• Join over 1.2 million students every month
  • Accelerate your learning by 29%
  • Unlimited access from just £6.99 per month

Henrik Ibsen's 'A Doll's House' - review

Extracts from this document...


A play serves as the author's tool for critiquing society. It is rare that a person encounters the ability to rise above accepted social beliefs. Some plays help to reflect controversial issues that the audience can relate to because they interact in the same situations every day. Henrik Ibsen was a Norwegian writer who was known for his critical view upon society. 'A Doll's House' was written in the late 19th Century, this era and its traits are echoed in his play in many ways. Ibsen provides unique analysis and reflection on issues his culture never thought as wrong. In the play he tackles women's rights as a matter of importance being neglected, acknowledging the fact that in 19th Century European life the role of the women to stay home, raise the children, and attend to her husband was unfair. Ibsen shows us this in 'A Doll's House' constantly when Nora is being dominated and controlled by Helmer. Nora is called a number of names by Helmer throughout the play. These include "little songbird", "squirrel", "lark", "little featherhead", "little skylark", "little person", and "little woman". Helmer seems to be particularly consistent about using the modifier "little" before the names he calls Nora. ...read more.


After the 1848 revolution, a new modern perspective was starting to appear in the literary and dramatic world, challenging the romantic tradition. Ibsen was mastering and popularising the realist drama derived from this new perspective, 'A Doll's House' could easily have been just another modern play with another comfortable moral lesson. However, when Nora tells Helmer that they must sit down and "discuss all this that has been happening between us", the play diverges from the traditional form. Ibsen raises issues which have not previously been considered, but not in a point blank way, instead he manages to make 'A Doll's House' interesting and thought provoking. Ibsen's major target audience was the middle class, as he was brought up in similar circumstances he was able to portray the thoughts and feelings of middle class life accurately. Ibsen chose to use colloquial language to emphasize this style of realism and to help relate to his audience. Despite this Ibsen also managed to tactfully reveal that the middle class did in fact have some flaws, his realist drama disregarded a number of things, for example the tradition of the older male moral figure. ...read more.


Such deceptions can effortlessly develop and the responsibility spreads to others as we see when Mrs Linde becomes increasingly involved in Nora's deception when she had actually had no part in it what so ever. There are also the smaller lies Nora tells when Helmer asks her simple questions, "Not a nibble at a macaroon?" to which Nora answers "No, Torvald-I promise you, honestly-!" when we know that a matter of minutes ago Nora cleaned her mouth and placed a bag of macaroon's in her pocket. However, the most prominent of themes seems to be the rebellion towards society, especially in direction of the position and circumstances of women. This is demonstrated mainly by Nora as she breaks away from society in order to act on her own terms. From the start Nora has a small sense of revolt and little care for society, "What do I care about society? I think it's a bore." (pg40) this idea is clearly portrayed in Nora's decision to leave Helmer. It is clear that Nora's rebellion was very purposeful and to a certain extent planned, despite knowing what society expects from her, as a woman and a wife; she believes that it is her own right to do what she feels is true to her. ...read more.

The above preview is unformatted text

This student written piece of work is one of many that can be found in our GCSE Henrik Ibsen section.

Found what you're looking for?

  • Start learning 29% faster today
  • 150,000+ documents available
  • Just £6.99 a month

Not the one? Search for your essay title...
  • Join over 1.2 million students every month
  • Accelerate your learning by 29%
  • Unlimited access from just £6.99 per month

See related essaysSee related essays

Related GCSE Henrik Ibsen essays

  1. Marked by a teacher

    Nora Helmer vs. Miss Julie - the Role of Women being Degraded by Man

    3 star(s)

    "[not looking at him - playing with his waistcoat buttons]: If you really want to give me something, you could - well, you could..." As the conflicts in the play arise, it can be clearly seen that Nora's primary struggle is against Torvald that is a selfish and oppressive husband, which represents a group that have masculine ideas towards society.

  2. "A Doll's House" deals with the position of women in matters of marriage and ...

    Upon first reading the play I thought that the ending was far too dramatic and Nora was portrayed as being cruel to leave the children. Upon closer observation of the play and its setting becoming a parent is traditionally the sign of accomplishing adulthood, as the title suggests marriage and

  1. The plays 'Miss Julie', August Strindberg, 1888 and 'A Doll's House', Henrik Ibsen, 1879 ...

    Nora stayed at home, taking care of the house and of the children while Torvald went to work, to get money to sustain his family. It is showed the role of woman as wives and mothers in society. At the start of the play, Nora seems to be like a

  2. The roles of men and women are defined by the cultural conventions and expectations ...

    This would have been seen by society as wrong that Nora was the person providing and thus challenging society's expectations. "Not so loud. What if Torvald heard! He mustn't know for anything in the world. Nobody must know, Kristine. No one but you."

  1. A Dolls House Use Of Language

    However, in front of Dr. Rank it changes to a very grown-up tone one which a woman would use. "Scientific work, Dr Rank? Investigation?" Nora's tone changes because of her relationships with different people within the play, she acts as a child in front of Torvald because their relationship is built on lust and physical

  2. Reviewing a live performance - Henrik Ibsen's : A Doll's House.

    was easy to tell that they had grown used to one another. In other words, a good team effort was shows on stage. PLOT AND SUBJECT MATTER * The main theme of the performance was to highlight Nora Helmer's journey towards self-liberation and show that it is as real, as necessary and as challenging today as it was in 1879.

  1. Henrik Ibsen - A Doll's House - Plot.

    Relationships that are commonly approached the most important in life, form between strangers, and it is unlikely to love somebody who is actually a stranger. What should be love reveals to be a game of doll and the doll master (Nora and Torvald)

  2. "Do you want your characters to live? See to it that they are free." ...

    I would suggest that the same categories can be used to describe Nora's change, except that Ibsen chooses to have her occupy both factions, moving from the former to the latter, and the act of disillusionment is the catalyst for her emotional upheaval and subsequent retreat.

  • Over 160,000 pieces
    of student written work
  • Annotated by
    experienced teachers
  • Ideas and feedback to
    improve your own work