“A Doll House”
Henrik Ibsen play “A Doll House,” written in 1879, focuses on a story of a disparaging role of women in Victorian society through his doll motif, played out in Nora’s sudden distaste for her home. Throughout the play there are many examples of Nora’s husband Torvald treating Nora in an insulting manner because she’s a woman. Torvald calls her little pet names, and states that she’s frail. Nora does things according to what Torvald wants. Everything is done by his standards. He also doesn’t allow her to have much freedom. He doesn’t let decisions to be made by Nora. Torvald makes comments that suggest Nora could never understand anything, just because she is a woman. These examples show that feminism is a theme throughout the story. Torvald treats Nora almost like a child. He never actually talks to her like an adult. Almost as if Torvald thought that Nora wasn’t intelligent, or mature enough to have a conversation that had to deal with serious matters. He also has a lot of pet names for Nora. Whenever Torvald speaks to Nora he usually calls her “my little squirrel”, and “little lark” as you would call a child. Torvald also calls her a spendthrift whenever she asks for money. He never really calls her Nora, unless it is when he is serious, however any other time, he will call her by one of his pet names. Torvald also never speaks to Nora about anything important. He only talks to her about spending money, and about things of leisure, like the ball. Nora, in Ibsen’s “A Doll’s House”, is a modern woman limited by a traditional society which denies women power and autonomy.
The central mystery and challenge of “A Doll’s House” is obviously the character of Nora. The story starts on Christmas Eve. Nora makes preparation for Christmas. While she eats macaroons, Dr. Rank and Mrs. Linde enters. Rank goes to speak with Torvald while Linde speaks with Nora. Linde explains that her husband has died and that she needs to find a job. Nora agrees to ask her husband to give Linde a job at the bank. Nora tells her about borrowing money to pay for the trip they took to Italy. She explains that Torvald doesn’t know that she paid for it. Rank leaves the study and begins to speak with Nora and Linde. He complains about the moral corruption in society. Krogstad arrives and goes to the study to talk to Torvald about keeping his job. A few minutes later, he leaves and Rank comments that Krogstad is one of the most morally corrupt people in the world. Rank and Linde leave, and Krogstad re-enters. He tells Nora to ask her husband to keep Krogstad at the bank, or else. If she doesn’t, he will reveal Nora’s crime of forgery to him. Krogstad leaves and when Torvald re-enters, Nora asks him not to fire Krogstad. Torvald says that he must fire him because of his dishonesty and because he gave Krogstad’s job to Linde. The nurse, Anne-Marie, enters and gives Nora her ball gown. Anne-Marie explains that she had to leave her children to take the job taking care of Nora. Linde returns and begins to help Nora with stitching up her dress. They talk for a while about Dr. Rank. Torvald enters and Linde leaves to the nursery. Nora asks Torvald again not to fire Krogstad and he refuses. He gives Krogstad’s pink slip to the maid to be mailed to Krogstad. Rank re-enters and tells Nora about his worsening illness. They talk and flirt for a while. Rank tells Nora that he loves her. Nora said that she never loved Rank and only had fun with him. Rank leaves to the study and Krogstad enters. He is angry about his dismissal and leaves a letter to Torvald explaining Nora’s entire crime in the letter box. Nora is frightened, and tells Linde about the matter and Linde assures her that she will talk to Krogstad and set things straight. Linde leaves after Krogstad and Rank and Torvald enters form the study. They help Nora practice the tarantella. After practice, Rank and Torvald exits and Linde enters...
Please join StudyMode to read the full document