A Doll's House- Henrik Isben

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  • Quotes and reasons
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  • Main Points
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  • Created by: Dracupine
  • Created on: 15-06-13 07:38

Women's Independence

"I must work if I'm to find life worth living...But now I'm alone in the world, and I feel so dreadfully lost and empty...oh, Nils, give me something- somebody- to work for."

  • Women must work for independence through work or head of house
  • A drive to do something
  • Women are not always sometyhing pritty to looks at, like a doll (Nora is both head of house & also has a job, acts like doll to keep husband happy
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Women are dolls, pritty things to look at

"When it no longer amuses him to see me dance and dress up and play the fool for him..."

  • Doing everything to keep her busband happy
  • Ended up being one of the reasons for leaving her husband

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Women undermined

"We've been married for eight years. Does it occur to you that this is the first time we two, you and I, man and wife, have ever had a serious talk together?"

  • orvald never took Nora seriously
  • Acted condescending towards her
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"You see, Torvald so hopelessly in love with ,e that he wants to have me all the himself..."

  • Didn't like Nora talking to others, prefered her to stay at home in the house
  • Controling and treated her like a child
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Role of Husband & Wife

"I haven't ....much on the housekeeping money, because Torvald likes to lives well..."

"You see, Torvald's so hopelessly in love with me that he want to have me all to himself."

"Has a woman really not the right to spare her dying further pain, or save her husband'slife? I can't believe that."

Helmer & Nora: victims to socies roles in marraige as husbands & wife

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Symbolism of collapsing relationships

[The street door is slammed shut downstairs]

  • Nora shuits the door: ending her marraige, one door closes and another open
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Destruction of Love

"When I lost you, it was just as though all solid ground had been swept from under my feet, look at me. Now I'm a shipwrecked man, clinging to a bar."

  • Nora's realisation of her husbands true nature

[The street door is slammed shut downstairs]

  • symolises collapse of their marraige
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"When Torvald no longer loves me as he does now; when it no longer amuses him to see me dance and dress up and play the fool for him."

"We've been married for eight years. Does it occur to you that this is the first time we two, you and I, man and wife, have ever had a serious talk? Together?"

  • Due to men not 'worrying' women with their problems

"You have never loved me. You just thought it was fun to be in love with me"

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Nora helps Christine (Mrs Linde) obrained a job with Torvald

Dr Rank being a supportive friend to both Torvald and Nora

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The World of nature

"Two ship wrecked souls"

  • Mrs Linde & Krogstad victims of the world& tempest victim of finance & emotional cowardice

"lark" & "Squirrel"

  • Nora described as an animal free at the end & alienated during the play

The "hunted dove"  has refused to be "snatched from the claws of the falcon"

  • Men depicted as preditors and women the victims
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Determinism & free Will

"all your father's rwckless and instability he has handed on to you!"

  • Helmer alludes to Nora having inherited spend thrift. But helmer really is (likes good quality food etc, not Nora, she saves her money)
  • Helmer condescending and a hypocrite
  • Mora's domestic role, along with natural vivacity (bubbly) & intelligence enables to her reject controlling society
  • Rank's illness emphasises the inner corruption of society (STD)
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Love & Duty

Mrs Linde marries out of duty to her family so she can give financial suppport (brought misery)

"So dreadfully lost and empty"

  • Krogstad & Christine get back together (romantic) but also so she feels needed (looking after his children)

"Nora, I would gladly work for you night and day, and endure sorrow and hardship for your sake. But no man can... sacrifice his honor...for...love."

  • To keep Helmer's love Nora lies, pretending to be helpless and suppresses true feelings

"...my treasured posession..."

  • treasures her and treats her as a child/ object
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She has committed forgery, which is her pride; for she had done it out of love for her husband, to save his life. But this is her husbands point of view, his standpoint, conventionally honourable, on the side of the law & sees the situation with male eyes. 

Priority of husband, home & children, but what of herself?

"Millions of women have done it."

  • (given up on love)

"But it was great fun, though, sitting there working and earning money. It was almost like being a man."

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Literature Links

  • Pride & Prejudice:

Faults of characters

Realised & ammended

Mr & Mrs Bennet (never took his wife seriously)

  • The Country Wife:

Jelous & overprotective husband

  • Rebecca:

Rebecca highly resilient

  • Jane Eyre:

Rochester a possesive lover

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  • Women shown as children vulnerable to keep men happy
  • Independent women
  • Men Controling
  • Women = vulnerable
  • Society of the time
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Izzy Austen


Great resource, but would be better if the spelling was a bit better :)

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