concerned about himselfhis own appearance other than his wifeNora.

Later, in the middle of page 70, Ibsen added two lines to his draft:

Hel.  But no man would sacrifice his honor for the one he loves.
Nora. It is a thing hundreds of thousands of women have done.

The addition of those two lines illustrates that Torvald puts his honor above anything else, even above his wife who loves him and makes sacrifices for him. Those two lines also reveal the theme of the inequality between husband and wife in a marriage. Although all women are willing to make sacrifices for their loved ones, men are not.

The phase hundreds of thousands is a contrasts with the word no to emphasize the huge difference of the roles between a husband and a wife. The contrast also affects the mood of the audience and reader to result their sympathy towards women in that society.

Overall, Ibsen makes changes and additions of situations, words and sentences to produce completely different dramatic effects than that of the drafts. His deliberate word choices set the tone of his play and thus reveal and strengthen the themes. The passages in the final version affect the mood of the audience and readers. The changes and additions also produce the dramatic effect of symbolism. On the first level of symbolism, the three passages work together to contribute to the characterization of the antagonist Torvald, vividly reveals that he is in love with himself instead of Nora, which is also evidenced in the movie we watch when Torvald looks at himself in the mirror. On the second level of symbolism, the three passages reveal the theme of play, which is the inequality in a marriage relationship.

A Doll’s House – representation of a womens marital life from many years ago

A Dolls House represents a womens marital life from many years ago. The central theme of this play is Noras rebellion against society and everything that was expected of her. Nora shows this by breaking away from all the standards and expectations her husband and society had set up for her. Women were not considered of importance to their husbands and that made women feel like in a dolls house, such as with Nora and her husband Helmer. In her time women were not supposed to be independent. They were to support their husbands, take care of the children, cook, clean, and make everything perfect around the house.

Nora had two main rebellions; her taking out the loan, and when she left her family, and everything was all planned out by her. Noras first rebellion was when she took out a loan so that she could pay for her husband, Torvalds medical treatment. It was against the law for women to take out a loan without their husbands consent. When she did this she proved that she was not as submissive and helpless as Torvald thought she was. He called her helpless. A perfect example of Torvalds control and Noras submissiveness was when she got him to re-teach her the tarantella.

She already knew the dance but she acted as if she needed him to re-teach her the whole thing. When he says to her Watching you swing and dance the tarantella makes my blood rush. This shows that he is more interested in her physically than emotionally. Then when she told him to stop he said to her, am I not your husband? Again, this is an example of Torvalds control over Nora, and how he thinks that she is there to fulfill his every desire on command. Torvald does not trust her with any money and with the little money that he does trust her with he is afraid that she will spend it on Macaroons, a candy that he has forbid her to eat.

He calls her his little squirrel, and many other animal names in a way to degrade her. Noras second rebellion was when she left Torvald and her children. The society she lived in demanded that she should submit to her husband and that she should take a place under him. Society considered women to be property of their husbands and that they should fulfil their every command. When Krogstad tries to blackmail Nora, and Torvald did not even support her she realized that there was a problem. Then finally when Torvald realizes that his social stature will not be harmed he displays his real feeling for Nora, both physically and emotionally.

It is at this time when Nora decides that she does not want to be controlled by Torvald anymore and she told him that she was going to leave him. By leaving Torvald she is not only shutting him out but also forgetting everything in her past. When Torvald tries to reconcile with her she explains that all her life she was treated like a child. How she never got to make any decisions on her own. Then she explains to him how she wants to grow into a responsible mature woman. She describes herself as a Responsible human being and wants to live her own life.

Noras rebellions were deliberate and well planned. She knew what was expected of her and she still did what she thought was right in her own mind. The author uses these rebellions to show what was society in that day. Even though she did what was right she was still looked down upon by society. It was wrong for Nora to forge her husbands signature to take out the loan to pay for Torvalds medical treatment, but she was in a way forced to do it. If Nora didnt do it her husband would have died. She did it out of love and compassion. Torvald, along with all of society condemned her for doing it.

Throughout the whole play Nora was looked down upon, and treated as Torvalds possession and she is only there for show and to please her husband. He is looked at as the provider and he is the decision-maker. This was, at that time a perfect marriage, the only thing it lacked was love and understanding. This was shown when got mad when he found out that she took out the loan to save his life. Ibsen uses Noras rebellions to show that societys expectations of a womans roll in a marriage were wrong and that there should be more equality, love, and understanding in Torvalds and Noras marriage.

A Doll’s House and Tess of the D’Urbevilles

During the late nineteenth century, women were beginning to break out from the usual molds. Two authors from that time period wrote two separate but very similar pieces of literature. Henrik Ibsen wrote the play A Doll’s House, and Thomas Hardy wrote Tess of the D’Urbervilles. Ibsen and Hardy both use the male characters to contrast with their female counterparts to illustrate how women are stronger by following their hearts instead of their minds. Ibsen uses Torvald, to depict a world where men choose to follow their minds in place of their hearts.

Ibsen has Torvald believe that he is truly in love with his wife Nora. Torvald believes he will “risk my life’s blood, and everything, for your sake. “(63)

The author sets the reader up to believe that Torvald is a chivalrous guy who would give life and limb to defend his true love, as the author believes that any real man would. Later in the play, a circumstance arises where he is given the opportunity to defend his wife. He does a 180 degree turn around and explains to his wife that “no man would sacrifice his honour for the one he loves. (71)

The author shows the stupidity of Torvald with his misconception of honor. In actuality when a man sacrifices himself for the one he loves it brings him honor. Torvald is viewed as a true hypocrite. Torvald also believes the most important thing is to “save the . . . appearance. “(65) He follows his mind, only interested in what is best for society. Ibsen illustrates him as a truly weak human. In contrast to Ibsen, Hardy takes an intellectually free thinker, Angel, who shows a very close-minded perspective on events instead of opening himself to his true inner feelings.

When Angel’s bride reveals to him that she has committed the sin of pre-marital sex as did Angel, he begins to reveal to the reader his ignorance. In her sin, “forgiveness does not apply. “(244) Angel’s double standard shows the reader that sexism even existed in the free thinkers of the time period like Angel. He believed that his wife’s sin was not “a question of respectability, but one of principle. “(257) Hardy mocks Angel because he ironically believes himself free from the church, but in actuality his mind is a prisoner to their principles.

Angel “overlooked what [Tess] was, and forgot the defective can be more than the entire. “(282) Angel forgets that he still loves Tess because he has become a slave to his thoughts and ideas. Hardy suggests that when man follows his mind, it leads him astray, but when following his heart he will never miss the path to happiness and fulfillment. Both Ibsen and Hardy portray a time period where men follow their minds and society, their heart is solely for the pumping of blood, and their word is only as good as far as you can throw it.

William Shakespeare and Henrik Ibsen Comparison

William Shakespeare and Henrik Ibsen are two great authors of their time and are still read by many today. William Shakespeare wrote many plays; one that is more well known is Hamlet. Henrik Ibsen is a not so well known author but wrote a great rival play named A Doll’s House. These two plays were extraordinary for their time and there has been much controversy and debates on which play made the greatest impact to culture and society. These two plays, written in very different time periods, show alternative views on society and how it should be.

Hamlet was written in the early 1600’s right before Shakespeare died. This play portrays society in such a way by showing how easily the public is fooled by people of authority. Shakespeare was writing this play as a form of entertainment but it is now seen as how society used to be. All of the deaths and the general setting of the play describes how society was back then and in essence, Shakespeare was just writing it to entertain and not to show how society was. When Hamlet ends up dying in the end of the play, it wasn’t there to show how society was but to merely entertain.

Shakespeare showed how Europe was in the late 1500’s to early 1600’s, but in that time it was for pure entertainment. This so called entertainment showed society the possible uncertainties their lives were based upon. Henrik Ibsen’s, A Doll’s House, took a very different outlook on society in not showing how it was but rather how it should be. Ibsen has set up an environment where women cannot decide on their own, but presents two female characters in the bok that go beyond this thinking and do things themselves.

One of the women gets her own job and the other leaves her daughter for adoption. Thus showing they are making their own decisions in life. This is unheard of in the 1800’s and shows Ibsen trying to have a society in which women do have an identity in society and can be heard. Throughout the play, a women is shown doing her own thinking and not listening to what men have to say even though that is not how it used to be. Ibsen creates this new society in which anyone, no matter the gender, should be able to make their own decisions about life and how to live it.

Anton Chekhov’s “A Marriage Proposal” and Susan Glaspell’s “Trifles” are two plays that deal with somewhat similar issues that Shakespeare and Ibsen wrote about. “A Marriage Proposal” is a play that seems to match Shalespeare’s “Hamlet” more that Ibsen. There is a female and two males in the story and there is an argument over whose land is whose and whose dog is surely better. This play does not show any hint towards women rights or gender equality and what not. This play deals more with entertainment purposes rather then proving a point and trying to show gender indifference.

Susan Glaspell wrote “Trifles” and it is a play about a woman with power. A woman kills a man in the play and she admits to doing it showing that she is in control. Since there is a woman in the play that is in control and has a right to identity, this play relates more to Ibsen’s “A Doll House. ” Glaspell shows that women do have a mind of their own and that they do not need a man or anyone else to tell them how to do things. All these plays have something in common and that is that they are written for entertainment. A Doll’s House” and “Trifles” are written for entertainment and for the sole purpose of showing society that gender should not make a difference and that females can and do have the ability to think for themselves. They are real life related plays and deal with real life scenarios. “Hamlet” and “A Marriage Proposal” deal with normal day to day things but do not deal with such things as gender role and female roles in society. These authors have displayed what society is and what they want society to be in each of their writings and it shows that no matter what era of time, we all are human and need to be treated so.

Helmer character from A Doll’s House By Henrik Ibsen

Helmer is a successful bank lawyer in the drama “A Doll House” written by Henrik Ibsen. His wifes name is Nora. She is a housewife with three children and gets help raising them from her maid Helen. Nora and Helmer are both busy people within their lives. Little do they know that their marriage is not safe due to the fact that it is not given first priority in the lives they led. The action takes place in their home. Helmer is very protective when it comes to the family image that is portrayed to the public. This is because his career, as a lawyer, depends on it. He feels that he should have a perfect public image for he sake of his career and not his family, since that is what comes first in his life.

This is seen when he discovers a letter from a bank that his wife, Nora, gets a loan from. He finds out that the loan was acquired illegally through forgery. She uses her fathers signature. Helmer immediately strips her of all her rights to him as his wife and to the children as their mother. He does not ask for divorce since this will not be a good public image for his career, instead he asks her to have a separate room from his and limits her time with the children. Helmer is the rule maker of his house.

He meticulously gives details on how he wants his house run. He has set time for everything, when the meals are prepared, when the children should go to sleep, when they should wake up, what to eat, when to check the mail etc. This is probably the reason why he is successful in his career. He is again putting his career as first priority and uses the principal that he applies to it in the family. Helmer has an office in the house of with he gives limited accesses to his wife, Nora. He treats her as if she was one of his children instead of “his wife”.

He entertains his official friends in the office in closed-door sessions and usually doesnt fill in his wife on his business. Career comes first for Hemler. The key to the mailbox is in the hands of Hemler. It looks like he does not take his wife as an equal by not giving her a spare key. He wants to be the first one to handle all the mail, scans the letters in the box and then distributes them to the appropriate people. His wife again is placed second to his business. Nora, Helmers wife is also very protective when it comes how her husband views her.

I see this when she hides the fact that she is having chocolate, which is forbidden in the household. She would rather let Dr. Rank, a family friend, know about the chocolate and not her husband. The doctor actually helps her to hide the package when Helmer walks into the living room. She also puts him in second place in her life. Nora also tells her friend Mrs. Linde about the money that she squeezes out of her house hold budget to pay for the loan she took from the bank. She does not tell her husband about the loan because she knows how he will eact towards her and the issue.

She protects herself instead of their relationship, putting their marriage in second place. The family friend doctor tells Nora how he has been in love with her for a long time. She reacts negatively letting Dr. Rank know that she will not tolerate his behavior. She keeps it from her husband since she wants to maintain an innocent view from him. The hiding of such issues from Helmer is first priority instead of her marriage. Nora is caught red-handed lying about the visit of Nis Krogstad, the banker. Nis is responsible for the Noras loan.

Helmer asks about the bankers visit and she denies the fact that he had come the their house. She is constantly lying just to save herself from changing her husbands view towards her. The blow to their marriage happens when Helmer discovers that his wife forged a bank document to get a loan. He gets angry and strips her of all her motherly and wife rights. Another letter shows up and clears them form the forgary He changes immediately and reinstats Nora back to her postion in their home. This clearly shows that he loves his career more than anything else.

Nora on the other hand xpects her husband to show her a sacrificial love and take the blame for the forgary. At the end of the drama Helmer and Nora end up living separtae lives. They have both contributed to their marriages downfall. Nora with her obsetion of wanting to always please her husband by using pretence, lies, undermining strategies and fear and Helmer with the love for his career, hunger for power, control and his fear of un unplesant public image help to destroy one another. The most perfect family is no more since Nora loved herself excesivly and Helmer loved his career extremly.