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A Doll's House: Bondage and Freedom

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A Doll's House: Bondage and Freedom

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  • Feb. 16, 2012
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A Doll's House: Bondage and Freedom
Sharon Cook
ENGLISH/125
February 6, 2012
Dr. Natasha Whitton

A Doll's House: Bondage and Freedom
Mention the word “Barbie” ("En.wikipedia.org"), and most women who have played with one as a child, has fond memories of the plastic 11 ½ inches tall, Mattel statuette. In my childhood memory bank, Barbie is perfect, beautiful, and poised. She is the kind of woman I want to be. She lives in a three feet tall, ornately decorated pink doll house sitting next to the peppermint colored Priscilla curtains in my adolescent bedroom. I am completely in control of Barbie’s life. I control how she dresses, wears her hair, and thinks in her plastic world. My ruling adolescent hand is innocent and whimsical; the opposite of the control Torvald Helmer has over his wife Nora, as depicted in Henrik Ibsen’s drama, “A Doll’s House.” Ibsen, through his use of theme, exposition, symbolism, climax, and imagination presents the Helmer’s household as one of bondage and freedom. Through these elements of drama, Ibsen shows Torvald’s unyielding domination over Nora’s life and her obedience to it, until at last, she frees herself.

Theme
According to Barnet, S., Cain, W. E., & Burto, W. (2010, p. 436), “if we have read or seen a drama thoughtfully, we ought to be able to formulate its theme, its underlying idea.” Henrik Ibsen in his play “A Doll’s House,” defines the theme through the significance of the title selection. It alone, tells the audience what the drama is about. Ibsen’s title suggests the Helmer’s house as a plastic place of bondage for Nora. My mind referred to the title often while reading Ibsen’s play. As a result, I could understand the idea Ibsen was conveying.

Ibsen show’s Nora’s bondage and the continual theme of the play, through the words of his characters. Ibsen...