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Naturalism in A Doll's House
Transcript of Naturalism in A Doll's House
"when i lived with papa, he used to tell me what he thought about everything, so that i never had any opinions but his. and if i did have any of my own, i kept them quiet, because he wouldnt have liked them. he called me his little doll, and he played with me just the way i played with my dolls. then i came here to live in your house--"
Shows how Nora is the way she is now becuase of her father and the fact that he never let her be her own individual person. Because of that, she never tried to figure out life for hereself.
Theme: corruption of surroundings Showing that man's intstinctual, basic drives dominate thier actions and cannot be evaded
Krogstad: "Are you thinking of--?"
Nora: "Now i have the courage"
Krogstad: "oh, you can't frighten me. A pampered little pretty like you--"
Nora: "YOu'll see! You'll see!"
Nora has it set in her mind to commit suicide and thinks she will not let anyone stop her.
Theme: Taking the easy way out; not dealing with consequences on one's own actions. Studing characters through their relationships to their surroundings; studying human beings as though they were "products" that are to be studied impartially, without moralizing about their natures.
Nora: "I must stand on my own feet if I am to find out the truth about myself and about life. So I can't go on living here with you any longer"
After being a "product" of what her father and Torvald molded her to be, she breaks away from those relationships and surroundings, seeking her own life.
Theme: Breaking away from social normalities Showing human beings as being governed by their instincts and passions as well as the ways in which the characters' lives are governed by forces of heredity and environment.
Nora: "I believe that I am first and foremost a human being, like you--or anyway, that i must try to become one. I know most people think as you do, Torvald, and I know there's something of the sort to be found in books. But I'm no longer prepared to accept what people say and what's written in books. I must think things out for myself, and try to find my own answer."
Nora's life has always been based on her heredity and environment; her father and Torvald. It was instinct to play Torvald's "Doll" becuase that is what she was raised to be; but now she wants to think for herself.
Theme: Individuality. Showing human beings as unable to stand up against enormous weight of circumstances--survival of the fittest.
Nora: "Do you think so? Do you think they'd forget their mother if she went away from them--forever?"
After Nora gets caught writing her father's signature, she believes the only way out of killing herself. She cannot deal with the weight of her own consequenses.
Theme: Escaping reality and avoiding responsibility for your own actions. Showing nature as indifferent to man--the universe is deterministic.
"Well my mother was still alive; and she was helpless and bedridden. And I had two little brothers to take care of. I didn't feel I could say no."
She had to base her decisions off of things she could not control.
Theme: Taking responsibility Being deterministic (no free will)--natural and low socioeconomic forces stronger than man and heredity determines character: characters are conditioned or controlled by environment, heredity, instinct, or chance.
"Yes, you're right. Laughter's all the damned thing's fit for. My poor innocent spine must pay for the fun my father had as a gay young lieutenant"
Having a pessimistic tone
Nora: "And if my littles ones had no one else, I know I would--no, silly silly silly...Go back to them Anne-Marie"
Shows a pessimistic tone through her thoughts of helplessness and suicide.
Theme: Survival of the fittest Violence. Force against Force
Helmer: "Not so violently, Nora!"
Shows violence through Nora and her dance; shes becomes out of control and beings to disregard the things around her
Theme: Reality Vs. Fantasy Having conflicts that are often man against nature or man against himself.
Nora: "What nonsense! He's trying to frighten me! I'm not that stupid. But--? No, it's impossible. I did it for love, didn't I?"
Nora shows the battle within herself after Krogstad proves she broke the law--she battles between reality and her fantasy world.
Theme: Reality Vs. Fantasy Dr. Rank is now dying because of decisions his father made, which were out of his control.
Theme: Uncaring aspect of nature and heredity Naturalism in A Doll's House
Jacquie and Howard Definition: "A manner or technique of treating subject matter that presents, through volume of detail, a deterministic view of human life and actions"
Austin, Tx. World Literature, Holt, Reinhart and Winston, 1998.