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Henrik Isben's A Doll's House

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A doll house by Henrik Ibsen is a modern drama whose characters fail to

understand who they really are. The theme of self-discovery can be viewed throughout

the entire play. Nora’s character plays an important role in self-discovery. She is a

dynamic character who proves at the end of the play that she accept and discovers who

the true Nora is.

The play begins with a direct emphasis on Nora and her husband (Torvald)

relationship. One can easily assume that their relationship is based on material things and

status. It appears that money is the one thing which is keeping their marriage what is

considered to be happy. Throughout the first act Torvald immediately begins referring to

his wife with childlike names. In the first opening lines he refers to Nora as “my

squirrel.” Throughout the play, Torvald continues to uses nick names such as “little song

bird”, “skylark”, “odd little one” and many more belittling names. The usage of the above

nicknames shows that Torvald feels superior to Nora. He wants to keep her small and

under him. For this reason, he continues to refer to Nora in this manner throughout the

play. Torvald and Nora’s relationship can be viewed at first as a happy and pleasant one.

At the same time one may view their relationship as that of the ordinary. Torvald does

not see Nora as an equal. He fails to realize that she is a woman and not a child. He

continues to speak to her in a childish manner because he views her for her appearance

and not for who she really is. It is clearly presented that Torvald takes his position as being superior because he feels that Nora is dependent on him. He believes she is

narrow minded and ignorant because she is a woman.

In the first act it is also indicated that money plays an important role throughout

the play. Nora proves to be an insensitive and self-centered woman when she is visited by

her old friend Mrs. Linde. Her first ignorant questions were whether Mrs. Linde husband

left her any money or children. Mrs. Linde states that she was left penniless and that she

has struggled. Nora being the self-centered person that she is begins bragging of her good

fortune and forgets to acknowledge Mrs. Linde struggles. The above scene provides a

vivid understanding of the type o...

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...actions he becomes enraged. He worries about

the effect this will have on his reputation and not on the consequences his wife may have

to face. Through the unraveling of this secret is that Nora is finally able to understand

who she is. Nora realizes that Torvald never loved her for who she was but for the things

she did. Torvald loved her because she allowed him to play and control her as if she were

real a doll. Nora begins to also understand that the love Torvald shared for her was the

same to that of her father. Everything was based on what they felt was entertaining and

not on loving Nora for who she is. The end of Act III brings Nora to a complete self-

discovery. Nora has come to understand herself and the ones around her life.

In conclusion, A Doll House is a modern drama which is derived on self-

discovery and understanding. Nora had to take a stand and do something on her own in

order to realize that she is capable of being independent. Through her actions she was

able to discovery that there is more to her life than being a passive and untrue person.

Nora was finally able to come to terms and let out her true self.
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