A Doll’s House PR – The uncomfortable reality of relating to Nora.

I’ve rewritten this introduction 3 times. None of them correctly reflect how I feel. In one iteration of this opener, I described my feelings as uncomfortable. In another, I said that I was angry. Why can’t I put my emotions for A Doll’s House into words? I slowly realized that the reason I was so confused and conflicted was that I saw myself in Nora. And even now I don’t like that concept. New questions were raised, about myself, about Nora, about my friends and family, and I didn’t want to think about them. I’d seen how A Doll’s House unfolded, and I had created this barrier between myself and the content. Here, I’ll try to explain how I feel, how I resemble Nora, and how that is a sickening thought.

Nora and I are both, non-confrontational people pleasers. Nora has a tendency to turn to pleasing Torvald instead of standing her ground, or being direct with what she wants, “Nora: If your little squirrel asked you ever so prettily, for just one thing–? / Helmer: Well? / Nora: Would you do it? / Helmer: I’d need to know what it is first, naturally. / Nora: Your squirrel would run about and do tricks, if you were nice and gave in to her” (p. 146). This act of entertainment comes from the fear of disapproval or essentially any negative action from Torvald. Knowing I act the same way; Nora has already weighed all the options, considered all the outcomes, and decided that this is the path that will cause the least amount of damage to Torvald, and raise her chances of him agreeing. And while Nora is not incredibly smart or educated, we know that she is knowledgeable enough to consider these kinds of things. In her conversation with Kristine, we find evidence for this,

“MRS LINDE: And you’ve not confided in your husband since?  NORA: No, for heaven’s sake, how can you think that? When he’s so strict on the issue of borrowing! And besides, just think how awkward and humiliating it would be for Torvald – with his manly self-esteem – 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. 122).

She worries so much about what other people will feel, and the consequences of their emotions that she forgets that their own emotions and needs are equally important to anyone else’s.

This connection with Nora was very disconcerting. I didn’t like it, I didn’t like seeing aspects I didn’t like about myself in a book. So I refused to acknowledge it, or even think about it. I read the book in a very distant manner. But now, writing this PR, I need to face some of the questions that A Doll’s House brought up for me through Nora. Do people only show me love because I act as they want? If I unmasked, showing my “true self” (whatever that is) would my friends and family still stay? Or would they act like Torvald, furious at the change? Unconditional love is what I hope the people that surround me feel, no requirements are needed from me for them to enjoy my presence. But I honestly don’t know. Nora said, “I realized that the man I’d lived here with for eight years was a stranger and that I’d borne him three children -” (p. 187). That other side of people, the unknown conditions of their love, is something you can never truly know. Nora thought she knew Torvald, was married to him for eight years and knew him before then too. Yet she never thought that he would treat her in such a way that would reveal his conditional love for her. To relate to Nora’s tendencies automatically opens up the terrifying thought that the same might happen to me.

a doll´s house

This story for me was so boring because it never caught my attention since the plot development was really slow and it was not interesting at all. To be honest, I did not read the book at all but I know what the story is about because of the movie we watched in class. I believe that Nora is the character with more development since she tells a story more personal about herself sharing her feelings making you be identified with her.

PR on A Doll’s House: Love? or the idea of love?

This play put me through different emotions while its events quickly escalated. At first, I regarded Nora, Torvald Helmer’s wife, as a spoiled, selfish, and stupid trophy wife who only wanted money and Torvald as the husband who adores and would do anything for his wife. These assumptions aren’t accurate but aren’t exactly false either.

I’ve been told that watching my reactions to shows, movies, plays, etc is as funny, or even funnier than what is being watched. While watching the play, I remember being completely repulsed at Nora’s squirrel-like actions when trying to get Torvald to do what she wants and rolling my eyes almost every time they interacted before Krogstad started blackmailing Nora.

I never trusted Kristine and it didn’t sit right with me how she just swooped in and took Krogstad’s job maybe even hours after he was fired and was even more suspicious of her rushing to try and persuade Krogstad to retract his letter and seemingly being the ‘hero’ of the play.

I was visibly shocked at Torvald’s major reason for firing Krogstad which was in fact really petty.

The audacity of Nora to openly flirt with Dr. Rank who she knows likes her and then be shocked when he professes his love left me flabbergasted.

And the slap? I was offended on her behalf. His actions afterward disgusted me.
I am almost very sure that each and more of these emotions were shown on my face and would have cracked up anyone watching me.

Yet, I still managed to understand some of the characters’ actions to a certain point. However petty the reason, Torvald had the power to put an end to the blatant disrespect Krogstad showed and so he did. I would too if someone who I went to school with years ago assumes that we are friends and automatically thinks he can be as familiar as he wants. The main problem is that we are not friends. This shines a light on the topic of boundaries and knowing one’s place in the workplace.

Nora and Torvald’s relationship was based on love. Unfortunately, the love wasn’t between them but of each’s idea of the other.

The slap, though unnecessary, served as a real eye-opener for Nora and let her stop and think because, in her mind, the man that she loved wouldn’t react or address her in such a manner. It was almost as if her rose-colored glasses fell away during their interaction and made her realize that she does not know the man she married.

This makes Kristine’s decision to try and stop Krogstad from his continuous blackmail of Nora and still stop him from going immediately retracting his letter very smart and shows her as probably the only sensible character in the whole play.

In conclusion, as I stated earlier, my assumptions were accurate at Nora being a trophy wife and Torvald ‘loving’ his wife but not entirely at her being selfish and stupid and Torvald willing to do anything for his wife. Therefore, this entire play is an emotional rollercoaster that I was not willing to go on but had to to get a good grade and it made me think about some things. The main question is Do you love someone or do you love the idea of what you want them to be?

A Doll’s House PR

Out of everything we have read in class this year, A Doll’s House by Henrik Ibsen is not my favourite. This is not to say it was a bad play, it wasn’t. If anything, I found it great but very unsettling. From the very first sentence on the first page to Nora slamming the door on Torvald in the last, I couldn’t shake the odd feeling of the play.   Both Torvald and Nora’s characters annoyed the everliving daylights out of me at the beginning of the play. Oh my gosh. I had never been so annoyed by two characters so much in my life. When we first started reading, I genuinely wanted nothing more than for them to stop talking. Every time Torvald started his sentence it felt like nails on a chalkboard. Plus, the casual objectification of his own wife definitely threw me off a bit. But I think it was more the way he spoke to her in general. He treated her as though she was a child, and was incapable of understanding things on her own. For example, when Nora is talking to Dr. Rank about his job and Torvald says

“I say, my little Nora talking about scientific investigations!”

And again when he says

“Now my little skylark is talking as though it were a person.” (pg.172)

Once again implying that Nora is something to be owned and possessed and that she is incapable of understanding complicated topics, such as a “scientific investigation”. Speaking of, Nora’s character was not much better than Torvald’s at first. When we read the first scene in the play she just irked me so much. I didn’t like the way she spoke or the way she acted so immature. Like she would do anything for just the smallest amounts of money. I believe that part of why Torvald treats her as a child is because she enables it. She always searches for his approval, and never stands up for herself throughout their marriage (at least not until the very end). This makes Torvald look as more of a father figure towards Nora, rather than a husband. The dynamic between them was more similar to that of a father and child.

The one thing I did truly enjoy in this play was Act 3. When Nora finally wakes up from the almost trance-like state she has been in for the past 8 years of her life, and she finally leaves Torvald. Trust me when I say I had been waiting for this moment since Act 1. The complete 180 flip of Nora’s character was something I didn’t really expect, but enjoyed a lot. I think it was the perfect ending to the play as it sort of leaves us with the question “What happens after Nora slams the door?” There have been many adaptations that all give a different answer, but I like the idea of the ending being left up to one’s imagination. While it was not my favourite thing we have read thus far. Overall I would say I pretty thoroughly enjoyed this play, it left me with some very mixed emotions and it was definitely something new for me.

A Dolls House PR

“A Doll’s House” written by Henrik Ibsen is a play that raises questions about what a healthy relationship looks like. When analyzing Torvald’s and Nora relationship it resembles the relationship of a father and child because of the pet names, controlling behaviour, and comparison between fathers and husbands. I am disgusted by the relationship between Nora and Torvald but it also raises many questions. 

Torvald treats Nora like a child and Nora’s actions subside to Torvald’s view of her. Torvald’s pet names for Nora like “sky lark” and “little squirrel” are very childish. They make Nora out to be so fragile and innocent.  They prove that he sees her like a child that is incapable.

“My spending-bird is sweet but it uses up an awful lot of money. It’s incredible how expensive it is for a man to keep a spending-bird” (p.112).

In this particular example Torvald is referring to Nora as something that he owns and is responsible for. In the movie one scene that really stuck out to me was when Nora wants to convince Torvald for a favour she uses the pet names to her advantage.

“Your squirrel would run about and do tricks if you were nice and gave in to her” (p.146)

  Nora states while acting like a squirrel. Similar to how a child will guilt their parents into buying them ice cream. The pet names and Nora acting like animals stuck out to me because I was disgusted by it. 

The second thing that I did not like about the relationship between Nora and Torvald was Torvald’s controlling behaviour and consequently Nora’s need for Torvald’s approval. The main example of this is that he does not allow Nora to eat macarons because he does not want her to ruin her teeth. When he catches her eating macarons her response is

“it would never occur to me to go against you” (p.113).

Another example is when Nora says

“ I’ll think of something that will charm him, that’ll capture his approval” (p.119).

It revolts me that Torvald treats and sees Nora as a child. What’s worse is that she not only does not stop him from controlling her but gives into his ways by seeking his approval. 

Lastly the most convincing piece of evidence that Nora and Torvald’s relationship is like a father and child is that Nora constantly makes comparisons between Torvald and her own father.  When Nora comes to the conclusion to leave Torvald she says

“I’ve been greatly wronged Torvald. First by daddy and then by you”(p.182).

This comparison of Nora’s at the end of the play confirms that their marriage was never a true marriage. It was a relationship between a controlling father and an innocent child. I did not enjoy watching or reading this book because their relationship is sickening. However, this play does raise questions such as what does a healthy marriage look like?  


PR to A Doll’s House play – Kristina

A Doll’s House is a thought-provoking play.

The beginning was like the life of an ideal family for many people. A family of five – a loving father, a caring mother and three children, and a grandmother helping them. They lived in abundance in a large house, did not quarrel and supported each other.

But then the play began to touch on the themes of gender roles, power dynamics and societal expectations. Throughout the play, Nora defies the gender norms of her time and asserts her independence, while showing intense love for her husband, for whom she has gone into debt, although she knew that her husband did not approve of this.

A Doll’s House PR

As I began reading A Doll’s House by Henrik Ibsen, I really disliked it. it wasn’t the time or place of the play that bothered me nor was it the way it was written. I specifically hated the characters. Torvald felt like a pushover, he pleased Nora and just sat in his study otherwise. Krogstad was a stereotypical antagonist to a banker, and every time Nora spoke I felt like skipping past it. I saw her as a naïve brat who would do your every bidding if you taunted her with a 50 dollar bill. The video made this even more excruciating because her voice was much too fitting of a songbird. But as I flipped past the last page of the book and had time to reflect, I realized I had in fact enjoyed it. So, I asked myself, why? how in the world did I enjoy a book that I had just previously felt like walking through syrup when reading.

For starters I began to like Krogstad midway through the book because he was smart and realistic. Scenes with him involved felt much more purposeful and genuinely interesting. An example I can think of is his first negotiation with Nora. He lead her around getting answers he needed like details on Christine and her position with ease. This interaction where he agreed with my opinion on Nora and even calls it out, showing her the consequences of forging a letter, helped me sympathize with him. But at the same time this made me hate Nora more. The next step towards my switch of opinion towards the play was when Christine also noticed the naivety of the other characters.

Krogstad: “I shall demand my letters back” Christine: “No, no” Krogstad: “But of course…he’s not to read it.” Christine: “No…” Krogstad “…wasn’t that really why you set up this meeting with me?” Christine “Yes, in the initial panic, but a whole day has passed now, and the things I’ve witnessed in that time, here in this house, have been unbelievable. Helmer must know everything…”

It was as if the characters were all gradually waking up from a dream. In act 3 after Torvald yells, finds the paper saying he’s in the clear then apologizes. at this moment, Nora too wakes up.

“Yes but what you said (when yelling at her) was very right. I’m not up to the task. Theres another task that must be solved first. I must bring myself up … I must stand totally alone, if im to get an understanding of myself and of everything outside.”

Nora’s realization of her own naivety and determination to solve it is admirable. and the self understanding the book had with the problem I had was fascinating. It was a truly amazing plot twist that not only switched up the story but also my opinion on it. And in the end, only Helmer remains on my list of “characters I dislike in A Doll’s House” as he never woke up.

A Doll’s House PR

A Doll’s House, by Henrik Ibsen is my favorite text we have read during the duration of this course. Despite its age, it remains relevant through its depiction of relations between men and women. Further, the roles of men and women in a marriage and society are explored throughout.

An example of the exploration of roles of men and women in a marriage can be found in the third act, on page 182,

“We have been married for eight years now. Doesn’t it occur to you that this is the first time, the two of us, you and I, man and wife, are talking seriously together?…He called me his doll-child, and he played with me, just as I played with my dolls.”(pg. 182)

Nora expresses her disgust towards her eight-year marriage because she realizes that her and her partner have never understood each other. This evokes a sense of newfound relief in Nora. She reflects on her life, which has been filled with mistreatment and objectification at the hands of men who were meant to love and protect her. The men in her life treated her as a “doll”. They did not respect her opinions, disregarded her feelings, and used her to fulfil their needs before her own. As a result, she feels used by those she trusted and loved. As a result, Nora realizes her need for independence of a life that was crafted for her,

“You’re crazed! You are not permitted! I forbid you!”

“It’ll be no use forbidding me anything from now on. I’ll take with me what belongs with me what belongs to me. From you I want nothing, either now or later”

Nora acknowledges that throughout her life, she possessed little control over each detail of her own life. As a result of this acknowledgment, Nora realizes to free herself from the dependent and fated life she lives is to abandon those who orchestrated it. Through rejection of her husband’s forbiddings, condemnations, and eventual pleas to provide her with aid, she shatters the barriers created by her father and husband that were designed to keep her dependent and complacent. Nora’s newfound independence and parting with all she has known is essential to her coming self-actualization. Her enthusiastic embrace of the unknown is the driving force in the escape from the oppressive life she has lead.

I have a great admiration for Nora. She recognized that those who were supposed to love her and risk life and limb to protect her planted barriers that inhibit her freedoms and will. I admire her for her courage to free herself from a conventional and safe, for the bold, free life which she comes to desire. In this day and age, the world needs more people who are willing to risk everything in order to access the freedoms they have been denied. Any action can be the first domino in one’s path to self-actualization. Personally, I cannot relate to Nora’s struggles, however, I hold a deep admiration and respect for the choice she made. In my own life, I can not only assist those who are stuck in unwilling, restrictive situations, but also apply the courage of Nora in my own life. By doing so, I can address the factors and situations that hold me back as a person, and confront the barriers that inhibit my own self-actualization.

PR A Doll’s House

The play  “A Doll’s House” by Henrik Ibsen was very interesting. This play made me feel several emotions: second-hand embarrassment, stress, anger, and proudness.

The things  that gave me second-hand embarrassment in the play were the relationship between Nora and Torvald, and how Nora acted at the beginning. Torvald treated her as a child and made her do tricks for him and Nora acted very immature and sometimes acted like a squirrel.

The play caused me stress several times. First, it was when Nora didn’t know that she had committed a crime and openly admitted that she did it without knowing the consequences it would could cause her. She was also so blindly in love with Torvald that she believed that if word got out about the thing Nora did, Torvald would jump in and save her, which was something that Torvald wasn’t going to do. The last thing that caused me stress was, when the letter Krogstad send was in Torvald’s letter box that only Torvald could open, and Nora was trying to distract him so that he doesn’t grab the letter while Mrs. Linde was trying to  convince Krogstad to claim his letter back.

The part of the play that caused me anger was when I read how Torvald yelled at Nora when he found out what happened. He told her mean names, was only worried about his reputations and how he was going to save himself and told her that she couldn’t be near their kids.

I felt proud when she finally realized how immature she acted during her marriage, that she deserved better, stood up for herself, had the courage to leave Torvald so that she could focus on herself and find out who she is.


PR-A Doll’s House

When I started reading the play I got extremely bored and lost all motivation I had to read it since I do not enjoy this kind of novels/stories. After several days without reading it I realized that it is an assignment I am supposed to complete so I re-started my reading.

It ended up being impossible for me to understand the play, find it entertaining and remember the important parts. Some nights I could not sleep because of insomnia so I started reading the play and next thing I know is that I had fallen asleep.  The one thing I found interesting was that during the first appearance of Krogstad, Nora became really nervous about him and that made my imagination fly thinking of how big of a situation it could occur because of his presence in the house, it turned out that all my expectations ended up in disappointment

A Doll’s House Response

I did not connect with Doll’s House. Maybe I am not old enough, or the issues it talked about were not relevant to me, but I never unintentionally thought about its ideas. I had to force myself to think about what is the relationship between men and women and how to do love and money-related. It seems like a child’s book, like the problems is so simple to solve. If there was a little trust and some communication, the story would be over. To me, a doll’s house is a story about a flawed relationship falling apart. Maybe something went over my head. But I can’t think of how this applies to the modern day. The problem they encounter in this story is step one in a relationship make sure you can communicate and trust each other. The problems of this relationship may have been major problems in 1879 when this book was written, but not now. The issue of men and women in a relationship will always be an issue. It will never be solved ever. So I thought of this book as more of a history of Norway in 1879 and the social problem they had at that time. In that time, this was the problem with relationships, just as a book today will become the new idea of what is right with relationships.
Another idea I found was obvious “Do we inherit traits from our parents?”
As children, we first take our ideas from our parents, our favorite color, and our favorite food, and this is how we define ourselves as children. We then look for answers in different places, other people, and places and think this all is put together to produce a person who can walk and talk like any other but is different from what information they have seen and experienced, including the ideas and traits of our parents. As a small boy, I would imitate the groans of my grandfather when he would get up from his seat, as that is what I thought you did when you got up from your chair. We are the sum of the people we spend time with, especially when we are young, so our parents or gardians and the experiences we encounter. Maybe I am missing something major, but this book was not that gripping for me.

PR – A Dolls’s House

The play written by Henrik Ibsen was like an emotional roller coaster. The plot filled with patriarchy, misogyny and the sacrificial role of women truly made me stop and think about feminism today.

Before and even as I was reading the play, I was really confused about the name of it. I couldn’t grasp why its name is “A Doll’s House” and had different theories of why that might have been the choice. At first I thought this was going to be related to the children of Nora, since I thought about dolls being connected to childhood, but this theory quickly became inexact because the play focuses on Nora itself. A “childish” woman.
As I got closer to the end of the book, everything made sense. I think the name choice was brilliant, we really get the sense of it when we get to the lines onp182

“When I was at home with Daddy, he told me all his opinions..He called me his doll-child, and he played with me..” “..I then went from daddy’s hand over into yours.”

As we watched the movie, I remarked how the actress barely said a word during the scene when Torvald finds out about the whole situation. The absence of words and emotions made a great impact because we are left with our own thoughts at this moment, and oh I felt so disappointed. We can only imagine how Nora felt in the moment, heartbroken? Crushed? Miserable? This reaction of Helmer wasn’t unexpected, but in the movie when Torvald slaps his wife, that was what left me in utter shock. I mean, the physical abuse of that time is not the shocker, it is rather the fact that it got down to it.

Needless to say, I was very intrigued when the scene of Nora and Torvald sitting down to have a “serious conversation, first time in 8 years of their marriage” came along. After all of this dreadful and hopeless amount of pages of misogyny, we are finally being rewarded with a grand finale.
Nora demands Torvald to sit down and not interrupt her as she speaks; shocked at her sudden loss of fear, this is probably the strongest moment in the whole play. I was practically cheering when she stated that she will leave and educate herself, and that she wants nothing from Torvald, making him take his wedding ring off too. That she will only take the things she owns, even though she owns very little, this shows how independent she is and will not tolerate any control over her any longer.

I did not enjoy this play as much as The Merchant of Venice despite the fact that this pay has an actual happy ending. Everything is resolved. Nora leaves her abusive husband and I believe will definitely have a bright future; as for comparison, the play by Shakespeare leaves us with so many questions left for us to decide on what is true to us. Cannot say if I like the author or not at this point, I will need to read a few more books by Henrik Ibsen in order to have a formed opinion of his oeuvre.

A Doll’s House PR

The plays we read this year – Oedipus, Antigone, and the Merchant of Venice are all plays that raise questions about society. Before reading the play, A Doll’s House, I was confused by the name of the play. I had completely no idea what the play is about, however, because of the confusing name of the play, it intrigued me more than the other plays did.

A Doll’s House, a thought-provoking play written by Henrik Ibsen, precisely describes the role of women in society. In the play, Nora, the housewife, always listens to her husband, Torvald. She does everything she could do to make her husband cheerful. She listens and obeys all his commands. This demonstrates the “expected trait” of women at the time of the play. Nora sacrifices herself for Torvald by borrowing money from Krogstad for Torvald for travelling to Italy to cure his sickness. She takes responsibility for everything because she uses to love him. On the contrary, Torvald thinks that everything Nora does is inevitable, and he is not grateful for that. He even prioritizes his reputation before Nora’s life. In Act III, which is the climax of the play, when Torvald finds out Nora lies to him and borrows money from Krogstad, his first reaction is to blame her for doing that and worrying about his reputation instead of asking Nora and try to understand the situation. His attitude changes significantly after Krogstad returns the IOU contract. “…Shame, shame!” (act III), he thinks what Nora does is a shame, despite the reason that action is to save Torvald’s life, to cure his sickness. From this scene, we can see the sacrificial role of women. Women are like a doll, a toy in play, when their owner is happy, it is treated nicely and respectfully; when their owner is in a bad mood, it is treated like a punching bag, who bears all his temper. 

One of the themes that derive from A Doll’s House is the influence of being honest with each other in a relationship. The conflicts in the play are all aroused by deception. Yet, the truth is always going to reveal itself. In Nora and Torvald’s relationship, deceit is a dominant part of it. Nora lies to Torvald and when the truth reveals, everything is irreversible. It reminds me to stay honest in every kind of relationship. No matter if it is romantic, family, or friends, being truthful to each other is essential. 

Compare to OedipusAntigone, and the Merchant of Venice, which are the plays we read this year, A Doll’s House is the most straightforward, and the easiest to understand. The language in the play is informal with a simple and realistic plot. It is one of my favourite literature out of everything we read this year.

Personal Response – A Doll’s House

Prior to the introduction of, A Doll’s House, by Henrik Ibsen, we were given an introduction through a handout, introducing the characters and the theme of the book. The introduction helps us ease into a mindset to explore the topic of which the play addresses. The theme being the societal expectations and gender roles at its time (19th century).

Although the women’s gender role for the time can be regarded as very domestic, meaning their role was largely in the house such as caring for the kids and cleaning, it was during the time of when the role of woman in the West began to make significant differences. We can see this change from Kristine Linde as she did multiple different jobs to sustain herself and her family. Although she did not really have another choice, Linde continues to work as she felt pleasure in working. This contrast between Linde’s progressive lifestyle and Nora’s traditional lifestyle highlights the gender equality of the 19th century. However, I found it very interesting to explore the difference between the two women during a time of change.

When we finish the play, I found the ending hilarious as we see the hilarious duality of man, that is Torvald Helmer. For example, Helmer went against his philosophy by announcing, “Name me this miraculous thing,” (p. 188). Although I found it hilarious, Torvald’s character embodies both the societal expectations and the emotional vulnerability that is often hidden behind man. Initially, Torvald seems to be a one-dimensional character, the ending of the play reveals the complexity of his personality and the contradictions inherent in societal expectations of gender roles.

A Dolls’s House PR

This play was the one I enjoyed reading the most because it had a happy ending.
At first I was very angry at the situation Nora was in and I didn’t like her husband Torvald and I never did.

I didn’t like Nora either because she was fickle and foolish at first, this indicates that Nora’s role as a housewife was nothing more than a farce because, in fact, she had some freedom to make her own decisions, such as the one that changes her life at the end of the play.

The play was a breakthrough in questioning the traditional view of marriage, it suggested that marriage was authoritarian and controlling, but that if one was careful one could gain some freedom from one’s intolerant spouse, it suggested that marriage was like a doll’s house in which the doll should be free.

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.