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Inquiry on "The Doll's House" by Henrik Ibsen

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Introduction

My Good Question What role does the Tarantella as a dance and as a spider play in Henrik Ibsen's A Doll's House? My Analysis The Tarantella is an Italian folk dance that originated from the end result of being bitten by a Tarantella spider. Painful and, in most cases, deadly, someone bitten by the Tarantella usually moves around widely in agony, and in the process of such wide and haphazard movements, ends up sweating the poison out of their system. In Ibsen's A Doll's House, the Tarantella dance expresses one of the play's central themes: the idea that an uncomfortable truth, though it may cause authentic pain misinterpreted as a deadly poison, may be in fact the only medicine that could heal Nora and Mrs. Linde's marriage. Relating the dance to its origins, some characters display spider-like characteristics. Nora sees Krogstad himself as a deadly spider, threatening to destroy the happiness of her marriage by injecting his venom - the letter revealing the Nora's forgery of Mrs. Linde's name - into her life. ...read more.

Middle

She is not performing at all, but "dancing" to save everything that matters to her. The letter that is in the mailbox is to Nora the deadly poison of the tarantella, and that will destroy her marriage and her life. Just like a powerful medicine, the truth contained in that letter delivers a shock to the marriage that it 'dies' instantaneously. Once the truth has been administered, Nora and Mrs. Linde discuss their marital situation seriously like a patient whose illness has been treated by a doctor through drastic means. Word Count: 423 My Good Question How does Nora's metamorphosis from a dependent wife into an independent woman symbolize that of a caged bird being set free in Henrik Ibsen's A Doll's House? My Analysis The play's opening reveals Torvald as the stereotypically strong, dignified husband while Nora is "little skylark twittering" (148). Torvald's continual reference to Nora using bird names parallels Nora's image of herself. Torvald continually refers to Nora as his "little featherbrain," his "little scatterbrain," his "squirrel sulking", and most importantly his "song bird." ...read more.

Conclusion

The play's ending reveals the truth of Torvald's character, where Nora finally breaks free as a lark from his grasp and his imprisonment. Her long expected "miracle" never took place for Torvald showed his selfish character. Torvald has stopped referring to Nora using bird imagery. He has finally noticed that she has a character strength that far exceeds his own. Instead of her relying on him, he is dependent upon her, "but to lose you-to lose you, Nora! No, no, I can't even imagine it..." (230). Nora, on the other hand, has set herself free. Instead of her using his "great wings" (223) to protect her, she breaks free of their "warm and cozy home" (223) and says "I set you free from [your obligations]. You're not to feel yourself bound in anyway, nor shall I" (231). In setting her husband free, Nora has set herself free to fly like a young bird seeking independence from its mother. Nora's struggle to break free of her caged prison at the beginning of the play is weak and child-like. She finally, after realizing Torvald's true character, breaks free of her cage and does what birds do best-fly. Word Count: 449 ?? ?? ?? ?? ...read more.

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