A Critical Analysis of A Doll House
By Henrik Ibsen
Henrik Ibsen's background provided him the insight to write the play A Doll House. In Britannica Biographies, Ibsen's father lost his business and the family's financial stability when Ibsen was a young child. Because of the family's financial misfortunes, at the age of 15, Ibsen was forced to leave home and venture out on his own. He supported himself meagerly as an apothecary's apprentice and studied at night to prepare for university (1+). Similarly, Mrs. Linde, a character in A Doll House, was pressured to marry a man she did not love so that she could support her bedridden mother and her brothers (1263; act 1). In addition to Ibsen's troubled family experiences, another influence on the play is the author's cultural experience of the idealists-versus-modernists movement. The glaring flaw of A Doll house, therefore, is the absence of reconciliation. Having seen something profoundly ugly we are left with only a distressing feeling, which is the inevitable consequence when there is no reconciliation to demonstrate the ultimate victory of the ideal (Moi 259). By comparison, Nora, one of the main character's in A Doll House, also struggled to conform to her father's and her husband's conception of aesthetic beauty and perfection and wasn't allowed to be herself. This background, together with a believable plot, convincing characterization, and important literary devices enables Ibsen in A Doll House to develop the theme that to gain self-reliance, one may be willing to sacrifice what means the most.
To develop this theme, Ibsen creates a believable plot through an internal conflict and a determinate ending. Ibsen formulates a believable plot through the protagonist’s psychological and social conflicts. Nora’s psychological conflict is that she is facing the reality of taking out loans illegally when Krogstad starts to blackmail her with the loan she acquired with forgery so that he can keep his job....
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