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The Joy of American Sign Language.

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Benjamin Cocchiaro (20) Style Mrs. Cassel, p. 5 (54) Content English 10, 6.0 (10) Focus Sunday, February 02, 2003 (16) Organization Captain of the HMS Pinafore (20) Conventions The Joy of American Sign Language J.P. Morgan once remarked that "A man has two reasons for what he does- a good one, and a real one." These words reflect upon the stark difference between appearance and reality. The play, A Doll's House by Henrik Ibsen illustrates this difference greatly. Set in Norway in the nineteenth century, the play revolves around a middle class woman, Nora, and her struggle with identity and independence. Besides Nora, two other characters exemplify the theme of appearance versus reality in A Doll's House. Nora's husband, Torvald, and their family friend, Dr. Rank, both are not all that meets the eye. Chief among these characters, however, is Nora. The wife of Torvald Helmer, Nora has her life made for her. ...read more.


[She believes that], before all else, [she's] a human being, no less than [Torvald]...[she has] to think over these things by [herself] and try to understand them." (Ibsen 1016) As soon as Nora speaks those words, she transforms into an independent woman, quite different from the "doll" (Ibsen 1017) that Torvald has made her out to be. Torvald, too, cannot escape his own reality. Torvald. Through most of the exposition, seems like a loving, devoted husband and father. He seems to be strong, virtuous, ambitions, and a man of integrity. After the party, Torvald makes a show of his devotion, telling Nora that he has "wished [Nora] was in some terrible danger, just so [he] could stake [his] life and soul and everything for [her] sake." (Ibsen 1011) This illusion of devotion is quickly dissipated, however, after he gains news of Nora's folly. His demeanor switches entirely from the loving husband to a cold, petulant man who cares only for his social image. ...read more.


Rank has an ulterior motive in his frequent visits to the Helmer household. The lonely old doctor is too lonely for his own good. So lonely, in fact, that he lusts after Nora. He admits to her that "[he's] loved [her] just as deeply as somebody else." (Ibsen 996) Dr. Rank, the supposed comrade and compatriot, is nothing more than a covetous false suitor, trying to steal Nora away from Torvald. Though the script calls for three actors to play Rank, Torvald, and Nora, it may have been more appropriate to call for six, one for each of their guises, and one for their realities. The three characters had ulterior motives abound. They were false to others, and to themselves, which is not unlike modern society. Today, there is still a mentality of publicly smiling while privately frowning that has only grown since the publishing of A Doll's House. It is a shame, really, that more people have not taken the advice Ibsen has given through Dr. Rank and Nora and Torvald Helmer. ...read more.

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