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A Doll's House ( Masquerade Ball)
Transcript of A Doll's House ( Masquerade Ball)
The masquerade represents lying and hiding. In the book Nora is not only hiding the truth about where she got the money for the trip to Italy from her husband, but she is also hiding many other aspects of her life from many people including herself..
Throughout the book the masquerade ball is important because after the ball Torvald will find out the truth that Nora has hidden from him for eight years. This helps to portray that the Ball symbolizes a hidden truth.
"...Seven hours till midnight; and then four-and-twenty hours till the next midnight. Then the tarantella will be over. Twenty-four and seven? Thirty-one hours to live." -Nora (Ibsen 50)
"I don't know; I think there is; but you must not read anything of that kind now. Nothing horrid must come between us till this is all over." (Ibsen 49)
Hel. The child shall have her way. But tomorrow night, after you have danced-
Nora. Then you will be free. (Ibsen 49)
The masquerade ball presents the theme of deceit on several levels.
"In A Doll's House, the absent father permeates all classes." (Rosefeldt)
"... He launches an attack on patriarchy by denigrating its prime symbol, the father" (Rosefeldt)
Ibsen feels men as fathers are unfit to raise children and men as husbands are ignorant. He uses Dr. Rank as the example, who contracts Syphilis from his father.(Rosefeldt) This shows that Rank's father is the cause of Rank's downfall. Also as seen in end pages of the book, Torvald thinks Nora is quiet because she can not believe she has gotten such a wonderful husband and for a while he refuses to believe anything else at all.
Throughout the story patriarchy directly influences each situation. Society is seen from a man's point of view in the book. Women are expectd to be the "Barbie" of the house. They are expected to be weak and dependent on men and that's what makes them perfect. Additionally, women are not allowed to interfere in business matters.
Woman are expected to be flawless. Torvald expects Nora to be nothing but a faultless mother and wife. She is also suspected to be weak and defenseless. She needs a "strong" man to protect her.
These quotes prove that after the masquerade ball the truth will come out. This is clearly shown when Nora mentions that she only has thirty-one hours to live because after that Torvald will know her secret and her "perfect" life will be shattered.
These quotes also show how extremely hard Nora is trying to keep Torvald from checking the mail until after the Ball because her secret will be revealed. This sequence of events aids in proving that the Ball is a symbol of secrecy.
The first level is the actual instance of the masquerade ball because of which Nora is able to hide her truth for a few more hours. The ball is a cover-up for Nora's secret.
The second level is the overall idea of concealment of the loan from Torvald. This idea connects to the previous level because it is what Nora is trying to keep from Torvald. This deception shows the patriarchal nature of the society because women were not supposed to interfere in business-like matters.
The third level of deception is towards Krogstad. She does this by forging her father's signature.This shows that she is not perfect; she, too, is human.
The final level of dishonesty is seen at the end of the book when Nora realizes that her entire life has been a lie, even who she has been up to this point is a lie. She has lied to herself throughout her lifetime about who she is and what her purpose is.
By: Numera Sachwani
& Kris Wilson
Ibsen shows that men are supposed to be the head of the family; they provide for the family and have no other obligations but to bring money into the family. Women are the fragile point of society. They are unable to think for themselves and must be told what to do and how to do it. Ibsen, however, shows this theory as flawed because in the end Nora leaves Torvald to assert her independence.
Through this sentence Rosefeldt shows that the idea of a patriarchal society is flawed because men are unable to be good fathers; they are incapable of raising children.
"...how painful and humiliating it would be for Torvald, with his manly independence, to know that he owed me anything! It would upset our mutual relations altogether; our beautiful happy home would no longer be what it is now." (Isben 12)