A Doll’s House Henrik Ibsen (1828-1906)A Doll’s HouseHenrik Ibsen (1828-1906)Main CharactersTorvald Helmer – He is a lawyer who hasbeen promoted to manager in the bank. Nora – She is Torvald’s wife who is treatedlike a child by Torvald’s but leaves in the end because of it. Krogstad – He is the man Nora borrowedmoney from to pay for the trip to Italy. Dr. Rank – He is an admirer of Nora whohas spinal TB and announces his death at the end of the play.
Minor CharactersChristine Linde – She is an old friendof Nora who comes to Nora and asks her to ask her husband for a job. The children – Nora plays with her childrenand treats them like dolls. SettingHelmer’s Apartment – The entire play takesplace at the apartmentTorvald’s study – a door leads from thestage into an imaginary room which is Torvald’s study where some off-stageaction takes place. Ballroom – This is where Nora danced theTarantella.
PlotThe story starts on Christmas eve. Nora makes preparation for Christmas. While she eats macaroons, Dr. Rank and Mrs. Linde enters. Rank goes to speak with Torvald whileLinde speaks with Nora.
Linde explains that her husband has diedand that she needs to find a job. Nora agrees to ask her husbandto give Linde a job at the bank. Nora tells her about borrowing moneyto pay for the trip to Italy for her and her husband. She explainsthat Torvald doesn’t know that she paid for it. Rank leaves the studyand begins to speak with Nora and Linde.
He complains about the moralcorruption in society. Krogstad arrives and goes to the study totalk to Torvald about keeping his job. A few minutes later, he leavesand Rank comments that Krogstad is one of the most morally corrupt peoplein the world. Rank and Linde leaves and Krogstad reenters. He tells Nora to ask her husband to keep Krogstad, or else he will revealNora’s crime of forgery.
Krogstad leaves and when Torvald reenters,Nora asks him not to fire Krogstad. Torvald says that he must firehim because of his dishonesty and because he gave Krogstad’s job to Linde. Torvald returns to his study. The Nurse, Anne-Marie, enters and givesNora her ball gown. Anne-Marie explains that she had to leave herchildren to take the job taking care of Nora.
Anne-Marie leaves. Linde returns and begins to help Nora with stitching up her dress. They talk for a while about Dr. Rank. Torvald enters and Linde leavesto the nursery. Nora asks Torvald again not to fire Krogstad andTorvald refuses.
He gives Krogstad’s pink slip to the maid to bemailed to Krogstad. Torvald leaves to his study. Rank entersand tells Nora about his worsening illness. They talk and flirt fora while. Rank tells Nora that he loves her.
Nora said thatshe never loved Rank and only had fun with him. Rank leaves to thestudy and Krogstad enters. He is angry about his dismissal and leavesa letter to Torvald explaining Nora’s entire crime in the letter box. Nora is frightened.
Nora tells Linde about the matter and Linde assuresher that she will talk to Krogstad and set things straight. Lindeleaves after Krogstad and Rank and Torvald enter from the study. They help Nora practice the tarantella. After practice, Rank andTorvald exists.
Linde enters and tells Nora that Krogstad left town,but she left a note for him. Nora tells her that she’s waiting fora miracle to happen. That night, during the dance, Linde talks toKrogstad in Helmer’s apartment. She explains to him that she lefthim for money, but that she still loves him. They get back togetherand Krogstad decides to forget about the whole matter of Nora’s borrowingmoney. However, Linde asks Krogstad not to ask for his letter backsince she thinks Torvald needs to know of it.
Both leave and Torvaldand Nora enter from the dance. Torvald checks his letter box andfinds some letters and two Business cards from Dr. Rank with black crosseson them. Nora explains that they mean that Rank is announcing hisdeath.
After the bad news, Torvald enters his study and Nora preparesto leave. However, before she can get out the door, she is stoppedby Torvald who read Krogstad’s letter. He is angry and disavows hislove for Nora. The maid comes with a letter. Torvald read theletter which is from Krogstad. It says that he forgives Nora of hercrime and will not reveal it.
Torvald burns the letter along withthe IOU that came with it. He is happy and tells Nora that everythingwill return to normal. Nora changes and returns to talk with Helmer. She tells him that they don’t understand each other and she leaves him.
Symbolsblack hat and black cross – symbolizesdeathFisher girl costume – symbolizes Nora’spretending to enjoy her life. Italy – symbolizes the good false imageof Nora’s life. Norway – symbolizes reality. Doll House – symbolizes the tendency ofthe characters to play roles. Toys – symbolizes the act of pushing theroles onto Nora’s children. Macaroons – symbolizes Nora’s deceit toher husband.
Tarantella – symbolizes Nora’s agitationat her struggle with Krogstad and with her husband. Christmas tree – symbolizes the mood ofthe play. Stockings – symbolizes Nora’s attitudetrying to please men and her flirting with Rank. Letter box and letter – symbolizes a trapfor Nora and the cause of her demise.
embroidery – symbolizes the stereotypespressed on woman. ring – symbolizes the marriage, and theend of it. skylark – symbolizes the way that Torvaldtreats Nora like a child. StyleIbsen writes typical of the ways that thecharacters might talk in relation to their position and their relationshipwith each other. For example, the way that Torvald speaks with Norashows that he condescends to her and that Nora enjoys it. Krogstadspeaks sternly but softens up when Linde tell him she still loves him.
Dominant PhilosophyA person can’t be happy when falling intothe mold of someone else. To be happy, one must be oneself and knowoneself. Since all of Nora’s life, she followed right behind herfather and her husband, she did not know herself and had to leave to learn. Quotes”HELMER: My little songbird mustn’tdroop her wings.
What’s this? Is little squirrel sulking?”Torvald asks this to Nora after she returned from shopping at the startof the play. “NORA: I’ve the most extraordinarylonging to say: ?Bloody hell!'” Nora says this to Rank and Lindeexpressing her desire to rebel against her husband. “RANK: Oh, a lawyer fellow calledKrogstad – you wouldn’t know him. He’s crippled all right; morallytwisted.
But even he started of by announcing, as thought it werea matter of enormous importance, that he had to live. ” Rank tellsthis to Nora and Linde expressing his philosophy about morally corruptpeople corrupting society using Krogstad as an example. “NORA: Never see him again. Never. Never.
Never. Never see the children again. Them too. Never. never.
Oh – the icy black water! Oh- that bottomless – that -! Oh, if only it were all over! Nowhe’s got it – he’s reading it. Oh, no, no! Not yet! Goodbye,Torvald! Goodbye, my darlings. ” Nora says this to herself whenTorvald had left to his study to read the mail. She prepares to leaveand possibly commit suicide.