A Doll's House Idealism Essay

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Title Henrik Ibsen’s A Doll’s House is a three-act play significant for its attitude toward marriage norms. In the drama, Ibsen explores idealism between the wife Nora and her husband Helmer. Nora’s and Helmer’s idealism forces the pair to see themselves and each other starring in various idealist scenarios of female sacrifice and heroic male rescue. As a play, the scenes are act out on stage. The staging of a house reveals the dramaturgical aspects and dynamics of the play. The presence of the house is significant to the depiction of women on stage. The action of the play traces Nora’s relationship to the house. Ibsen’s play focuses on the aspect of the expected idealism of the wife and husband, and how the domestic abode can hinder freedom.…show more content…
When Nora tells Kristine her well kept secret, Nora portrays herself as the noble and selfless heroine that has saved her husband’s life. However, when Krogstad threatens Nora to reveal the secret, she answers, while on the brink of tears: “This secret- my joy and my pride- that he should learn it in such a crude and disgusting way- learn it from you. You’d expose me to the most horrible unpleasantness-” (Ibsen 1265). Nora’s self-satisfaction and idealistic dream stem from her secret. Moi writes, “Her secret is the source of her identity, the foundation of her sense of worth, and makes it easy for her to act the part of Helmer’s chirping songbird and playful squirrel. That she has aestheticized her secret- turned it into a thing of beauty…” (Moi 9). After realizing that her beautiful secret is in fact a crime, Nora feels tarnished by…show more content…
In drama, playwrights have used the setting of a house to bring forth conflicts surrounding women’s freedom. The set of A Doll’s House has a fourth wall removed, mimicking the architecture of a dollhouse. Whenever Nora leaves her home, she exits the stage. She goes out of the box set and into a world not depicted in the play. Shanahan says that, “Thus Ibsen not only sheds light on the repression of women in his culture, but also the repression of the female subject in the theatre and within the style of realism in which he is writing” (Shanahan). Through the indication of stage directions, Helmer is supposed to talk to Nora through an open door while she is offstage, changing her clothes. Ibsen illustrates the distancing between the two characters during a moment of importance when Nora is switching her
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