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A Doll's House

A Doll’s House

Norwegian Henrik Ibsen is the author of A Doll’s house and many other famous playwright.  He was born on March 20, 1828 in Skein, Norway.  A Doll’s House was his most famous work.  Henrik Ibsen developed a play during his time similar to Shakespeare famous tragic figure.  In A Doll’s House a lot of oppression, love, can be felt and heard.  Most of Henrik Ibsen plays showed a little of both.  Ibsen exemplified his theme if faithfulness when oppressed women are treated as lower class by men.  Nora thinks her husband new job and higher salary will free her from worry.  Later she learns that it is not debit that keeps her captured but her own husband’s treatment of her.

A Doll’s House starts on Christmas Eve.  Ibsen presents us with Torvalds and Nora Helmer.  They are husband and wife who have been married about eight years.  After all those years they still have not come to understanding of each other.  Their relationship has gone on due to their willingness to exist in the situation.  Due to society’s image of how a wife should be, Nora is forced to submit herself to her husband.   Although Torvalds has obtained a new position at the bank he still likes to be cautious about spending money.  Torvalds has had many blessing one, he has been cured of an illness thanks to his wife, and two he has a new position.  Nora figured this would bring her happiness but at the end she realizes happiness resides in self and not in people and things.  Trovalds constant name calling and is power in the relationship makes Nora realize that she has to make a move.

Mrs. Linde  pays a visit to Mrs. Nora an old friend with whom she has not had contact with in years.   Nora does not recognize her at first but when she does she says “How you’ve changed, Kristine!”  (1347 ) The communication goes on back and forth Mrs. Linde  immediately reveals to Nora the lose she is experiencing from the death of her husband and bothers.  Nora in return reveals her guilt of borrowing money without her husband’s knowledge.  Throughout the play Nora is put down due to her spending habits.  Nora decided without her husband’s consent to take out a loan. With great hopes of him being cured she did what was best for the family.

Krogstad an employee at the bank where her husband work is involved with helping her take out this secrete loan.  Krogstad is an employee that her husband Travold wants to fire. Nora is eventually framed by Krogstad to convince her husband not to fire him, but her husband will not have it.  He declares Krogstad an immoral man and states “I feel physically ill in the presence of such people”. (1386) Dr. Rank eventually reveals to Nora that he is in love with her.  Krogstad demands an explanation for his dismissal and has changed his terms of the blackmail.  He wants a higher position.  He eventually writes a letter and sends it to Nora’s husband.  Nora later that night tries to put on a show for her husband and it is not a success.  Travold gets upset but agrees to wait a while to open the letter.

Nora later that night has danced so good for her husband he is really pleased.  Dr. Rank interrupts Trovalds advanced of Nora.  Dr. Rank leaves and Travold find two of his greetings cards and before he could open it.  Nora tells him the news concerning Dr. Rank’s illness and his expectation of dyeing soon.  She then insist that he go ahead and open Krogstads letter.  He reads the letter and becomes outraged.  He begins calling Nora all kinds of names such as hypocrite, and liar.  He goes on and complains that she has ruined his life.  Travold eventually finds out that the forged signature has been thrown out and becomes happy again.  He tries to apologize to Nora, but she want have it.  She has already made up in her mind that she is moving on with her life.  She declares that she must “make sense of herself and everything around her.”

In A Doll’s House, the position of females in Ibsen times is presented.  Nora’s hope for equality and her situation helps her embrace on a search for her own identity.  Being in a marriage makes them one, but it is evident Travold feels superior to Nora.  Nora’s encounter with Korgstad may have helped her realized what she really wanted out of life.   Nora figured she could get out of debit easier since her husband received a new position.  She eventually learned that the money didn’t change him and that her position in the marriage would never change.  Once her husband found out about the loan it was evident that Travold would always down grade her.  I would put this play in the category the ugly.  Nora loves her husband, but at the same time is tired of being put down for decisions she makes.  Nora longs so much to be equal, but due to the times this would never be.


Works Cited

Ibsen, Henrik.  “ A Doll’s House.”  “ Delabanco, Nicholas and Alan Cheuse.  Literature Craft and Voice.  New York City: McGraw Hill, 2012, 1345-1393 Book.

Delbanco & Cheuse. Literature: Cragt and Voice, 2nd Ed. McGraw-Hill, 2012 www.HenrikIbsen .com


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