Doll House Study Guide

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A TEACHER’S GuidE TO THE SiGNET CLASSiCS EdiTiON OF

HENRIK IBSEN’S

A DOLL’s HOUsE

by

LAURA REIS MAYER
S e r i e S e d i t o r S :

Jeanne M. McGlinn and JaMes e. McGlinn
both at

UniverSity of north Carolina at aSheville



A Teacher’s Guide to the Signet Classics Edition of Henrik Ibsen’s A Doll’s House

TABLE OF CONTENTS An Introduction .....................................................................................................3 List of Characters ...................................................................................................3 Synopsis of the Play ...............................................................................................4 Prereading Activities ...............................................................................................5 I. Building Background Knowledge in Literature ............................................5 II. Building Background Knowledge in History and Culture ..........................7 III. Building Background Knowledge Through Initial Exploration of Themes .........................................................................8 During Reading Activities ....................................................................................11 I. Analyzing Through Group Response .........................................................11 II. Analyzing Through Individual Response .................................................16 After Reading Activities ........................................................................................19 I. Topics For Discussion And Essays .............................................................19 II. Connecting To The Wild Duck, Hedda Gabler, and The Master Builder ....20 III. Group And Individual Projects ...............................................................21 About the Author of This Guide ..........................................................................26 About the Editors of This Guide ..........................................................................26 Free Teacher’s Guides ...........................................................................................27

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A Teacher’s Guide to the Signet Classics Edition of Henrik Ibsen’s A Doll’s House



AN INTRODUCTION
To a generation of students raised on liberated dolls such as Barbies and Bratz, Henrik Ibsen’s A Doll’s House uncovers a shocking secret: some dolls don’t get to play the roles they really want. Ibsen’s Nora Helmer is a doll trapped in her house, a condition underscored by the fact that all the play’s action takes place in her own living room. Repressed by a husband who expects her to fulfill her wifely and motherly roles under strict guidelines of morality and appearance, Nora discovers she has a will of her own. Ultimately, Nora realizes there is only one path that leads to her true identity, and that path begins outside the doll house. As a genre study, A Doll’s House is a realistic drama that highlights the cultural conflicts of the nineteenth century. With its shocking and controversial conclusion, it marks a monumental, historic shift in the role of theater. Yet Ibsen’s masterpiece remains a celebration of the art of theater. With its emphasis on individual characters, costumes, and personal props such as Nora’s macaroons and tarantella dress, Ibsen’s play transforms common stage conventions into a prophetic vision of a new society, one where individuals, both men and women, are free from the restraint of playing...
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