A Doll House

Essay by PaperNerd ContributorHigh School, 12th grade July 2001

download word file, 6 pages 0.0

Downloaded 558 times

1. In "A Doll House"� by Ibsen, Nora is responsible for the majority of the problems throughout the play. Nora acts very childish and irresponsible. In the first Act, Nora orders Helene in a playful voice to hide the Christmas tree. The hiding of the Christmas tree begins Nora's continued secretiveness of lies and deception (1159). Torvald asked Nora jokingly if she had went to the candy store and ate some cookies. Nora was uneasy and began deceiving Torvald with her lies (1145). When a lie is told it must continue and grow with the addition of more lies, to increase believability. This downward spiral that Nora enters in the beginning of the play causes her to have more severe problems. Of course, this is particularly important as the entire play rotates around Nora's "secret."� Nora challenges Krogstad, which is the main reason Krogstad wrote the letter to Torvald.

Nora is a self-centered individual when she believes she is untouchable in her conversation with Krogstad. Nora dares Krogstad, " You certainly won't tell my husband that I owe you money? (1156)."� This sarcasm would bring nearly anyone to fire. Nora is trapped in debt with Krogstad. She seems, at times in the play, unaware of the value of money. Nora develops to become greedy after going from her frivolous expenditures to bargain shopping to save change. The reader is supposed to see Nora as childlike and immature. However, she has been carefully constructed so that her independence and wisdom have always shown through. Her character at this stage is one enforced on her by society and those around her. Nora's lies become fully developed, with detail lies to cover the background. She is very clever to use her rehearsed tricks to get her way. Those tricks get her into complex situations that endanger her husband's reputation.

1. Nora is a victim to the problems she faces due to her ignorance and lack of planning. Nora is vulnerable, because she is lacking experience of the real world and clueless to the hardships outside the home. Her stereotype of being a doll in a doll house constantly being watched by Torvald encourages her childlike behavior. Children can not be held responsible for the things they do, because they do not know better. Nora is a sheltered wife that lives a perfect carefree life according to society. She is childlike and like children she should not be held responsible for the problems that may arise. Krogstad took advantage of the love this desperate wife had for her ill husband by making a contract to secure his position at the bank. Nora was ignorant to the laws and responsibilities of entering into contract. Nora was not clear on the consequences of forgery, another situation in which she was the victim. Torvald knew that she was not educated in the legal fashion. Therefore, she should not be accountable for the intelligent people of society taking advantage of the ignorant people of society. She was the victim of Torvald's anger (1183-1184) and Krogstad's cleverness (1171). Nora is as innocent as a three year old girl in the problems she was faced with in the play and should not be to blame. She did only what she was taught to do and nothing more. Children tend to lie as an easy way out of a bad situation, and Nora as a sheltered adult is no different from a child. Nora is an uneducated wife that is very incompetent of even raising her own children. Her incompetence makes her the victim of the problems in the play.

3. "A Doll House"� is considered to be a work of realism by some critics. The ending of "A Doll House"� is very realistic compared to other works of the era. The ending is really the main constituent to the work being considered realistic. Typically playwrights would use one of the two most common endings, happy or unhappy. Ibsen used a more realistic approach by taking advantage of a properly laid out indeterminate ending. The end of the play there is no closure except for the brisk closure of the door. Since the audience does not know anymore information about Nora's future, the audience can only make educated guesses about what happens after she leaves. The situation is highly probable that no one knows what will be made of the main character until it happens and is disclosed.

"A Doll House"� has also been considered to be an unrealistic work. The work can be considered unrealistic due to Nora's naivete is exaggerated to unreal means. Also the probability that a mother would leave her children carefree is highly unlikely. Nora's role- playing leans towards an unrealistic relationship of the times. Nora is very incompetent of doing nearly anything, that is not a real description of the women of the times. Women in the nineteenth century were very competent, just not educated. Nora lacked the normal attributes of being a wife. Nora turned out to be more like the maid, but less competent. Nora is an unrealistic character, and could lead some critics to rule out the work in its entirety as realistic.

4. Dr. Rank is very important to reiterate Nora's love for money. Dr. Rank and Nora's relationship develops flirtatiously so that Nora is comfortable enough to ask Dr. Rank for money. The lamp scene is a very important scene that helps to explain Dr. Rank's purpose. Dr. Rank's character is the one that was looked at, as an old wealthy man that would be naïve enough to will his assets to his friend's flirtatious wife. He scares her by explaining his deep interest in her (1169). He fulfilled a purpose by telling Nora how he felt to make her realize that she should not play with people's emotions. Dr. Rank is the respected man that everyone assumes has money. Dr. Rank acts as a foil of Nora when the conversation of the costumes took place. The costume conversation was rich in figurative language so that Nora and Dr. Rank could carry on a conversation above the head of Torvald. Dr. Rank is a foil because this conversation makes Nora look relatively intelligent (1181-1182). Dr. Rank acts as another character to be trapped by Nora, in a sense. This entrapment helps illustrate how much power a powerless female has in certain situations. Another purpose of Dr. Rank is to give Torvald an equal counterpart in the play, a balance. Dr. Rank keeps the class structure on a realistic basis. Dr. Rank was subject to Nora's manipulations that she used to get her way. However, Dr. Rank died without fulfilling Nora's expectations.

5. "A Doll House"� by Ibsen is relevant to situations in the year 2001 due to the same critical eye of society judging others in the decisions they make. Many times people enter situations they feel they did not deserve, as Nora did. Even though the times are different, situations can be similar and society may judge them in the same fashion. The major relevance of "A Doll House"� is the situations that lying will get you into. Today's society is use to lies on a daily basis, some turn into scandals such as Clinton. Strong symbolism is a factor in the play that is relevant to today. Such as a doll, in this play the doll represents Nora, but the meaning behind the doll can describe other current situations. Role-playing and role switching happens on a daily basis in today's society, as well as happening at the time when this play was written. Divorce is very common among current society today, and the role switching involved in divorce can cause complications among the relationship of the children and parents. The so-called "dead-beat parents"� that walk away from a family today are in similar situations as the parents of the nineteenth century. The most frequent application of the play in today's society is that of "blackmail."� "Blackmail"� is the fastest and most efficient way of getting what a person needs of wants. The political leaders of the twenty-first century have been caught trying to use "blackmail"� to get a desired result. Krogstad made great use out of his knowledge to "blackmail"� Torvald's wife (1171-1172). "A Doll House"� is a play of the nineteenth century that can easily be applied to today's society.