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Seeking Truth in A Doll's House

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Seeking Truth in A Doll's House.

The characters, in Henrik Ibsen's A Doll's House, are hiding from each other and seeking the truth about each other and about life. The game of hide and seek that Nora plays with her children, she also plays with her husband. She hides her actions and her true personality from him. He also hides his life from her. Thinking that she would never even understand, he keeps all the business of their relationship secret from her. Although Nora hides from her husband, she also plays the role of seeker. Nora wants to seek out the truth of her life. Much of the play is a game of hide and seek. Excellent.

Nora plays a game of "hide and seek"(Ibsen 506)* with her children. The simple game can be seen also as a symbol of real life in the play. Nora is playing hide and seek with the adults in her life. Nora is trying to keep something away from public knowledge and especially away from her husband. She hides the fact that she borrowed money to save his health. She was afraid that if Torvald knew that she had taken initiative to borrow money to help him that it would be "painful and humiliating"(Ibsen 501) for him. She knows that Torvald needs to feel in control of everything. So she hides her actions from him.

Nora hides the fact that she has done something illegal from Torvald. She is given the opportunity to tell Torvald and maybe get his support or advise on the situation, and she lies to him to hide the truth. She claims that the reason that she does not want Torvald to fire Krogstad is that "this fellow writes in the most scurrilous newspapers...he can do [Torvald] an unspeakable amount of harm"(Ibsen 519). Nora hides the truth and replaces it with lies. Torvald does not know that if he fires Krogstad that the consequences will affect his whole family. Nora could have told him, but instead she decided to hide the truth from her husband.

She also hides her own strength. She plays the part that she has come accustomed to, being the doll. The first time in the play that Torvald refers to Nora, he calls her a "little lark"(Ibsen 493). Throughout the play, he refers to her as a cute little animal, never with any word that might imply a situation of his peer.
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