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ENGL 102

Insert DateIbsen’s A Doll House: An Analysis


A Doll House is a three-act play that was developed by Ibsen with a detailed focus on the 19th century. This may have been the time of Ibsen’s existence, but the play expresses magnificent literary supremacy. Masculine dominance is portrayed in the play in a characteristic of the previous millenniums. In an instance, Nora Helmer, who could not sign a legal document alone considering that she is a woman, had to forge her father’s signs so to get funds for the restoration of her husband’s health. This exposition unfolds into a storyline that starts when Nora and husband, Torvald, both leave for a locality with a warmer climate in the restoration of Torvald’s health.

This kind of development is superfluous and sequential and so makes the structure of the play to be linear. That so becomes eminent as complications arise that threaten to compromise Nora’s situation. Essentially, that is a build up upon the previous revelations that Nora made to her friend Linde. The resurfacing of Nils Krogstad, Nora’s Debtor, creates a twist and spoils what had otherwise been planned by Nora to be a perfect getaway. It is at the instance that she learns forgery is a criminal offense, and yet Nils exploits the situation and blackmails her into paying her debt by threatening to reveal incriminating acts.

There is clarity that the play follows a precept that is easy to follow as every act directly links to the next. Accordingly, every act is a build up upon the previous and a foundation for the next. In essence, reading the play feels like following the real life events that are nearly self-explanatory. For instance, in the final acts of the play, Nora and Krogstad both manage to get over their differences, and they end up in a formal relationship (Ibsen, Act II, pg 27). Even as Nora decides to tell her husband, there is the connection that associates the third act with the previous.


            In the first instance, there is a sacrificial duty held by women. Ibsen managed to portray the sacrifices that women make as they seek to satisfy the demands of their families and to the extreme, even the society. This was a factor that was not unusual in the 19th century as marriages and sometimes work became the key subjects of the kind of influence that a woman would have. The most clearly projected instances include the situation in which Linde as compelled to break up with her true love, Krogstad, as she had to get married to a richer guy. That is a move that was pulled in a bid to support Linde’s parent and brothers. In another instance, Nora had to leave her children under the care of a nanny (Ibsen, Act III, pg 45).

            The second theme is the deception that appearances may project. The characters’ true selves are hidden behind appearances that create false impressions and sire wrong beliefs to the actual identity, ability and personality of the people. At the preliminary stages in Act I, it would be easy to believe that Nora is shy and silly and has a weak personality. However, as the play progresses, Nora matures as an emotionally strong character who is also intelligent. Torvald is also the other character who is strong and loving at the beginning of the play. He, however, he later turns out to be selfish and cowardly.

            The last theme is the filial and parental responsibilities and obligations that is sired in the characters who express the belief that parents should exhibit responsibility, love, and care toward their children. Torvald even expresses the idea to Nora as he states that the morality of every personality is subject to the kind of parental care that children get at the tender ages (Ibsen, Act I, pg 18).


            Nora Helmer, as one of the major characters, kick starts the play and is projected as a loving personality as she responds to her husband’s demands. Essentially, silly, becomes a label with which she is associated as she is referred to as such by her husband, Torvald. Nora is the kind of character who matures with the story line and sheds the silly tag as she proves intelligent and strong. In the final act when Torvald makes a selfish reaction to Nora’s revelation, she discovers that she has been leading a life contradicts her personality. However, this a characteristic that was noticeable at the preliminary stages of the play, especially when she ate the macaroons and lied to Torvald about it. She finally left Torvald (Ibsen, Act III, pg 45).

            Torvald Helmer is the other key character who plays as Nora’s husband. This is a character whose personality is blown with the development of the play. Initially, he gets projected a loving, strong and caring husband. However, his reactions to Krogstad’s threats and Nora’s revelations prove that he is a selfish coward. He is also projected a character who is very much aware of the perceptions held by the society. This gets projected when he refuses to keep Krogstad in the office for fear of the thoughts of the members of the community. Accordingly, he is the kind of man who feels that the society should outstandingly respect him. This aspect even drives him to make Nora to stay in the house as he sought to keep a positive image of his family (Ibsen, Act III, pg 42).



Cited Work

Ibsen, Henrik. A Doll’s House. Rockville, Md: Serenity Publishers, 2009. Print.

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