A Doll's House, By Henrik Ibsen

1153 words - 5 pages

Identifying a lie can at times prove quite troublesome. Some individuals may occasionally claim to spot deception simply by noticing the behavior of someone accused. This gut feeling is by no standards definite, and could be in fact mistaken. On the on other hand, one possible way to expose a lie concerns the revealing of an idea that is most assuredly true, such as with an article that has been written down. Documents usually are quite accurate, for once an idea is put on paper it becomes quite hard to retract. In effect written words relate to the truth, and if understood by the viewer they may expose the lies of those around him. Taking this a step further involves putting truthful, paper into the hands of someone else, perhaps in the form of a letter or note via the post office. In his drama A Doll House Ibsen included three articles of mail to symbolize the truth, and thereby to reveal some of the lies perpetrated by Nora.
The first paper of importance is the letter written by Krogstad toward the end of Act two explaining the conditions of his blackmail. This letter contains all the evidence incriminating Nora of her appalling forgery crime. Krogstad makes sure to base his accusation on factual information, confirmed by Nora herself, so his letter is one-hundred percent correct. Since she shows no desire to reveal any part of her history, the letter represents the only means through which the real actions of Nora are set to be revealed. Therefore as this letter sits ominously in the mailbox it symbolizes the truth surrounding Nora's past. Although, while this letter is a embodiment of the veracity concerning Nora's debts, Ibsen specifically included it to reveal two kinds of deception enacted by her. Her first lie occurs before the events of the story even begin. Nora illegally signs her father's name to the contract granting her a medical loan from Krogstad. While she may have only done this because of her own naiveté surrounding the consequences of forgery, the fact remains that she falsified the signature of another person and even was determined to keep it a secret. Krogstad's original letter points out her lie, because its text directly concerns just such an explanation. The message exemplary of truth points out Nora's lie. The second deceit Nora commits involves her response to the letter itself. Upon this letter's arrival Nora immediately begins distracting Torvald with her seemingly ill-performed Tarantella. Ibsen shows that Nora would mislead her husband and keep him in the dark rather than reveal the consequence of her financial problems. Thus the message embodying the truth causes Nora to lie in front of Torvald. In A Doll House this first letter represents the truth about the deal Nora made with Krogstad, but it also reveals and even causes the dishonesty she engages herself in.
A second article of mail possessing memorable importance is the calling card of the scandalous Dr. Rank. The truth related to...

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