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Interactive Oral Presentation on A Doll's House

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on 17 April 2014

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Transcript of Interactive Oral Presentation on A Doll's House

Interactive Oral Presentation on

A Doll's House

Norway in the 1800's
This time period in Europe was one of extreme political, social, religious and economical instability
During this time, Norway's timber industry was suffering. England imposed high tariffs and many ship owners found themselves bankrupt. This was a huge blow to their economy because in the 19th century, almost 70 percent of the Norwegian population were engaged in agriculture and fishing-related activities.
Divorce and Nora Leaving
Divorce was legal in Norway at the time, but it was an expensive and extremely difficult process.
Under the law, the married couple was seen as one entity and the husband would be the head of the household.
If a woman was to leave her husband, she would not be allowed to take anything, she would have to leave her children, spouse, the comfort of her house and become completely independent.
It was not until 1883 that the Custody Act was established and allowed for women to be awarded custody of children up to the age of 16.
The Father of Modern Drama: Henrik Ibsen

• His father became a drunk and abused his family. As a youth, Ibsen found solace in writing plays and deeply desired to become an artist.
• He tried to gain admission to the University of Christiania and wrote an essay "The Importance of Self-Knowledge" as the entrance requirement.

-His work examined the realities that lay behind many façades, revealing much that was disquieting to many contemporaries
• In 1864, Ibsen and his wife traveled to Germany and Italy where he began writing with zealous passion. He lived away from Norway for the next twenty-seven years.

Context: Marriage and Romantic Relationships
The instability of the time made the institution of marriage into one of the last remaining stable pillars in society
Before the 1860s, women who were widowed, divorced or separated were deemed minors.
In 1866, a law was passed establishing free enterprise for everyone except married women
In 1869, the age of majority was reduced to 21 for both men and women
However when a woman was married, everything she owned was transfered to her husband
Ownership over a woman essentially was transfered from her father to her husband
Women had no legal right to their children, their possesions or to leave ??
Context: Role of Children and the Treatment of Children
Children were often taught to be seen and not heard, which may be the reason why Nora and Torvald's children never spoke directly.
Children were a source of labour. Many children started working very young (age 5-6) doing odd jobs to help with the family.
Children did not have many toys. Some children were lucky to have a ball. There were no dolls until the 1800's, but they were not meant to be played with. Most of the time, they sat on shelves and gathered dust.
Technique: Dramatic Irony
Ibsen uses dramatic irony in Act 1 where Torvald condemns Krogstad's forgery and calls him "morally destroyed". The audience would have known that Torvald, in condemning Krogstad was also condemning Nora.
Also, Torvald mentions that "lies contaminate and poison" the home when referring to Krogstad's immoral actions (Act 1). Because of Nora's crime, she needs to ask her children to lie to their father and in doing so is morally corrupting them.
Torvald believes his wife to be a "helpless little thing" when in reality, Nora is very strong and resourceful (Act 1).
Similarities Between the 19th Century and the 21st Century
• Although gender roles are not as prevalent in 21st century, one cannot deny that they are still there.
• Divorce is regarded as something unpleasant and is often frowned upon in society.
• Women across the globe are still in the process of fighting for their rights. In the developed world the focus is on equal pay and reproductive rights. While in many third world countries women still struggle to be recognized as people, not property.
Technique: Symbolism
Character Foils
Differences Between the 19th Century and 21th Century
Why is "
A Doll's House
" Still Studied Today?
Ibsen's Relationships
As a young child, Ibsen was abused by his father. His father was an alcoholic.
His mother was very soft-spoken and encouraged him to write plays with themes like the difficulty of financial problems and how women suffer
Ibsen's wife, Suzannah, influenced the themes of his play
Suzannah was a strong feminist, and her step-mother, Magdalene Thoresen was a "New Woman", which was a group of woman who pushed against the limits society imposed on woman. She wrote about the feminism movement in her books.
Ibsen was good friends with Camilla Collett, who is considered Norway's first and most significant feminist
Theater in the Late 1800's
European theater was required to model strict morals of family life and propriety
Innovations of the eighteenth century and paved the way for modern theater, which began in the years immediately following 1875
Two forms of theater: Burlesque and Vaudeville.
Theatrical realism was a movement in the 19th century to make theater more based on real life.
Works Cited:

"Henrik Johan Ibsen." 2014. The Biography.com website. Apr 08 2014 http://www.biography.com/people/henrik-ibsen-37014.

Norwegian National Commission, UNESCO Division of Cultural Studies and Policies "Woman's Role in Cultural Life in Norway" http://unesdoc.unesco.org/images/0008/000846/084689eo.pdf

McFarlane, James.
The Cambridge Companion to Ibsen. Print.

Theater in the Nineteenth Century. Web. 9 Apr. 2014. <(homepage.smc.edu/martin_ben/TheaterHistory/nineteenth.htm)>.

Borzelleca, Daniel. "The Male-Female Ratio in College." Forbes, 16 Feb. 2012. Web. 9 Apr. 2014. <(www.forbes.com/sites/ccap/2012/02/16/the-male-female-ratio-in-college/)>.

"Brief history of Norway | Samfunnskunnskap.no." Samfunnskunnskap.no. Web. 9 Apr. 2014.

CBC. N.p., 4 Oct. 2010. Web. 9 Apr. 2014. <(www.cbc.ca/news/canada/4-in-10-1st-marriages-end-in-divorce-report-1.953894)>.

"The Family and Class Structure in Mid-19th Century Europe." SCCC. Suffolk Community College, n.d. Web. 9 Apr. 2014.

"Study Notes on History - Norway in the 1800s - Notatene." Notatene - Free Access To Study Notes. N.p., 2 Feb. 2012. Web. 9 Apr. 2014.


Robinson , Scott. "Europe and the U.S. - Late 19th Century." Central Washington University. N.p., 2010. Web. 9 Apr. 2014.

Gender Roles in the Late 1800's
• More now then ever, mothers have jobs while more men are staying at home with the children.
• Divorce rates have soared with 4 out of 10 first marriages ending in divorce.
• The education sector has not be unaffected either. In universities, the males to female ratio is 43.6:56.4
• Henrik Ibsen is truly the father of modern drama because his plays, which were popular during his time, are even more so popular now.
• Many of his plays like
The Wild Duck, Peer Gynt, A Doll's House, An Enemy of the People
have become films.

A Doll's House
addresses the issues in marriage, the hardships faced after divorce, roles of spouses, the need for a purpose and how society's values imprint themselves on individuals.

Discussion Questions:
• To what extent is feminism altering the roles of wives and husbands?
• How essential is the setting? Could this play have taken place anywhere else? What if the play was written in a different country?
Women in the nineteenth century had little say in matters. They were expected to keep the home and tend to the children.

• Men were expected to provide for their family.

• There was more emphasis put on the roles of men and women because of the Industrial Revolution that distinctly separated the home from the workplace. The Industrial Revolution minimized the importance of women until their only responsibility was reproduction.

• A man being able to support his family was more than a social obligation, it became a matter of self-pride. This created a very unhealthy relationship between mothers and fathers which children had to witness.
Godt Nyttår
(Happy New Year)

Nora and Torvald

Mrs. Linde

Mrs. Linde and Krogstad

Ibsen's Wife

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