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A Doll House Act II

By: Amanda Collins, Sarah Gaunt, Jaicel Ortega, Abel Ortega, Alexa Rivera, Maira Sandoval
by

Jaicel Ortega

on 3 October 2013

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Transcript of A Doll House Act II

A Doll House
Characterization

Internal Conflict
Act II
External Conflict
Key Actions
Symbol Connection

Thematic Connection
Nurse: Little Nora, poor dear, had no other mother but me.

Nora: And if my little ones had no other mother, I am sure you would — What nonsense I am talking! (Opens the box.) Go in to them. Now I must —. You will see tomorrow how charming I shall look.
Page 1208 Line 24 & 25
Arrogant/ Entitled
Manipulative
Nora: Your squirrel would scamper about and do tricks, if you'd only be sweet and give in.

Page 1211 Line 94
Coy
Nora: Flesh-coloured. Aren’t they lovely? It is so dark here now, but to-morrow —. No, no, no! you must only look at the feet. Oh, well, you may have leave to look at the legs too.

Page 1215 Line 189
Untouchable
Krogstad: Oh, you can’t frighten me. A smart, spoiled lady like you —

Nora. You will see, you will see.

Krogstad. Under the ice, perhaps? Down into the cold, coal-black water? And then, in the spring, to float up to the surface, all horrible and unrecognizable, with your hair fallen out —

Nora. You can’t frighten me.

Page 1220 Line 312-315
Damsel in Distress
Helmer: I promise. This evening I will be wholly and absolutely at your service, you helpless little mortal. Ah, by the way, first of all I will just —

Page 1222 Line 373
The Tarantella Dance
Helmer: But Nora darling, you dance as if you're life
were at stake.

Nora: And it is.

Page 1223 Line 395 & 396
Nora's Thesis Statement
Nora's fear:
Although the lock can be easily broken, Nora
is reluctant to take control over a powerless object. This symbolizes the inbalance in both her marriage and household.
Panicked State of Mind:
Nora is distracting and deceitful towards Torvald.
She resorts to a childish actions-pretending to forget the steps and begging for help- to attempt to take control over the adult issues of forgery and debt. Her dress connects to the title of the play because Torvald dresses her up and uses her for entertainment.
Begging Torvald
Nora: That isn't the reason, Torvald. It is for your own sake. This fellow writes in the most scurrilous newspapers; you have told me so yourself. He can do you an unspeakable amount of harm. I am frightened to death of him--

Page 1212 Line 106
Deception/gender inequality

In Act II of "The Doll House", Henrik Ibsen uses Nora to connect to the many themes throughout. By emphasizing the way Nora is looked down upon by Torvald, gender inequality is greatly seen. Once Krogstad put the letter in the mailbox, Nora tells Mrs. Linde that only Torvald holds the key , and she is not allowed(356). This power struggle demonstrates that women were seen a inferior to men to the point where Nora wasn't even allowed to retrieve their mail. In addition , Nora's character connects to the theme of deception. The major secret she is trying to keep from Torvald is that she got a loan and committed forgery. By trying to keep this secret, she deceives Torvald while having him teach her the Tarantella dance so he won't look in the mailbox.
Nora is reflecting on her childhood with Anne-Marie about how her mother never raised her. It is normal to Nora that the nanny is mainly raising her children instead of their own mother.
Nora begs her husband to not send the dismissal letter to Krogstad because she knows that once Krogstad reads it her lies will be revealed. Helmer highly dislikes Krogstad, therefore; he sends the letter anyways.
Krogstad visits Nora at her home to inform her that he will be giving Helmer a letter revealing all the lies she has told. Nora tells him that he cannot harm her or her reputation because she feels in her heart that the law cannot touch a woman who tried to save her husband out of love. Krogstad is determined to bring Nora and Helmer down with him.
Rank reveals his love for Nora. Nora feels sympathy that he does not have much longer to live so she does and says anything she can to bring him joy.
In a desperate state of mind, Nora pretends to have forgotten the tarantella dance so that she could distract Helmer from reading Krogstad's letter.
Nora is desperate because she believes Krogstad will tell Torvald about Nora forging her dad's signature. For example, when she's desperately trying to convince Torvald to let Krogstad keep his job in return for his discretion, she demonstrates her distress by saying, " Call it back, Torvald! There's still time. Oh, Torvald, call it back! Do it for my sake... You don't know how this can harm us." (132), after she discovers that he already sent the letter of Krogstad's dismissal.
Nora is confused by Dr. Rank's love. For example, after Dr. Rank professes his love to her she says, "No, but then you came out and told me. That was quite unnecessary--" (220).
Nora: And if it should happen that there were some one who wanted to take all the responsibility, all the blame, you understand--
Mrs Linde: Yes, yes--but how can you suppose--?
Nora: Then you must be my witness, that it is not true, Christine. I am not out of my mind at all; I am in my right senses now, and I tell you no one else has known anything about it; I, and I alone, did the whole thing. Remember that.

Krogstad composes the major external conflict that Nora faces – he knows of the loan Nora took out by forging her father’s signature – with that knowledge he threatens her way of life. If he were to reveal her secret to Torvald he might want to take the blame and her family would be torn apart with their reputation shattered as the jury might not understand her act of love. Nora requests that Christine be her witness regarding the forgery she committed because she believes that the “some one” to take the blame would be Torvald, as a sacrifice for her. Nora does not want Torvald to take responsibility for her actions, however, she understands that if Krogstad were to speak up one of them could very well face jail time.

Nora: In the letter-box. [Steals across to the hall door.] There it lies--Torvald, Torvald, there is no hope for us now!
[Mrs. Linde comes in from the room on the left, carrying the dress.]
Mrs. Linde: There, I can't see anything more to mend now. Would you like to try it on--?
Nora: [in a hoarse whisper]. Christine, come here.
Mrs. Linde: [throwing the dress down on the sofa]. What is the matter with you? You look so agitated!
Nora. Come here. Do you see that letter? There, look--you can see it through the glass in the letter-box.

Nora faces a deeper external conflict through the mailbox and its contents [the letter]. As with much else in the Helmer’s life, Nora is close to matters of power, but only Torvald holds the “key” or control over them. Nora never finds herself in evident control and that power struggle manifests itself through the mailbox. During her conversation with Mrs. Linde, Nora knows that the end has come and her secret will be revealed; although she can see the letter through the glass, she knows there is no way Mrs. Helmer can take it out – only Torvald has the key to open it. It is remarkable that in the Helmer’s marriage the husband, Torvald, has sole control over essentially everything, including something as trivial as going through the mail should have been.

Compared to Act I Nora's confidence has dwindled into a desperate panic. It is the unraveling of her abidance to the traditional norms in her marriage and home. While before the mailbox was prohibited to her, in act II she attempts to break open the lock and retrieve the damning letter. Nora also shows a change in character when she argues against Krogstad instead of remaining quiet. In Act II Nora is in a transition state as she moves away from being submissive to Torvald into developing the idea that marriage should be a partnership.
Act I
Act II
Act III
Act I
Act II
Act III
Full transcript