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Ibsen’s A Doll House An Analysis

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documents in English
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  1. Ideas and action
  2. Characters Nora
    1. Super-objective
    2. Will
    3. Obstacles
  3. Torvald
    1. Super-objective
    2. Will
    3. Obstacles
  4. Krogstad
    1. Super-objective
    2. Will
    3. Obstacles
  5. Given circumstances
  6. The world of the play
  7. Images, metaphors and symbols
  8. Productions

Henrik Ibsen's A Doll House is a play about a woman who comes to understand that she doesn't necessarily understand anything at all. Or, more specific to Ibsen's plot, it is a play about a woman who is forced to reveal a very precious secret and in doing so discovers that the life she is leading is not necessarily the life she wants and/or needs. Upon first glance, the play seems to be some sort of blackmail caper, where the action all centers around the question of how the protagonist is going to escape the horribly illegal situation in which she has found herself.

[...] In Act Three, after Torvald has read the first Krogstad letter, he says to Nora: ?From now on happiness doesn't matter; all that matters is saving the bits and pieces, the appearance.? This is a philosophy that an earlier Nora might have accepted, but after going through all that she has during the course of the play, she can no longer agree with such a sentiment. She can no longer understand herself as a person who could live like that. [...]


[...] I think the given circumstances of A Doll House are presented in such a way that the audience is never even distinctly aware that they are being fed exposition. Much of everything is displayed quite nicely and directly through the use of present action (i.e. the first scene). At the same time, everything is not revealed at once. There is no Greek chorus to come onstage and update the audience as to everything that has ever happened before this present time. [...]


[...] Forgive the Hollywood intrusion, but I think Mel Gibson's William Wallace summed up the meaning of this play quite nicely when he said, ?Every [person] dies, but not every [person] really lives.? Nora discovers that she is acting out a lie of a life, and what she really needs to do is live her life. And she can only accomplish that by learning to think for herself. CHARACTERS NORA Super-objective: Because there is such a distinction between Nora's character poles from the beginning of the play to the end of the play, it is difficult to say that she has only one super-objective throughout. [...]

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