Henrik Isben: a Doll House

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A Doll House by Henrik Ibsen

Norwegian nineteenth century playwright Henrik Isben was stirring the waters in many ways with his seminal work A Doll House. He fills his play with a realism never seen before and thus many people didn't know how to react to a topic that everyone can relate to, such as the role of a women in the home. The women of A Doll House have a responsibility and personal power that was not seen any where in the 1800s. Nora, Mrs. Linde, and the nurse Anne-Marie all show an uncommon power because they realize that they have the power to help the situation around them and take the responsibility to do what they can, no matter what the sacrifices may be.

At the start of the play, Nora Helmer is presented as a sweet innocent, little women who cares more for material goods then most anything else. Little by little, Nora reveals through conversations with the other characters that she is more then just the average careless giddy house wife that are audiences are used to seeing presented in the theater. To prevent the death of her newly acquired husband she takes out a loan from a mystery lender (who turns out later to be an employee of her husband) that requires her to pay back the amount in a 7 year period. Not only is it illegal for women to take out loans without the permission of their husbands at this point in time, but Nora forges her dying father's handwriting to attain the loan. While on the trip to Italy for improving Torvald Helmer's health, Nora's father's health gives out and he dies. Effectively, Nora sacrificed her father and her dignity for her husband. Acting so brashly as she did is to lose your honor and dignity, for only those women without a husband or cultural outcasts dared handle money matter. She also risks losing her husband if he found out he had to depend on a women to save his life.

Her husband is not the only one that Nora makes sacrifices for. After Torvald finds out about the loan he ferociously bellows at...
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