The well-made play was a contrived comedy of manners revolving around an intricate plot and subplots but ultimately suffocated by the trivia of its theme and dialogue as well as by its shallow characterization. This kind of drama emphasizes believability, yet there is no attempt to achieve the comprehensiveness of photographic reality; rather, realism is selective and strives for representative examples in recognizable human experience.
Act One[ edit ] The play opens at Christmas time as Nora Helmer enters her home carrying many packages. Nora's husband Torvald is working in his study when she arrives. He playfully rebukes her for spending so much money on Christmas gifts, calling her his "little squirrel.
This year Torvald is due a promotion at the bank where he works, so Nora feels that they can let themselves go a little.
The maid announces two visitors: Kristine Linde, an old friend of Nora's, who has come seeking employment; and Dr. Rank, a close friend of the family, who is let into the study. Kristine has had a difficult few years, ever since her husband died leaving her with no money or children.
Nora says that things have not been easy for them either: Torvald became sick, and they had to travel to Italy so he could recover. Kristine explains that when her mother was ill she had to take care of her brothers, but now that they are grown she feels her life is "unspeakably empty.
Kristine gently tells Nora that she is like a child. Nora is offended, so she teases the idea that she got money from "some admirer," so they could travel to Italy to improve Torvald's health.
She told Torvald that her father gave her the money, but in fact she managed to illegally borrow it without his knowledge because women couldn't do anything economical like signing checks without their husband.
Over the years, she has been secretly working and saving up to pay it off. Krogstad, a lower-level employee at Torvald's bank, arrives and goes into the study.
Nora is clearly uneasy when she sees him. Rank leaves the study and mentions that he feels wretched, though like everyone he wants to go on living.
In contrast to his physical illness, he says that the man in the study, Krogstad, is "morally diseased. Nora asks him if he can give Kristine a position at the bank and Torvald is very positive, saying that this is a fortunate moment, as a position has just become available.
Torvald, Kristine, and Dr. Rank leave the house, leaving Nora alone. The nanny returns with the children and Nora plays with them for a while until Krogstad creeps into the living room and surprises her.
Krogstad tells Nora that Torvald intends to fire him at the bank and asks her to intercede with Torvald to allow him to keep his job. She refuses, and Krogstad threatens to blackmail her about the loan she took out for the trip to Italy; he knows that she obtained this loan by forging her father's signature.
Krogstad leaves and when Torvald returns, Nora tries to convince him not to fire Krogstad. Torvald refuses to hear her pleas, explaining that Krogstad is a liar and a hypocrite and that he committed a terrible crime: Torvald feels physically ill in the presence of a man "poisoning his own children with lies and dissimulation.
Torvald returns from the bank, and Nora pleads with him to reinstate Krogstad, claiming she is worried Krogstad will publish libelous articles about Torvald and ruin his career. Torvald dismisses her fears and explains that, although Krogstad is a good worker and seems to have turned his life around, he must be fired because he is not deferential enough to Torvald in front of other bank personnel.
Torvald then retires to his study to work. Rank, the family friend, arrives. Nora asks him for a favor, but Rank responds by revealing that he has entered the terminal stage of tuberculosis of the spine and that he has always been secretly in love with her.
Nora tries to deny the first revelation and make light of it but is more disturbed by his declaration of love. She tries clumsily to tell him that she is not in love with him but that she loves him dearly as a friend.
Desperate after being fired by Torvald, Krogstad arrives at the house. Rank to go into Torvald's study so he will not see Krogstad. When Krogstad confronts Nora, he declares that he no longer cares about the remaining balance of Nora's loan, but that he will instead preserve the associated bond to blackmail Torvald into not only keeping him employed but also promoting him.
Ibsen’s play was notable for exchanging the last act’s unraveling for a discussion, one which leaves the audience uncertain about how the events will conclude. Critics agree that, until the last moments of the play, A Doll’s House could easily be just another modern drama . Reading the Doll’s House by Henrik Ibsen makes you want to discern what entirely wives can afford to sacrifice for their families just to be good mothers and perfect wives for their husbands. Nora’s primary struggle, however, is against the selfish, stifling, and oppressive attitudes of her husband, Torvald, and of the society that he represents. rising action · Nora’s first conversation with Mrs. Linde; Krogstad’s visit and blackmailing of Nora; Krogstad’s delivery of the letter that later exposes Nora.
Nora explains that she has done her best to persuade her husband, but he refuses to change his mind. Krogstad informs Nora that he has written a letter detailing her crime forging her father's signature of surety on the bond and put it in Torvald's mailbox, which is locked.
Nora tells Kristine of her difficult situation. Having had a relationship with Krogstad in the past before her marriage, Kristine says that they are still in love and promises to try to convince him to relent. Torvald enters and tries to retrieve his mail, but Nora distracts him by begging him to help her with the dance she has been rehearsing for the costume party, feigning anxiety about performing.There are a few mentions of doll’s houses early on in the play, for example when Nora shows Torvald the dolls she bought for her daughter, and says that the fact that they are cheap (read full symbol analysis).
In Henrik Ibsen's A Doll's House, Nora Helmer spends most of her on-stage time as a doll: a vapid, passive character with little personality of her own.
Her whole life is a construct of societal norms and the expectations of others. In Henrik Ibsen's A Doll's House, Nora Helmer spends most of her on-stage time as a doll: a vapid, passive character with little personality of her own. Her whole life is a construct of societal norms and the expectations of others.
One of the most complex characters of 19th-century drama, Nora Helmer prances about in the first act, behaves desperately in the second, and gains a stark sense of reality during the finale of Henrik Ibsen's " A Doll's House". It is the gruesome climax of Nora’s doll life, and it is placed where the chief symbol of Ibsen’s play is always placed, at the climax of the play.
It is the culmination of the plot. The action . Ibsen’s play was notable for exchanging the last act’s unraveling for a discussion, one which leaves the audience uncertain about how the events will conclude.
Critics agree that, until the last moments of the play, A Doll’s House could easily be just another modern drama .