Analysis Of Henrik Ibsen 's ' A Doll House ' Essay

Analysis Of Henrik Ibsen 's ' A Doll House ' Essay

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Unravelling
In this world there are people who feel that their only duty is to themselves and have an excessive interest in this; we call them selfish or narcissistic. In the play A Doll House written by Henrik Ibsen, the main character Nora Helmer a normal housewife of the nineteenth century goes through a series of psychological and emotional realizations as well as a few unfortunate events. At the end of this process she decides to leave her home, her husband, and her children in order to go out into the world to discover who she really is. Now this isn’t shocking in the twenty-first century as wives and mothers walking out on their families has become a sadly common occurrence. However, when the play was written it sparked a great deal of controversy and debate as to the purpose of the play and the psychological profiles of the characters. One such article --“A Psychoanalytic Reading of Nora” by Carol Strongin Tufts-- written to discuss the psychological profile of Nora Helmer implies that she is a narcissist. However, the characteristics of a narcissist, a grandiose sense of importance and uniqueness, exhibitionist, entitlement –the list goes on- do not fit Nora’s personality throughout the entirety of the play though they do fit certain scenes.
A grandiose sense of importance and uniqueness can be argued for Nora in the beginning of the play when she reunites with a friend she hasn’t seen in many years. Instead of allowing the friend to talk Nora rhapsodizes about her ideal life with her husband and children all while knowing about the hardship her friend has faced in recent years (Ibsen, 1731). Although this is a selfish thing to do to a friend; Nora is a secretive person afraid of allowing people to get close enough to se...


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...ogstad she does actually empathize with him at times. In Act III Nora meets with Krogstad and discusses her options, few and far between though they were. Though neither of them name it, suicide is discussed and quickly shot down by Krogstad who had found himself in similar position to hers once (Ibsen, 1757). This marks one of the many occasions where Nora sees someone outside of her own troubles. If the moment was a little brief that’s okay, narcissists tend to never see pain in others because they feel their pain is greater. Nora recognizes the pain in Krogstad even if she’s a little overwhelmed with her own troubles at the moment. She recognizes her relationship with Dr. Rank as something special and doesn’t manipulate him into helping her based on his feelings for her. She leaves him alone recognizing that to do so would be wrong. A narcissist wouldn’t do that.

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