A Doll’s House Personal Response

Throughout the play A Doll’s House by Henrick Ibsen, Ibsen makes it very clear what the role of both Torvald and Nora is. This also shows the gender roles that there were in that time. Ibsen also shows two very different relationships that are a result of having little communication versus a lot of communication. 

Nora and Torvald’s relationship is the first relationship we are introduced to and their relationship is very focused on how they look to other people, their reputation. Torvald always wants them to seem like the perfect couple, mostly for his own reputation, this results in his love towards Nora not being very genuine all of the time. Nora always just listens to Torvald no matter what and never voices that she isn’t happy or doesn’t like what’s going on, until the very end when she really reveals everything and ends up leaving. Nora says that they have not had one serious conversation in their eight years of marriage but, that isn’t only Torvalds fault, she could have started a conversation earlier so they could actually work through it and their children could have both of their parents for their whole childhood. Through this relationship Ibsen shows us that there is  no communication and no listening to each other in this relationship and how much that affects everything. The second relationship in this play is between Kristine and Krogstad, right away they start to talk about their relationship and why it ended, they figured out right away what each of them wanted and listened to each other so that they could make it work. This shows good communication and good listening skills. 

Overall this was a very good play that really makes you think about communication and how important it is in a relationship. 

Felix’s Personal Response to “A Doll’s House.”

In book “A Doll’s House” by Henrik Ibsen, made me realize that finding a partner you love, and are able to live with, is a hard thing to do. Reading Torvald and Nora’s relationship tear apart little by little every act, I’m not going to lie, it made me a bit sad, seeing this made-to-be perfect relationship faking their interest for each other. On one hand, Nora is a manipulative being and constantly being under surveillance by Torvald, as to not make him mad. 

Torvald seems to not really love Nora, but more like the thought of her being in love with him, and trying to fulfill his idea of what a man has to be. That a man has to provide shelter, food, money, and clothes, just like playing dress up with a little doll. 

Nora on the other hand, is intelligent enough to play Torvald games but also don’t get manipulated by him. 

Torvald and Nora both lost their values when they became a couple, ignoring their morals and themselves; leading to Nora leaving. I did not like how Nora left, she could’ve handled it way better—knowing her intelligence—choosing herself over everyone, including her own three kids, not caring enough to give them a simple explanation. 

It was a relationship that started in the desert, where they found an oasis thinking all of their problems would be solved, while in fact it was just another small break from reality, and when they realized that their little break was over and they needed to work with each other to scape the desert, Nora opted out. 

It was a relationship that by the second act, it was clear that they weren’t going to be together at the end of the play. 

Sugarcoating a relationship isn’t a way to work things out, and Torvald and Nora proved that, they also proved that the serious talks need to be addressed according so, and there aren’t many people willing to do that. Some, joke around to lessen the blow—like Dr Rank and Nora did (pp. 152-153).—Love is and was a hard thing to find, but I wasn’t impossible, the problem was finding someone that you are willing to love and spend time with them, while respecting yourself, their virtues, and opinions. 

Personal Response on A Doll’s House

A Doll’s House by Henrik Ibsen brought up different social issues, for example, the traditional roles of women and men and the expected responsibility in marriage through characters Nora and Torvald. I am intrigued by this story because I can gain a perspective from Nora, who was in a toxic relationship. Her husband controlled her life like a doll, and finally brave enough to stand up for herself and step out of the family and break free. Even though I pity Nora that she had to suffer from being controlled for eight years, I am proud of her growth and standing up for herself. But at the same time, I feel empathy towards Torvald and think it is unnecessary and selfish of Nora leaving the family. In this response, I will justice my reasons.

First of all, from Nora and Torvald’s marriage, we can see the importance of communication. Nora has never attempted to voice her own opinion through the eight years of marriage. Act one even indicates that Nora falls into society’s ideal expectation of men and women in a marriage, “And besides, just think how awkward and humiliating it would be for Torvald – to know he owed me something. It would upset the entire balance of our relationship; our beautiful, happy home would no longer be what it is.” (P.117). From that line, it suggests that her ideal home is Torvald being the dominant one in the family and that she does not want to change that at that moment, and that it was later on, she finally realized it was wrong, and she should be treated better. Therefore, I do not think it is fair to blame Torvald for controlling Nora because they are both blinded by society’s standards and do not think it was a problem.

Secondly, at the end of act 3, we can see the change of Torvald from being what society wants him to be to him realizing his problems and is willing to change for Nora and go against the typical men and women’s role in marriage.
Torvald before:
“I would gladly work night and day for you, Nora- bear pain and hardship for your sake. But nobody would sacrifice their honour for the one they love.” (P.186)
“You talk like a child. You don’t understand the society you live in.” (P.185)
Torvald after:
“I have the strength to be a different person.” (P.187)
Torvald is also a victim of falling into society’s norms, he never realized that he had a problem, but he has shown that he now realizes and is willing to change.

Furthermore, I think it is selfish for Nora to abandon her children. I understand that she has had enough of being trapped in the relationship, but if Torvald is willing to change, why wouldn’t she give him a chance and stay for her children. Imagine her children waking up in the morning and realizing their mother has abandoned them. I think that standing up for yourself is essential, but being a role as a mother is just as important as that. People may argue that she is unable to become a good mother because she will pass on her negative traits to her children, but I think she should have stayed and worked on improving herself and her marriage and taking care of her children at the same time.

To conclude, I do not think that Torvald’s fault leads to Nora leaving the family, and I don’t blame and even admire Nora’s courage in going against the social norms. In comparison, I believe that society’s expectation of men’s and women’s roles in marriage caused this and that Nora and Torvald are both victims of it.

PR A Doll‘s House

Ibsens, “A doll‘s House,“ made me feel lots of emotions of uncomfort and sympathy. This was because of how real the characters’ situations are, and because of the way the characters treat each other. While reading this book I always thought that the characters’ situations were created to be very realistic. For example, Nora and Torvald are a very trope-like family that most people in our day and age have knowledge about. The man works and the woman makes the man satisfied by cooking, etc. This was what it was like in the olden days and it made me feel sympathy for women who were always treated unfairly and wouldn’t be allowed to do the things men were allowed to. I believe this play was made to give lots of emphasis on the misogyny that women used to face and still do in our current day. 

    I found that in this play a lot of the time I would feel uncomfortable with Lora and Torvalds family. The family feels fake and only happy on the outside while very negative on the inside. Lora and torvolds relationship seemed like it was only held together by the security they gave each other. It was so forced that Lora would just tolerate all of the torvalds gentil verbal abuse to ensure that she would have a good family. This weird fake family happiness made me feel really uncomfortable because it is so forced and made me feel sick. Also the way everyone would talk to Lora in a childish way was super uncomfortable. It’s like they are talking to her as if she were an object or pet, hence the name “doll house.”

    I think the author really was trying to emphasize what it’s like to be in a good relationship. Equal rights, communication, honestly, and not being fake, are what I learned to make a good relationship from this play. 

A Doll’s House Personal Response

After reading “A Doll’s House” by Henrik Ibsen, made me doubt about, what is “love” in this play? We can see different relationships between characters that we can call the feeling that they are conveying “love”, like the love that Dr. Rank felt for Nora, the love between Krogstad and Kristine, the relationship between Anne-Marie and Nora and the love between Torvald and Nora. Love is a very complicated feeling that everyone can interpret different.

First of all, how do we know that the characters are conveying love? I notice that the diction and the context that the author is giving to each character are the elements that are giving us an answer. Like Dr. Rank with Nora, before Dr. Rank confessing his love to Nora, we can see that the author is giving us an image of Dr. Rank as not only an old friend of Torvald but also a person that really pays attention to Nora. The way that he refers to Nora we can see that he is someone that truly listens to her, enjoys her presence, wants to know what she really thinks and he appreciates her. In comparison to the relationship of Nora with Krogstad, Krogstad only sees Nora as a housewife and the way he refers to her, we can see that he just sees Nora as an opportunity for him to get his job back. In the other hand, we can see that Krogstad and Kristine have an honest relationship that no matter that they haven’t seen each other for a long time, they both share their feelings and care about each other. With Anne-Marie and Nora is more about how Anne-Marie talks to Nora and their relationship more like a mother daughter relationship, “Little Nora, poor thing, didn’t have any other mother but me”- Anne-Marie. We can see that Anne-Marie really cares about Nora as if she was her daughter.

We can say that “love”  is a feeling of appreciation, interest and caring for someone no matter their differences bringing an honest relationship. In the case of  the “love” between Torvald and Nora, at the beginning of the play, the author presents their relationship as a happy couple that has everything and nothing to worry about. However, we start to see details of how they interact with each other, how Torvald refers to Nora, “my little squirrel”, “my skylark”, in a way that the author is giving a context as if he owns her. And Nora trying to do everything for Torvald so that he is happy without Torvald caring about her. Then we can see that Nora is scared to share thoughts with Torvald. Before Nora confessing that she doesn’t love Torvald anymore, we can compare the other relationships with Nora and Torvald and identify that what they have is not love, they don’t share a connection. Nora grew up with the idea of loving but she never felt love. So she thought that what she felt with Torvald was the same feeling of “love” as her relationship with her dad and then realizing it is not love. And Torvald was in love of  the idea that she did what he said, to control her and he was being selfish. We can now see that since the beginning, their relationship doesn’t define how the author represents love.

PR: A Doll’s House

A Doll’s House by Henrik Ibsen is a a play about love, money and equality. These key themes seem to be reoccurring in much of classic literature that we are reading in grade eleven. As seen in other texts like The Merchant of Venice, there is many connections between love and money, and which is the “right” thing to choose.

When reading the play, I was surprised by many things, namely the dialogue and the ending. For these reasons, I found the play entertaining and quite interesting. The dialogue was the first thing that caught my attention. It isn’t written in a way where it seems that realistic, however it does a great job of expressing one of the key points of the play, that marriage is a two way affair and that equality is not always present. A great example of this is how Torvald talks to Nora like a child throughout the play. For example, on page 112 Torvald says:

“Can’t be denied, my dear little Nora. My spending-bird is sweet; but it uses up an awful lot of money.”

This quote shows how Torvald refers to Nora as childish or not very authoritative names. In this example, Torvald refers to Nora as “my dear little Nora” and “My spending-bird”, both of which make Nora seem inferior to Torvald. The peculiarity of this name calling is a very subtle way of foreshadowing the ending, because in the end, Nora ultimately leaves Torvald because of how she is treated by him and how their relationship seems artificial (they don’t really love each other).

The ending was surprising to me, and also quite powerful (and imaginably shocking to those watching the play when it first showed) because of the final dialogue between Torvald and Nora, and how Nora just left at the end of the play. When Nora kept mentioning “a wonderful thing” was going to happen, I was confused at first (mainly because the ending was spoiled for me, and I knew Nora was going to leave Torvald). When the “wonderful thing” was finally revealed–that Torvald would forgive Nora and see that she borrowed money out of love–, it made a lot of sense to me. I completely agree with Nora that the bond she took out was to save her husband’s life, and he should have thanked her rather than scolded her. Although, this makes me think, if most people in this time were raised like Torvald, how should he know any better? If Torvald was raised to believe that women cannot act without their husband’s permission, in his eyes, he was doing absolutely nothing wrong. This is also true for many modern day problems such as racism and still, sexism. People are raised to believe certain things and do not understand not all of it is right.

This message of the play is very powerful, and Nora leaving Torvald creates a strong impact on the reader, especially because on the surface they seem to have a loving, intimate, happy relationship. The shock of Nora leaving really makes the reader think about equality, and how things are not always as they seem on the surface. I enjoyed this play overall, and found it entertaining, and easy to read and understand, especially compared to Shakespeare’s The Merchant of Venice.

Personal Response to A Doll’s House by Henrik Ibsen

After finishing A Doll’s House by Henrik Ibsen, some main takeaways that I noticed was the characterization of the two main characters, Nora Helmer and Torvald Helmer, the toxicity of Torvald Helmer and the character development and courage of Nora Helmer. I think a crucial understanding of the play is getting to know that Nora and Torvald are very unalike and very distinct from one another. We get to learn that Nora is a very childish person and very nonchalant when it comes to money, whereas Torvald is all about rules and morals and when it comes to money, he is very strict. Knowing these two characters Ibsen writes about a situation that seems impossible to fix between these two types of people. Nora believes she is right and nothing else could have been done except for what she did, and Torvald believes she is in the wrong. The situation and scenario is so interesting and appealing to the audience because of the characterization of Nora and Torvald and how we instantly know how much Torvald would disapprove of the situation. 

Another thing that stood out to me after reading A Dolls House was the way Ibsen wrote about Torvald and his and Nora’s relationship. This highlighted how most men treated women during the late 1800’s. How men were always under the impression that women needed to be “saved” or “helped” at all times and Torvald represented that image immensely. He was constantly controlling and directing Nora to the point where she was so influenced by his mindset and opinions that she couldn’t eat what she wanted in front of him. She hid the macaroons from Torvald because he made it a rule that she shouldn’t eat any. His pet names and phrases directed at Nora also depicted this image of an egotistical man controlling his “helpless” wife. He referred to Nora as a “Helpless confused little creature” and after Nora had declared that she was leaving him he referred to her as a “Blind inexperienced creature”. This showed how easily Torvald switched up on Nora depending on his mood. 

At the end of the play where we see Nora sit Torvald down to talk, we see incredible character development and strength from Nora. She tells Torvald how he doesn’t understand her and how their marriage isn’t really a marriage. This moment was my favourite scene in the play and to me it represented Nora’s courage and strength getting out of that relationship that made her feel small and unhappy. She mentions how she has been treated like a doll over the course of her life and that she needs to find herself and not be played with/ controlled. I felt proud of Nora for speaking up and leaving the relationship she was in and her realization of how unhealthy and toxic Torvald was to her.


A Doll’s house Personal Response

Although I’ve never felt like I was a doll being played with by other people, I am able to relate to many of the situations Nora faced. I often feel that my life is controlled by others with good intent, but who don’t respect what I want. The main place I find this is with education, I am constantly being pushed and persuaded by both my school and my parents to do things that I’m not sure I even want to do. But each time they will say that it is what I want or need. This is minor compared to what Nora faced but I do sometimes feel like quitting everything and just figuring things out for myself. I won’t of course, because unlike Nora what I face is actually good for me, but it just feels similar.

I can also relate to Nora’s ‘awakening’ scene, where she all of a sudden knows what she wants and snaps from childish to serious in an instant. I experienced this myself in almost an identical way but instead of with love it was with friendship. I was friends with someone for a long time but there were many problems going on that I didn’t even realize. It was somewhat toxic even, but I was ignorant to it because we both still liked each other and neither of us had direct problems with each other. I had my awakening moment when I separated schools with them and all of a sudden I realized that they weren’t the right friend for me. It wasn’t that I stopped liking them, and even now I still remember that friendship positively, but I was better off without it.

Something I really enjoyed with the play was modern the style seemed. The extreme realism mixed with the internal thoughts and common dialogue made it feel like a modern day film and I found myself engaged all the way through to the end. The use of sound and imagery is exactly like that of a modern film and it is easy to follow, unlike the Shakespearean play we just read.

Similarly, I like the contrast of this literature piece compared to our previous ones. Even if it is not always the main theme there is always sexist oppression. However, in this one it is different when Nora has a girl boss moment and stands up for herself by leaving. This is likely why there was such an intense reaction from the public when this play was written because it went against all the norms. This idea of a woman walking out is very common nowadays and I think it was Ibsen who first introduced it. This only adds to the modern feeling of the play, because something like this was not possible back then, but is possible now.

Overall, I really enjoyed this play and look forward to both watching the movie version of it, and looking at similar pieces of literature. I know it is not mandatory but I also found myself starting another of Ibsen’s plays Ghost. A Doll’s House has been my favourite piece of literature we’ve looked at so far and would recommend to anyone who did plot summaries to go back and read it.

A Doll’s House

A doll’s house by Henrik Ibsen was a really interesting play that made me ponder about the roles of women and men and the responsibilities and expectancies of a wife and a husband. I was quite triggered by how Torvald acted and engaged with Nora as if he owned her and she was his property. I also think it was quite disrespectful of him to say rude things about her father and compare those qualities to his wife. Appearance vs reality was a theme that really stood out to me because, at first, everything seems like a “dollhouse”, perfect and flawless on the outside. A good business, a husband who worked and earned money, a beautiful wife who seemed joyful during the holidays, and their children. What could possibly be wrong with a lovely looking family and money? However, within that dollhouse, the perfect dollhouse was not as pretty as it seemed. This play emphasizes that having a good appearance does not lead to a happy, contentful life. The three symbols and themes that stood out to me were money and its role at that time, healthy relationships, and the symbol of birds used to represent Nora in the play. 

Money was a very critical symbol demonstrated in the play. Money showed men’s control over women as women did not have equal access to it as men did at this time. The play started off with Noras asking for money in a very childish way to get the money she needs. However, at the end of the play, Nora doesn’t want anything that belonged to Torvald. Because Nora was dependent on Torvald for everything, she was stuck in a toxic environment where she was treated like a doll. Her financial situation and reliance on Torvald gave Torvald a sense of power that he definitely took advantage of. On the other hand, Christine showed another perspective of a woman at this time. She could make money, therefore, she could make her own independent choices and not rely on a man. 

Healthy relationships was a theme Ibsen demonstrated by comparing Nora and Torvalds toxic relationship to Christine and Krogstad who showed a healthier relationship. The relationship between Nora and Torvald was so toxic because of the dishonesty and miscommunication that happened, as well as Torvalds big masculine ego that took over him. Torvald not only was the man of the house, but was also the controller of the house. He controlled Nora to a point where she did not know who she was anymore and was therefore treated as a child. Nora was told what to wear, what to eat, how to act, and her primary purpose was to please her husband and be the best obedient wife she could be. As the man of the house, Torvald took charge of her, having her stuck in his manipulating toxicity. Ibsen shows us this toxic relationship where honesty and communication was a joke and meant nothing. He shows us how dependent Noras was on her husband and the power that it gave him over her. In contrast, Christine and Krogstad both struggled in their lives but valued honesty in their relationship. Krogstad, unlike Torvald, was happy with Christine supporting him financially. They had open and honest communication, showing a better representation of healthy relationships where two people are equal and are not there to control each other but instead supporting and respecting each other. 

Although Torvald treated Nora like a doll, he calls her by animal names, specifically bird names throughout the play which was a significant symbol. For example, when Nora was happy in the way that Torvald wanted, he referred to her as “my sweet little skylark”, “my little songbird,” and “a hunted dove” more than five times (Ibsen 7, 30, 73). When she was upset, she was referred to as a “Dove” and Torvald said, “A songbird must have a clean beak to chirp with—no false notes!” (Ibsen. Act 1. Page 435). Birds represent how Torvald views Nora as a fragile creature who’s meant to look pretty, please, and entertain him as he wishes. Nora’s weakness and reliance on Torvald are conveyed by his insistence on calling her diminutive names. By the end of the play, the analogy of a bird can also be used where Nora, trapped in a cage, can set herself free and fly away, finding her identity.

Overall, I appreciated the play since it demonstrated Nora’s development and strength, showing that she is a self-sufficient individual with no defined role. She also tells Torvald that she considers herself a decent human being, just like him, establishing the equality of men and women in terms of rights and freedom.


Personal Response to A Doll’s House

A Doll’s House, Henrik Ibsen’s nineteenth-century stage play chronicling a young woman’s brief but powerful journey of self-realization, is one that certainly turned (not to mention reddened) quite a number of heads back when it was first produced. Viewers were so outraged by the story’s conclusion that Ibsen was forced to write a second, more ‘appealing’ ending, which completely undermined its intended message and Ibsen himself described as a “barbaric outrage.” It is partially these themes and ideas which the contemporary audience found so offensive that make the play so interesting to examine in depth.

For me, easily the most impactful element of the entire play was the character Torvald Helmer. Although any surface level description of his character would paint him as a caring, protective individual, every single one of his lines I read made me dislike him more. Ironically, this is indicative of how well the character is written. His saccharine, borderline creepy interactions with Nora create a sense of unease in the audience, slowly building up to the conclusion when his pleasant veneer falls away, before being replaced just a little bit too quickly. However, one of the most unnerving things about Torvald is it’s clear he’s not being intentionally harmful or malicious. His worldview and experience have simply shaped him into an individual who always wants to be in control of every situation, something he himself probably doesn’t even realize.

A relatively minor detail that I personally appreciated is that the play takes place entirely within one room of Nora and Torvald’s house. Although this is most likely just a matter of it not being feasible to switch out or move around so many props between scenes, this choice in setting creates a subtly constrictive atmosphere for the entire play. Every relevant interaction and conversation takes place within this one room, illustrating how this house is literally Nora Helmer’s entire life and how trapped she is by it.

All of these little events and clues culminate in the conclusion of the play, easily the part that sparked the most controversy among the contemporary viewers. It’s at this point that Nora realizes the harm done to her by her father and husband, describing herself as a “doll,” treated by both of them as a plaything rather than an actual human being. Seeing Nora finally accept what the audience has known for the entire play is an exceptionally cathartic moment, as is her decision to leave behind her old life so that she can discover who she is beyond the influences of others. In mid-eighteen hundreds society, when women’s social duties were extremely family-centric, it’s no surprise that such a narrative development would be so controversial. However, this may be one of the most emotionally powerful scenes of the entire play, a fact that the play’s audience obviously missed due to it not fitting into their fragile worldview. Hilariously, this is probably proved Ibsen’s point.

A dolls house personal response

A Doll’s House, by Henrik Ibsen, was an exaggerated playwright of a classic white middle-class family during the late eighteen hundreds. I thoroughly enjoyed this piece because of the controversies, and the writing. The play started off by creating the setting of a couple with kids and a weirdly intimate relationship. As the play progressed, the reasoning comes forth and it allowed the reader (me), to see why Nora acted the way she did, and what kind of person Torvald; or as he liked to be addressed, Mr. Helmer. This play prompts important questions and answers. In A Doll’s house, Ibsen makes it clear that marrying for money never works out, both Nora and Mrs. Line married for financial stability; in both cases, it did not work out. This leads me to believe that when finding someone to marry, you should base the decision on how you feel about the person, and not if it will be financially beneficial.

In all honesty, Torvald creeped me out by the way that he addressed Nora like he owned her, or had possession of her. These convoluted ideas of his seemed to derive from him giving her money as if it was some sort of allowance. Torvald described Nora as “his” little songbird and told her how to dress and act and even dance. This was to be expected because it was in the name A Doll’s House; she was his little plaything and show toy until she came to the realization that he only liked her for how she looked to others, and how it helped his name, and honor, and how it made  his perfect house look. “Bought you say? All that? Has my little spending-bird been out frittering money again?” (Ibsen, Act 1, scene 1, page 2). At the very start of the play, Torvalds condescending tone is brought forth. Ibsen does a good job to set the scene an show the relationship: Nora hiding the macaroons from her “father” (Torvald) and Torvald questioning his “daughter”. Of course they are not actually father and daughter but without a little background knowledge and critical thinking, this scene could be easily mistaken for a father and daughter conversation.

I do think that Nora’s predicament was caused by her poor decision making and childish behavior, but this play more brings to light how messed up relationships can be. This play was exceedingly unpopular during its time, because people could relate to it, and it did not make them look like good people. The reason why this play is so well known today is because of its controversial ideas and its perfect writing which ties the beginning to the end and visa versa. This was an enjoyable read and I would be likely to recommend this book to someone else.

A Doll’s House PR

A Doll’s House by Henrik Ibsen talks about ignorant men with huge egos and how they think that they have full power over women. In this story Torvald acts as if he owns his wife Nora. When reading this I was disgusted. Every time that he called her names like “my little songbird”, or “my little spending-bird” I grew a stronger hatred for him. He never realized that she might not like. It is as if she is just his pet and that he has full control over her. I found it amusing how although he thought that he had full control over Nora when in reality Nora can be smart and sneaky and she actually has a lot of control over herself. She sneaks macaroons into the house and eats them, which is against Torvald’s rules for her. She also forged her late father’s signature which is for one, illegal, but secondly was to borrow money to save Torvald. Borrowing money is against Torvald’s ‘rules’. This made me as the reader more of a fan of Nora than of Torvald because she is sneaky. Usually this would make me less of a fan of her but since her husband is so controlling I am on her side. He treats her like a doll, hence the name A Doll’s House, and I despise him for that.

I do not like how Torvald kept Nora and her life how he wanted it to be. He believed that he was the leader and had control over her. He was not letting her be who she wanted to be. At the end of the story I was relieved when she finally told him that she wanted to leave him. She had lived most of her life with him, as a child, than as an adult.

I like how this play shows what seems to be a happy married couple which turns into   a play about gender bias and emancipation during the 1800s. It is nice that Nora frees herself from Torvald’s grasp at the end of the play.

A Doll’s House Personal Response_Zack

It is in life that lies many problems, questions that often remain hard to answer and it only gets easier after experiences and mistakes that we’ve made throughout the journey. This can be applied, too, with the matter of love, since there are so many things we must figure out not on our own, but with our partner: how can we love them in their worst? What are our roles in our relationships? What is the role of love in our relationship? It is in A Doll’s House by Henrik Ibsen that gave us many valuable answers as well as lessons to these questions. This is most evident in the dynamic between the two main couples of the play: Torvald and Nora, Krogstad and Linde.

Through the dynamic of these two couples, Ibsen has first and foremost, given readers a clear answer about the role of men and women in relationships, is that both has duty to listen and empathize each other. For example, Krogstad and Linde might not have a stable relationship since they are in the tangle of can the job offer from Torvald, but what sets them apart most is that they are willing to sit down to figure that out together. What was even more surprising for readers is that it turned out Krisitne wants to get back together with Krogstad because she finds no pleasure in working only for oneself and Krogstad understood her and accepted her love. This prime example is what has set this couple way apart from any other characters dynamics, because they have learnt to value each others’ thoughts, concerns and they were willing to compromise to reach a better ending together. Through this idea, readers can have very straight-forward understanding about the value of listening: if we can not listen to each other, we will not be able to understand what our significant other needs or wants. On the sharp contrast, Torvald and Nora reflects a more unhealthy relationship: not once have they have a serious conversation together in their 8 years of marriage, that is not until the near end of the play. Not only so, Torvald always treat Nora like an object no more or less and his expression of love towards her is something not very genuine. Although it is mainly about Torvald’s part of fault in their relationship, some critics for Nora can be that she never voice her concern with him while always play along the game their game of marriage even though she is not entirely happy at all. Again, it is in this example that readers can understand how honest, open communication matters so much in a relationship.

Not only communication matters in relationship, but the author has also shown that love can be important too, in that they serve as a part of a feedback loop: love and service. Going back to the example of Krogstad and Linde, although Linde’s claim of wanting someone so she can work for sounds rather self-centered, but her intention is still to contribute for a higher and better purpose than her own self. It could then be said that because Kristine loves Krogstad that she wants to support him and because she supports him, she loves him, so that goes both ways.

Overall, A Doll’s House was a wonderful play that showed readers many critical life lessons regarding love and relationship. The general message suits well to whoever seeks to understand what they can do better in their relationship.

A Dolls House PR

After reading Ibsen’s “A Doll’s House”, I had observed throughout the play that Ibsen has created very “real” characters. These characters in the play had “real” problems and were very complex. For example, Nora struggled with being happy which in her eyes the only way to do that was to make sure the house was making sure her husband has everything he likes, which in reality is a very toxic and misogynistic view that a wife can only be happy if her husband is kept happy. Ibsen uses these real problems to create a story that is interesting because viewers/readers can actually relate to the suffering of the characters because the characters seem like “real” people. Personally reading this play in our day and age, I find myself hating Torvald. I think the reason I most hate him is that he seems real, he has created a toxic atmosphere for his wife where she can’t even be herself, but at the same time, his wife saved his life by doing something against his will. So it is a complex situation with Torvald being the person of utmost attention because these issues are really his fault directly and indirectly.

For most of this play, we witness Nora’s struggles for the happiness of other people (mostly Torvald), but at the end, we see Torvalds faults come back for him and his struggles create a route of happiness for Nora. When Nora walks out, she is no longer obligated to the “happy home” and “happy husband” responsibility, meaning she no longer has to suffer for other’s happiness, whereas now Torvald is going to have to go through those suffrages that she once did in order to maintain his family. This at the time of the play was a very controversial thing, but now we would see that as something Torvald deserves. So as well as having these real problems he also brings justice to these problems, but the thing is its not complete justice for Nora because Nora now has to go into a misogynistic society where we saw from Kristine, is very hard for a woman to get by and live a happy life by herself in that time period, so I found that very interesting because there is justice but Nora still is suffering. In short, Ibsens “A Dolls House” was very interesting because of the realism in the characters and their struggles as they are very real and are observable in real life and also because of how the play ends with Nora walking out leaving us with a question of whether Nora really got her justice or not.

How artists increase impact by contrasting form with content

Artists of all sorts contrast form and content to increase the impact of their work on the audience. Here are some examples.

Ernest Hemingway, In Our Time:

They shot the six cabinet ministers at half-past six in the morning against the wall of a hospital. There were pools of water in the courtyard. There were wet dead leaves on the paving of the courtyard. It rained hard. All the shutters of the hospital were nailed shut. One of the ministers was sick with typhoid. Two soldiers carried him down stairs and out into the rain. They tried to hold him up against the wall but he sat down in a puddle of water. The other five stood very quietly against the wall. Finally the officer told the soldiers it was no good trying to make him stand up. When they fired the first volley he was sitting down in the water with his head on his knees.

Hemingway’s low-key, matter-of-fact description increases the horror of what he describes.

John Keats, “In drear-nighted December”: Here Keats uses a sing-songy rhythm that might be found in a nursery rhyme, but the content of the poem is tragic.

In drear-nighted December,
Too happy, happy tree,
Thy Branches ne’er remember
Their green felicity:
The north cannot undo them,
With a sleety whistle through them;
Nor frozen thawings glue them
From budding at the prime.

In drear-nighted December,
Too happy, happy Brook,
Thy bubblings ne’er remember
Apollo’s summer look;
But with a sweet forgetting,
They stay their crystal fretting,
Never, never petting
About the frozen time.

Ah! would ’twere so with many
A gentle girl and boy!
But were there ever any 
Writh’d not of passéd joy?
The feel of not to feel it,
When there is none to heal it,
Nor numbéd sense to steel it,
Was never said in rhyme.

Musicians can do similar things. Here is Stevie Wonder using a musical form from an 18th century European court—chamber music—to sing about the horrors of life in an urban ghetto in the 20th century:

And here is the Kronos Quartet using the instruments of chamber music to play Jimi Hendrix’s “Purple Haze.” (If you don’t know Hendrix’s original version, you should find it on YouTube before you listen to the Kronos Quartet’s version.)

So, what does all of this have to do with Henrik Ibsen’s play, A Doll’s House? Plenty! Ibsen uses the comfortable, familiar form of a “well-made play,” a form that was immensely popular in the 19th century, just as TV situation comedies were immensely popular in the second half of the 20th century. Put very simply, the form involves typical, middle-class people; plot complications; and then a clever twist that puts everything right at the end. The characters were usually stereotypes.

Ibsen takes this form and puts into it radical, challenging ideas about women, marriage, money, sex, social hypocrisy, etc. A Doll’s House caused widespread outrage when it first appeared in the 1870s, and a good deal of that impact comes from Ibsen’s clever use of this old artist’s trick: using a form that leads the audience to expect one sort of thing, and then giving them something very different.