The Doll House Essay

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The Doll House Essay

Role play seems to be the name of the game in Henrik Ibsen’s A Doll’s House. The main characters in the play pretend to be someone who others would like them to be, instead of being their true selves. The person that stands out the most as a character whose role play is almost impeccable to the point where it seems she leads two different lives is Nora. She is Torvald’s loving and childish wife, and unknowingly, a strong, independent woman. As the play progresses, Nora’s persona shifts from that of the everyday playful, trophy wife seen by Torvald and friends, to that of a self-empowering, willing woman.Nora’s first impression on the audience is of an obedient, money-loving, childish wife. In the first act, Nora seems to just want money from her husband Torvald. In the first encounter with Torvald after showing him what she just bought for their kids, she doesn’t delay herself in asking for money. Even when asked what she would like for Christmas, money is her answer. It is impressive how Torvald addresses Nora as she was just a little girl, or even a pet, “my little lark mustn’t droop her wings like that. What? Is my squirrel in the sulks?” (Ibsen 842). It seems as if he is talking to a little child. And he says that as he is giving her money, which makes their interaction seem almost of a grown grandparent giving money to his precious, favorite young granddaughter. All of which makes Nora seem more like a prized possession than an equal partner in marriage. This is how Ibsen first introduces Nora to the audience, as a simple minded, obedient trophy-wife. Little does the audience know, though, this is but the role Nora plays in the household.
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