Nora Helmer: Transformation from a Doll into an Adult

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Nora Helmer: Transformation from a Doll into an Adult

In 1862, Henrik Ibsen left for the docks in Christiania. The young man considered himself a complete failure; none of his plays were successful. Disappointed by this, Ibsen, with his family, boarded a ship and left Norway, metaphorically slamming the door behind him. Fifteen years later a similarly disappointed Nora Helmer would slam the door on stage at the end of A Doll's House. Humans learn from their experiences and observations of everyday life; it makes them mature and become more self-aware about the nature of their lives; this is called self-discovery. This idea is presented in the play, A Doll’s House by Henrik Ibsen, through several characters, but this idea is most evident in the character development of the protagonist Nora Helmer. In this play, the character of Nora Helmer is consistently developed by her actions and speech, as her character undergoes the transition from a “doll” to an adult.

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At the beginning of the play, Nora is presented as an ideal housewife who is very carefree. She has no identity, she simply follows the role that the society has taught her to play. Nora is also shown to partake in childlike acts such as lying to her husband about the macaroons. Additionally, Nora does not mind her husband calling her nicknames such as “little squirrel” or “little lark” because she accepts acting out in the way society expects her to. Nora’s role as an ideal housewife is further emphasized when she plays with her children, acting out like a ...

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