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A Doll House by Henry Isben

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Elizabeth Kilbride

on 19 December 2013

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Transcript of A Doll House by Henry Isben

Very controversial when published for criticizing the norms of 19th century marriage.
Based on Ibsen's friend, Laura Kieler's, life
Lead actress refused to act the part of Nora until Ibsen changed the ending of the play.
The play is an important part of the natural movement, depicting real life events rather than normal forms.
A Doll House by Henrik Isben
Time Period: Late 1800's Early 1900's

Although women were still seen as possessions that would transfer from father to husband, they slowly began to gain rights that would allow them to claim their own property.
Men were still protective of women and referred to them as 'property'
Women were expected to yield to their husband's rules/commands
Men were the heads of the household, therefore women were simply expected to raise children
While women had a say about what occurred in the household, the man's choice was absolute.
Feminist Theory?
Relation to Medea and Othello
About Henrik Isben
By-Malika Buzaubayeva, Geralyne Fuavai, Sara Harrison, Elizabeth Kilbride, Genna Larkins, Malia Lynch, LaTiara Robertson, Alexandria Ussery

Cultural Aspects Present in a "Doll's House"
All feminist theory
Born in Skien, Norway on March 20, 1828 & died on May 23, 1906
Son of a rich merchant who went bankrupt in 1836
Ibsen became an apprentice pharmacist at age 15
Had an illegitimate son with a servant girl at age 18
When he published his first play "The Tragedy Catiline" in 1850, he used the false name Brynjolf Bjarme, at age 20
The characters used in Ibsen's plays often reflect his parents and have themes that relate to his life experiences
Background of the Play
During the 1800's Norway was being invaded by Denmark at the time and struggled to keep their own land. This is prevalent in "A Doll's House" because Ibsen displays man's attitude toward property displacement.
Torvald Helmer was controlling of his wife just as the typical man in that time period.
Unlike a typical woman, Nora is extremely opinionated and very vocal about them toward her husband.
Women such as Mrs. Linde, who's husbands died were often left with very little, if nothing if not specified in the will.


How the Time Period Affected the Play
1) In "Madea" Madea killed a lot of people before going off to make a new life. In "a Doll House" Nora talks to her husband and walks out to start new life and gain experience. To what extent did their cultural differences change the way that the women acted?
Knowing that Ibsen was controlling in how his play's were acted out, do you believe that Torvald Nora"s husband is Ibsen?
3) To what extent do you believe the title "A Doll House" is more appropriate than
A Doll's House
4) What two literally elements represent the culture the best? Why?
5) To what extent is the time period represented through out the play?
6)Using examples from the play explain what do you think the different nicknames given to Nora by her husband mean why did he use hose nicknames and what does it mean to Torvald, to Nora?
Other Literary Theories
Queer Theory:
Relations Among the plays: A Doll House, Medea and Othello
-The women acted out of their time period.
-Women through each time period had a specific role.
-Men were seen as the best and in control.

Ibsen had not intended for this play to have a power feminist perspective!
Major Female Characters:
Nora- She acts like a naive child that can seemingly not function on her own. However, her simple acts of rebellion, lead her to the clarity of her marriage and fuels her courage to liberate herself from the marriage.
Mrs. Linde- She had to work for most of her life to provide for her sick mother and her brothers after her husband passed away. She sacrificed her happiness out of economic necessity, causing her to become a strong, independent woman.
Anne-Marie- She left her own children to take the nursing job that Nora's father had offered her. She sacrificed her happiness out of economic necessity.
This play emphasizes that women are capable of thinking on their own and performing a man's duties just as well, if not better, than him.
Characteristics of the time period can be seen in the setting and in the interpretations of the play.
Setting: The play takes place on Christmas in Norway. This is significant to the play because Christmas is a major holiday, where families are supposed to be united, socializing and celebrating. It is then ironic how the Helmer family falls apart on Christmas Day.
Also, the whole play was staged within the Helmer's living room, demonstrating the confinements women had during that time. Women were supposed to stay home and take care of household duties. Ibsen exploits that by making it the only thing Nora does.

"A Doll's House"
was written during a period following a series of European revolutions. It was written during a time where Europe started to modernize their writing styles as well as their cultural values. The tint of the time period is what made
"A Doll's House"
so open to feminist interpretations.
The play is produced after Norway has gained independence from Danish control. The topic of freedom was prevalent during this time allowing a connection between Nora's independence and women's rights.
A Doll’s house follows the awakening of NoraHelmer’s wifely, domestic and comfort life.Her father and now her husband Torvald have ruled Nora’s whole life.She finally comes to question her role in the house and the foundation of what she believes in when her marriage begins to struggle.Nora secretly borrowed a large sum of money to save her husband’s life and has been saving from her husband’s allowance to pay back in small installments.Her husband Torvald thinks of her as childlike, dumb and careless and therefore often treats her like his play toy or a doll.When her husband is appointed bank manager, the person who he plans to dismiss, Nils Krogstad, is revealed to be the person from whom Nora borrowed the money.Nora having forged her father’s signature to get the money, Krogstad threatens to reveal her secret and disgrace her family unless she helps him keep the job.By attempting to convince Torvald, Nora discovers that he only thinks of her as a child who cannot understand business or the value of money.
When the truth is finally revealed to Torvald, he becomes ready to disclaim his wife.In the end when all is solved, Nora realized thatTorvald is not worthy of her love and leaves him.
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