A Doll's House, by Henrik Ibsen

1548 Words7 Pages
The themes of “objecthood” and “feminine liberation” in Henrik Ibsen’s A Doll’s House as conveyed through the characterization of Torvald and Nora, diction, stage directions and structure in two integral scenes. Henrik Ibsen’s A Doll’s House conveys the story of a wife’s struggle to break away from the social norms of late nineteenth century middle class Europe. Throughout the play, Ibsen focuses on Nora’s characterization and experiences and thus this leads the reader to perceive her as the protagonist. On the other hand, her husband, Helmer – also referred to as Torvald, is revealed as the antagonist as the dialogue between him and Nora throughout the entire play portrays him as an authoritative figure and oppressor rather than a loving and supportive husband. By comparing and contrasting the opening scene of Act One, from pages 147 to 149, and the closing scene of Act Three, from pages 225 to 227, I have understood and appreciated the shifts in thematic ideas by mainly placing focus on the writing style, diction and structure. The theme of objecthood is portrayed effectively in the opening scene through the use of diction applied in the dialogue between Nora Helmer and Torvald Helmer and is further enhanced by the tone of voice of both characters’. The opening scene focuses solely on introducing both characters by allowing the readers’ full view of the characters’ usual day to day interactions and this further enhances the reader’s understanding of the characters’ attitudes and opinions on things. The argument scene on the other hand serves as the climax and turning point as both Torvald and Nora arrive to the point of realization. The theme of feminine liberation is effectively conveyed through this scene, again, through th... ... middle of paper ... ...Torvald and also the changes that have occurred in their marriage and the reasons behind them. By analysing the diction in both scenes, we become aware of an apparent shift in ideas and tone of voice. These shifts have allowed us to better understand the overall plot of the play. The theme of objecthood shifts to feminine liberation, as we peruse both scenes, through the diction, tone of voice and stage directions. Also as a result of the shifts in themes, we become aware of the power shift between Nora and Torvald which enhances our understanding of the theme of feminine liberation. The portrayal of a young wife’s struggle to break free of society’s norms is indeed depicted well in these two integral scenes. From her treatment as an object to her liberation; the diction, tone of voice, stage directions and structure has allowed us to gain better insight into this.

More about A Doll's House, by Henrik Ibsen

Open Document