A Dolls House

  • Created by: lilysmh
  • Created on: 06-03-18 09:59

A Dolls House

General Notes

A play about contrasting worlds. 

genre elements

-contrasting worlds, past/present, public/private, work/leisure, internal/external

-losing/taking control

-power of institutions, the law, education, marriage, family, finance


-normative social values, gender/class

-futility of individual action 

-ambiguous endings


-silence/being silenced

-speaking out


-moral arbitrariness


 Rank is more empathetic/flexible than Torvald. 

In essays- start linking the quotes you use. For instance “Her normal every day self” and “I simply took over your taste in everything”


Mrs Linde. 

Mrs Linde marries for financial security, not love, and becomes unhappy. Her allowing the letter from Krogstad to be found by Helmer shows her action is potentially for the happiness of Nora. 


Domestic Life:

“inside the dolls house”

-the hearth/homeliness- ‘tastefully furnished’

it is an obvious given to Torvald that the house is nice as he has created it for Nora. 

Torvald’s values will be the values of the critics, most of the audience, so Ibsen can’t be too upfront about Torvald’s antagonist nature.

rooms represent the characters- Torvald is allowed to roam free whereas Nora is trapped within the dolls house.

Nora gives the implication of happiness through her non-linguistic cues, but this is subject to directorial and audience interpretation.

Nora seems to have many different personalities.


-work happens

-covert eating


-celebrates festivities


-blackmail and intimidation

-flirtation, seduction, romantic attachment

The World Outside: 




-seen through a window (p33)

-harsh judgements (for Krogstad)

-being outside the dolls house is a way to validate your existence

-individual striving against massive social situation


-social status

Act 1

         Presented straight away in the stage directions is the idea of a small word, it’s simply a room in a home.

We see normality.

Ephemeral (unnecessary) additional items. 

Helmer as a superior figure. 

Torvald constantly calling Nora “my” and “my pet” 

“you mustn’t disturb me”

Victorian child chastisement, taking her by the ear. 

Marriage in this world is an economic exchange rather than a romantic one.

“Nora Nora, haven’t you grown up yet” 

“You all think I’m incapable of getting down to anything serious” 

Get quite a lot of conflicting information from beginning of play. 


Nora’s secret from Torvald is the thing that messes everything up.

Intersectionality- Nora is oppressed, even if she is not as oppressed as some others. 

Ibsen is introducing normative stereotypes of femininity and masculinity. 

The way


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