A Doll’s House
A dominant style in theatre for the past 120 years, representing sexual romance, violence and domestic disturbances is the realistic style. “The live production “A Doll’s House” by The Young Vic’s effectively uses realism to address gender equality in the 19th century, foregrounding the idea that women are bound by the social conception of the duty of a wife, this is shown through effective use of the elements of drama”. A Doll’s House opens in the main setting of the play which is based in the well-furnished living room. Nora’s good friend Kristine Linde comes into the room. She explains that they were very poor and both had to work long hours. Torvald became sick, she adds, and the couple had to travel to Italy so that Torvald could recover. She then reveals that she had lied about her father paying for the trip as he was ill himself, she had taken a loan from the bank, which was unheard of in the Helmer household as well as the 19th century as women maintained the household while the men went out to work. Suddenly Krogstad, a low-level employee at the bank, states that he will reveal the secret to Torvald as a letter in the mail unless she gets him to keep Krogstad hired. In act three Torvald reads the letter and is outraged. He calls Nora a hypocrite and a liar and complains that she has ruined his happiness. He declares that she will not be allowed to raise their children. Helene then brings in another letter. Torvald opens it and discovers that Krogstad has returned Nora’s contract. Overjoyed, Torvald attempts to dismiss his past insults, but his harsh words have triggered something in Nora. She declares that despite their eight years of marriage, they do not understand one another. Nora proclaims he has treated her like a “doll” to be played with and admired. She decides to leave Torvald, declaring that she must “make sense of herself and everything around her.” She walks out, slamming the door behind her. In this essay the play A Doll’s House will be analyzed, discussing how the play effectively uses the elements of drama and realism to create dramatic meaning within the play. The Young Vic’s production of A Doll’s House effectively possesses many conventions of the realistic style which is used to create dramatic meaning. The dramatic meaning of this play explores gender equality in the 19th century and how women are constantly objectified by males. Realism is a dramatic style that creates perceptions into human experiences and documents life experiences of fictional characters in modern day society. In realism actors frequently use a performance skill called the ‘fourth wall’ that means; actors create the illusion of the fourth wall through their natural interaction within the space by not engaging with the audience while interacting with each other, this gives the impression that the performers have a real connection with their environment. An example for this convention in A Doll’s House is when they use a clever use of stage rotation which demonstrates time passing, also helping to create the feel of an audience peering through the 4th wall of an actual dolls house. The setting of the play is also another value manipulated to enforce the theme of realism in the play. This is shown as it resembles a real house with rooms such as a dining room, sitting room, bedroom and office while also using the correct techniques such as the house rotation alluring the audience to see a dolls house. These conventions effectively manipulate the dramatic meaning of gender equality as the doll house already alludes to the audience of Nora living a fake dolls life. Another convention used to manipulate realism is characters formed three dimensionally to pursue a real life human being. This means that the characters have more than one aspect providing a ‘real life’ person dealing with ‘real life’ problems. Nora is an example of a three dimensional character as she has various emotions, she gives us the...
Bibliography: Spark notes LLC 2014, viewed on the 14th March 2014; http://www.sparknotes.com/lit/dollhouse/quotes.html
Wikipedia, the free encyclopedia last modified on 21 March 2014, viewed on the 24th March 2014; http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/A_Doll 's_House
Realism theatre 5th June 2010, viewed on the 24th March 2014; http://realismtheatre.blogspot.com.au/
Wiki answers 2014, viewed on the 25th March 2014; http://wiki.answers.com/Q/What_is_human_context_within_drama#slide=7&article=What_is_human_context_within_drama
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