“Doll’s House” by Ibsen

Subject: Literature
Pages: 5
Words: 1728
Reading time:
6 min
Study level: Bachelor


The play is called doll’s house written by Ibsen and was meant to deal with social issues. The play appears to be so discordant which has led Ibsen to write a second finale called a barbaric outrage (Blumenfeld 150).

The play has used symbolism, where several themes have also been developed, for example, appearance and reality, the sacrificial role of women, and parental obligations (Blumenfeld 158).

The disagreement revolves around Nora’s and her resolution to dump her children, whereby in the second ending she realized that her children need her support more than she desires to be independent(Campbell 201). The writer was aware that Ibsen knew that women were best appropriate to be mothers and wives, but at a similar time he had an eye of unfairness, he was not a supporter of women’s rights (Campbell 202). In the play, he was exposed as a titleholder of women’s rights which he used as a facet of pragmatism within the play. He takes women’s problems with great weight because their problems were neglected a lot. The theme, which is usually portrayed in this play, is individuals trying to fight for authentic identity in the face of tyrannical social conventions (Campbell 223).


The book portrays sacrificial roles that are conceded by women of all kinds in the world. In this play, we can see female characters who have presented their characters with a lot of assertion and who sacrifice a lot for the sake of their families. (Campbell 242). For example, Linde found it necessary to abandon Krogstad who was her true love although he had no money, and marry a richer man so that she can manage to support their family(Campbell 261).

The role of women in this book has been revealed through Nora who is extremely important in the development of women’s character. She is browbeaten by the exploitation from her husband, who is her husband. Nora’s husband is a superior bank manager and his job has many responsibilities (Campbell 272). This man is very trustworthy and he puts his portico both social and physical ahead of his wife that he purportedly loved. He has a bad character and he does not care about his partner’s mindset (Campbell 280).

In this play, we can see that Nora is economically well up compared to other female characters (Campbell 300). This does not make her live a happy life because their society dictates a man as a dominant partner. Torvalds has some issues which diktats and opens up to his wife for example we can see her wife thrashing her loan from him because Torvaldo will never admit the scheme that Nora saved his life(Blumenfeld 172).

The play portrays parental and cultural responsibilities and requirements for example we see Nora, Tovaldo, and Dr.Rank revealing their conviction that a parent is hypothetical to be candid and perpendicular, they say that the debauchery of a parent is conceded from the parent to the children(Campbell 304). For example, Dr. Rank points out that his father’s depravity of having dealings with lots of women made him indenture a venereal disease that he conceded to his son, which has made him endure because of his father’s wickedness (Watts & Ibsen 255).

Their marriage to the public is seen as being perfect. As the play moves ahead, Nora realizes that their marriage is not the same (Blumenfeld 202). The husband does not see her as a wife, she is like a possession. He uses the pet’s name to refer to his wife (Cousin 207) because he thinks that, his wife is not logical and cannot reflect on her own. Any time that Nora seemed to raise an issue he would insult her as a woman through some comments so that she will feel inferior, (Cousin 213) Nora’s husband is an example of those typical men in society. He has deprived Nora of the right to think on her own and proceed the way she desires. He saw his views as the right one and took Nora’s views as those of an imbecile. (Watts & Ibsen 274).

Nora is a good example of those people with vibrant traits. She is one of those people who struggle so that their authentic identity can be recognized. (Blumenfeld 233). She knows and believes that her personality is related to her behavior. However, her husband does not know this. Her character was inauthentic because of what she was facing (Watts & Ibsen 299). She was spoon-fed by his father and at the same time, she marries a man who pampered her. She is teasing, and at times, she engages in childlike acts like being defiant and mendacious that she bought macaroons (Blumenfeld 287).

In this society, when a woman gets married like Nora and goes ahead to love, she is not expected to do anything. She was only expected to be there for the family. The surrender towards the family was very imperative. Society expected that she makes her husband and children happy. Nora does not deem that she loves her husband and that he is contented. She has devoted her heart and she is there to do the entire thing that her husband wants. She was not aware that these feelings were communal. Osvaldo did not want a wife who would face up to him with her judgment and proceedings (Blumenfeld 287). The final confrontation in the family develops from Torvaldo’s oppression. Her wife had already realized the situation he wishes to maintain. Torvalds calls her wife a featherbrained woman, an incompetent woman without considering that she saved his life (Cody Gabrielle 1601). She had the prospect that her companion will be appreciative. Tornado reveals his self-absorbed nature when calls his wife a wreck and that all his happiness is ruined (Cody Gabrielle 1606). When Torvalds opens a letter to Nora and shows her a strange man that she has never married, she comes to apprehend that their marriage is spurious and jointly beneficial because of their social status. They are not really in love and she begins to come to her senses (Blumenfeld 315). This is when we see Nora depicting her authentic trait. She, therefore, solves this situation by leaving her husband and children and leaving independently.

Her inauthentic role slowly fades. She, therefore, decides to seek her individuality. She decided to veil her innovative character. The memories of the old Nora continue when she becomes a new person. She comes to realize that her responsibilities are of great importance to her family and society (Watts & Ibsen 319). When she realizes the truth, she could not stand any oppression. She remembered everything that had happened in her past and could not allow it to happen again (Blumenfeld 315). The author uses the idea of a doll because it maintains the same look. It is silent and just listens to what it is being told; others must aid it to accomplish a task. They must do what the controller asks them to do, which is seen in Nora’s inauthentic identity.

Tornado’s insults make his wife Nora grow stronger. This is evident because when Nora is asked to do something by the husband, she does the opposite. She does not allow his husband to continue manipulating her. This is evident when she says,” ….I’m a human being no less than you-or anyway, I ought to try and become one.”(Campbell Patrick 321). She does not deem her husband’s disdainful tone. Now she is a born-again person and can enjoy her independence.

The play has some kind of symbolism, for example, the Christmas tree which is a representation of Nora’s arrangement in her household as a toy that is satisfying to look like the old magic to her home. During Christmas, she instructs her maid that the children cannot see the Christmas tree until it is bedecked. The same thing she tells Tovardo that no one can see her garb until the evening of the dance(Cousin 155).

New Year is also a symbol in the play for example Nora and Torvaldo are looking forward to it to start. During this year, Torvalds is going to get a good vacancy whereas Nora is looking onward for his husband’s new job because she will be able to clear her surreptitious overdue to Krogstad.


The appearance that we get at first is suddenly changed as the play develops. Initially, we get to see Nora as a stupid woman but as the play, advances we get to see her as somebody who is goaded, bright, well-built, and a self-regulating thinker (Cody 1664). The play portrays unreliability appearances because initially, we judged him as a strong, munificent husband but we get to see him as a coward, petty, and self-centered when he fears that Krogstad will bring him to light because of the scandal (Watts &Ibsen Henrik 300).

This struggle has resulted in characters being divided into two; a sense of obligation to themselves and their accountability to others (Cody 1664). Nora is an example of a woman who is besieged to realize her genuine identity. Tornado has always forced her to take a character that is not hers. He had always condescended towards Nora and obliged her to act and look in a manner that could delight him.

The use of Nora by the writer was to represent everyone. She was a representative of all humans in society. Searching for identity is something that we all undergo. We all avoid identifying ourselves with our parents and our husbands. The play also brings out appearance and reality. What we see might not be the truth. For example, in Torvalds, we see a devoted husband and in Nora, we see a childish wife (Watts &Ibsen Henrik 300).

Works cited

Blumenfeld, Robert. Tools and techniques for character interpretation: a handbook of psychology for actors, writers, and directors. Winona. Hal Leonard Corporation, 2006. Pp 149 -325.

Campbell, Patrick. Analyzing performance: a critical reader. Manchester. Manchester University Press, 2005. Pp 201-307.

Cody, Gabrielle. The Columbia encyclopedia of modern drama, Volume 2. Columbia. Columbia University Press, 2007. Pp 1623 – 1700.

Cousin, Geraldine. Women in dramatic place and time: contemporary female characters on stage. Routledge. 2000. Pp 152 – 211.

Watts, Peter and Ibsen, Henrik. The league of youth; A doll’s house; The lady from the sea. New York, NY: Penguin Classics. 2001. Pp 107 – 335.