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A Dolls House. Given Noras final words (Ive stopped believing in miracles) is her characterization in Act 3 itself unbelievable?

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Introduction

The rapid change in the character of Nora in A Doll?s House, between Acts 1 and 2, and Act 3 have been noted as ?startling? by critics, however the believability of this transformation has been argued. Looking at it from a Realist perspective, Nora?s final words of ?I?ve stopped believing in miracles,? apparently seems to prove that her characterization in Act 3 is in itself unbelievable. However, when analyzing the text it becomes evident that her change in character only seems sudden from Torvald?s perspective, and that there is in fact subtle dramatic irony within Acts 1 and 2 foreshadowing this transformation. Throughout the play Ibsen shows Nora?s gradual development into a more determined and self-assured woman. This character development is guided and made evident through her growing courage and direct attempts to become more equal to Torvald. Her serious tone at the end of the play is also diminished by her contrasting childish actions within Act 3, shown primarily through her final act of door slamming. Throughout Acts 1 and 2, Nora?s develops to be increasingly more courageous, firstly shown through her demanding Torvald to hire Mrs. ...read more.

Middle

It was like being a man.? The use of the verb ?locked,? suggests entrapment, and her desire to be like man and to earn money and work thus shows her unhappiness with her own life. This is further proven by the adverb ?enough,? which sarcastically suggests woman having a set and concrete place in life. Throughout Act 3, Nora?s transformation and ?new? serious tone is also diminished and made to seem less extreme through her use of action. As mentioned before, due to the text type, the actions of the character become extremely important to their characterization. Nora leaves the stage on a serious note of ?I?ve stopped believing in miracles,? completely contrasting to her first lines to Torvald of ?Yes, Torvald, we may be a wee bit more reckless now, mayn't we? Just a tiny wee bit! You are going to have a big salary and earn lots and lots of money.? The harshness of the word ?stopped? contrasts to the smoothness and removal of harsh consonants in ?mayn?t we,? and together with the idiomatic expressions such as ?wee? and the repetitions of ?lots and lots,? shows that her dialogue undergoes a dramatic shift in tone, however it is Nora?s actions during act 3 which prove that Nora still carry?s through her childish mechanisms. ...read more.

Conclusion

Throughout the different personalities she plays out, she continuously takes them to the extreme, shown through her repetitive use of the language of absolutes as in ?tore everything apart,? and ?understand myself and everything about [her].? The reader is thus not surprised that when Nora starts to play a serious role with Torvald, she takes it to an extreme. In fact, the audience is expecting it. Throughout Acts 1 and 2, Nora?s serious side is often hinted at as she becomes increasingly courageous, and it is often hinted that she is unhappy with her current stance in life ? thus foreshadowing that an inevitable change will occur for her. Though her sudden serious use of speech occurs in Act 3, her childish and still foolish actions suggest that she is yet again merely playing a part, however playing it to an extreme, which was previously foreshadowed by her repetitive use of the language of absolutes. Throughout her characterization, dramatic irony was created through the audience?s knowledge of her rapid and fluid change in personalities, depending on the character she was interacting with. It therefore comes as no surprise when Nora stops ?believing in miracles? and starts taking on yet another persona, thus making her characterization in Act 3 completely believable. ...read more.

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