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A Doll's House
Transcript of A Doll's House
Middle class family
spends most of his time working
treats Nora like a doll
does not like dishonest people Mrs. Nora Helmer: Torvald's wife
Loves playing with children
saved her husband's life
borrows money often
always receives money from Torvald
Buys cheap clothes that look nice/expensive Mrs. Catherine Linde: Nora's childhood friend
Took care of her ill mother before she passed away
Took care of her brothers
Married for money, not out of love Quote 1 Analysis:
Mrs. Linde acknowledges here the reality of both her and Mr. Krogstand's situations. All of Mrs. Linde's decisions thus far in the book have been purely practical and selfless. With this decision she addresses the reality of her situation while simultaneously acting out of love and her own desires. Krogstad : lawyer who works at thebank with Torvald
Lent Nora money for her husband's trip to Italy
Threatened to tell Mr. Helmer the truth about Nora
Lost his job to Mrs. Linde
Blamed for forging a signature
Was thought of as a bad influence and dishonest person Dr. Rank Family friend of Mr. and Mrs. Helmer
Proclaims his love for Nora near the end of the play
Near death A Doll's House by Henrik Ibsen was first performed at The Royal Theater in Copenhagen, Denmark, in 1879. The play challenged marriage norms of the era and highlighted the challenges of the individual woman in a male dominated society. Unlike most plays, A Doll's House begins with the ideal household of the era that begins to unravel it's self until finally in closing, Nora leaves her family and husband in one of the most surprising and controversial exits in theater. Nora is the wife of Torvald Helmer, a recently promoted banker living in Victorian era England. Nora appears completely in love and content with her surroundings. Out of love for both her husband and father, she takes out a secret loan with a forged signature of her father to provide money for a vacation so that Torvald may recover from illness. Nora struggles to keep the secret as she fights blackmail from Krogstad, her failing love for Torvald, and the desire to become a free and independent woman. In a climatic and astonishing final act, Nora leaves Torvald to recreate herself as an independent women free of the artificial love for Torvald. Kids:
-Ivar The individual who does not conform to society’s expectations becomes a social outcast, rejected by the societal conformers. In the play A Doll’s House, Krogstad faces criminal charges for forging a signature turning abruptly against expectations of a society based largely upon honesty, liability and the preservation of one's reputation. Nora also did not conform to the expectations of a wife and mother of the era. . On page 33 Helmer says “Just think how a guilty man like that has to lie and play the hypocrite with everyone, how he has to wear a mask in the presence of those near and dear to him…” which shows that society expects everyone to be honest, and if someone is not honest and lies, society will see that person differently (Ibsen 33). What is the connection between social class and societal expectations? The connection between social class and societal expectations is that depending on what social class someone comes from, there are different societal expectations of that social class. For example, the expectations from Trovald and Nora change as they ascend in socio-economic status with Torvald's promotion in the bank. With the new position, he is expected to be much more responsible and honest in his work and with the people who are employed at the bank. There is a clear class distinction between Nora and Mrs. Linde highlighted by their differing attitudes concerning money. Nora gets a regular allowance that she spends on material luxuries. Conversely, Mrs. Linde struggles to provide for herself after the death of her husband. On page 13 Mrs. Linde talks about how she had to marry the man who had money, not the one she loved because she needed to take care of her family and says “ My mother was alive then, and was bed-ridden and helpless, and I had to provide for my two younger brothers” (Ibsen 13). Nora only had to take care of her father, and now that her father has passed away and Helmer is the bank manager, she does not have to work like Mrs. Linde had to. Mrs. Linde repeatedly is highlighted as the Realist character, making decisions based on the reality of her situation rather than what heart tells her. by Henrik Ibsen Realism
in Literature Elements:
-Showed everyday life free of the idealization or romanticizing of previous eras
-Focused on the reality of the situation over emotion or romantic utopian conceptions.
- Believable and common characters and settings
- Focused on the essential issues of everyday life, marriage, love, money, societal reputation
- Shows the complexity of the human character and instances in which morality and conformity conflict with real life issues. The End Works Cited
Ibsen, Henrik, and R. Farquharson Sharp. Four Great Plays. New York: Bantam, 1959. Print Helmer “Aha! So my obstinate little woman is obliged to get someone to come to her rescue?” Pg. 33 In this act, Helmer is conversing with Nora about a new dress that she has asked for advice on getting. Helmer responds with the quote above, displaying the irony of the situation. Helmer responds in a patronizing manner to Nora’s question as though she is so incapable of such significant decisions that she needs help on something so trivial as a dress. However, that is not the case because it was Nora who saved Helmers’ life by figuring out a way to get him Italy, to cure his illness. Nora’s achievement of getting Helmer to Italy shows the ideals of realism, in that it was the only thing she could do. Although at the time in the late 1800’s Nora’s place as a woman was understood, as being limited to caring for children and the home, Helmers’ health compromised that. What makes this more realistic rather than romantic is not only was it her only choice in that Helmer is her source of survival, they way Nora accomplished her goal of getting Helmer to Italy was illegally not in a heroic respectable fashion that would highlight a romantic character. Nora's situation highlights the unfortunate reality of everyday life that is focused upon in a Realistic work.