Henrik Ibsen's A Doll's House

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Henrik Ibsen's A Doll's House Plot and Sub-plots The play begins on Christmas Eve of the late 19th century, in the living room of a middle class family, the Helmers. Nora is the female lead role in this play who is treated very child-like by her husband, Torvald. He appears to have taken over her father’s role which in turn allows their marriage to be built on unstable foundations and although both parties have each other’s best interests in mind, it is clear to the audience from the start that the relationship has elements of deception that could possibly be destructive. As the play opens Nora enters with a contented disposition, setting down parcels after a constructive days shopping. A porter brings in a Christmas tree so the audience immediately registers that the play takes part in the festive season which becomes more significant as the play continues as the tree will be symbolic of the relation between Helmer and his wife. Ibsen allows the audience to see already that Nora can be quite frivolous with money due to her many parcels and her generous tipping of the porter. The stage directions describe her as tiptoeing across to her husband’s door which shows her childish temperament as she does not want to be heard, and her eating the macaroons becomes more significant as the scene progresses when Torvald interrogates her about doing so and she outright denies it giving the audience an insight on her deception which obviously develops as the play continues. When Torvald enters the room she quickly hides the macaroons and the audience learn of his promotion as bank manager so they speak of how they can be slightly more extravagant, this gives Helmer the opportunity to condescend her using phr... ... middle of paper ... ...gstad containing the I.O.U. of Nora. Torvald sees this as them both being saved from the humiliation he would have suffered had it have leaked out but Nora can see past this and knows that enough is enough. Regardless of being forgiven by Torvald he still treats her like child, “Just lean on me, I shall counsel you. I shall guide you.” It is here that Nora can see fully how she is treated and expresses her discontent for being fathered by her own father then being passed on and treated identically by her own husband. She realises that it is necessary for her to go out into the world without his ‘molly-coddling’, mature and become a woman in the true sense of the word. She leaves him as sadly the ‘miracle of miracles’ did not happen for her, he did not change the way he needed to and with that the last occurrence of the play is the door slamming behind her.

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