Facades In Henrik Ibsen’s A Doll’s House

1309 words - 5 pages

When a young girl plays with her doll house, she imagines a make-believe world full of enchantment. However, little does she realize the false and unattainable image of perfection that lies before her. With every miniature doorway and elaborate bookcase, the doll house disguises reality with a mask of flawless excellence. Similarly, Henrik Ibsen describes many appearances in A Doll House as mere façades of deception. These images reiterate the theme that outer appearances are never what they seem. Through his dealing with Nora’s societal role and his use of symbolism, Ibsen effectively contrasts the themes of appearance and reality and suggests that all façades will eventually be revealed.

In society’s view, the marriage between Nora and Torvald is a wonderful relationship. Torvald supports the family through his job at the bank while Nora is the caretaker for the children. However, they have no real communication between them. Torvald commonly refers to Nora as his “little lark” or “squirrel” (1010, 1012). He never treats Nora as an equal marital partner, much less an individual. In the end, the marriage has to end because of its lack of real communication. Thus, a source of deception in the play stems from the fact that the actual marriage between Nora and Torvald is not a healthy relationship, as in society’s view. Furthermore, when Nora decides to go against her husband’s will to borrow the money for the loan, she forsakes her matrimonial bond, yet gains personal independence. Nora considers the loan “something to be proud and happy for” (1017). Yet, in essence, she is pleased with her ability to lie to her husband. Through this circumstance, Ibsen successfully reveals that a relationship built on dishonesty cannot remain. In the end, the marital façade is revealed through Nora’s inability to remain in a relationship that, in her point of view, is not “a true marriage” (1061).

Another form of deception in the play is Nora’s oscillating role between a homemaker and an individual. For Nora’s entire life, society has forced her to succumb to its expectations of a woman’s role as a devoted mother, rather than to her personal desires. However, in raising the children, she continues to reinforce these societal traditions. For example, Nora plays a game of hide-and-seek with her children. Although this amusement may seem infantile, the game itself is based on deception with its emphasis on concealment. Symbolically, Nora continues to hide behind the female persona of a mother. In the game, Nora replies, “Yes, let me hide first” (1023). As a mother, Nora sets the standards for her children. Thus, in essence, she is telling her children that it is acceptable to hide your true, individual desires. She therefore continues the repressive chain through the symbolic game of hide and seek, as she calls her children her “little, lovely doll babies” and encourages them in this entertainment (1023).

...

Find Another Essay On Facades in Henrik Ibsen’s A Doll’s House

The Theme of Escape in Henrik Ibsen’s A Doll’s House

1150 words - 5 pages Henrik Ibsen’s “A Doll’s House”, a tragic play set in the late 1800’s, is one women’s realization of her life as merely that of a doll living out her life as an object in a world dominated by the males around her. Ibsen points the reader in the right direction to the deeper meaning of the play in the title. The title “A Doll’s House”, a metaphor, causes the reader or watcher of the play to think what deeper meaning lies ahead. The play takes...

The Theme of Feminism in Henrik Ibsen’s "A Doll’s House"

2867 words - 11 pages This paper will analyze the theme of the dependent women in this play. In order to do this I will discuss the following subject area. These subject areas are: female passivity; her economic and social dependence, and her dependence through her children. In A Doll’s House, Ibsen argues that a dependent woman will be passive and unwilling to speak her mind. She will not try to understand the abstract reality of life, unless it contain to her...

Themes and Symbols in Henrik Ibsen’s A Doll’s House

1482 words - 6 pages “I’ve been your doll-wife here, just as at home I was Papa’a doll-child” (Ibsen 1491). Henrik Ibsen’s A Doll House tells a story of scandal and deceit set in the Victorian era. Nora Helmer is married to Torvald Helmer and she feels more like his toy than his wife. Nora had to have Torvald to be able to do anything, because of when she lived. Nora borrows money behind her husband’s back (which is illegal at this time) and tries to cover up...

The Masquerade in Henrik Ibsen’s A Doll’s House

1014 words - 4 pages    In A Doll House, Ibsen presents us with Torvald and Nora Helmer, a husband and wife who have lived together for eight years and still don't know each other. This rift in their relationship, caused in part by Torvald's and Nora's societally-induced gender roles and also by the naivete of both parties to the fact that they don't truly love one another, expands to a chasm by the end of the play, ultimately causing Nora to leave Helmer....

The Plot in Henrik Ibsen’s A Doll’s House

1725 words - 7 pages The play A Doll House (1879), by Henrik Ibsen, has a realistic feel that compels the reader to identify with the main characters and the situation that they find themselves facing. The wife, Nora, is in all but one scene, and nearly all the scenes occur in a single room. She is the main character, and it is her unraveling and self-discovery that the reader is spectator to. Act I begins by introducing Nora Helmer. She enters the room...

Rights of Women in the Nineteenth Century and in Henrik Ibsen’s A Doll’s House

1095 words - 4 pages Henrik Ibsen, who was born in Norway but made his name internationally, was a painter as well as the one of most famous playwrights during the period of Realism. Ibsen’s plays are well-known by the themes of domestic and political issues and conflict in nineteenth century. Scholars call it “Ibsen’s problems play” (Henrik Ibsen, 650). In addition, in Ibsen’s plays, the general topics that are usually discussed are hypocrisy of the society,...

Societal Views of Women in the Victorian Era in Henrik Ibsen’s A Doll’s House

898 words - 4 pages Societal Views of Women in the Victorian Era in Henrik Ibsen’s A Doll’s House A Doll’s House, by Henrik Ibsen, creates a peephole into the lives of a family in the Victorian Era. The play portrays a female viewpoint in a male-dominated society. The values of the society are described using the actions of a woman, Nora, who rebels against the injustices inflicted upon her gender. Women’s equality with men was not recognized by society in the...

Gender Roles in Ibsen’s A Doll’s House

856 words - 3 pages Henrik Ibsen’s famous play A Doll’s House was first published in 1879 and contains elements and characters that appear to support feminism, and drew attention from the women’s rights movement. However, Ibsen himself said that he was not a feminist; rather, his play is about the human nature in general, and is not specifically about women’s rights. Over the years, this was the view that most scholars used to interpret the play, but more recently...

Significance of food items in August Strindberg’s Miss Julie and Henrik Ibsen’s A Doll’s House

1559 words - 6 pages Title: Significance of food items in August Strindberg's Miss Julie and Henrik Ibsen's A Doll's House.The relative importance of the theme of food varies in the different spheres of literature. In nineteenth and twentieth century literature the culinary habits of the characters generally emphasised on their social standing and racial identities, as is the case with Toni Morrison's novel, where "Love, thick and dark as Alaga syrup, eased up into...

Reasons for Nora Helmer to Stay in Henrik Ibsen’s A Doll’s House

1061 words - 4 pages In "A Doll House" Ibsen made a very controversial act, by having Nora leave her husband and her family. After first reading the play I thought that what Nora did was the right thing to do. But after thinking about I now realize that wasn't the right thing to do. Yes, Torvald was not the best husband in the world, but Nora should have considered that before she married him. To turn your back on your spouse is one thing, but to turn your back...

A Feminist Literary Stance, Roles of Women in Henrik Ibsen’s Play A Doll’s House and George Eliot’s Novel Middlemarch

1599 words - 6 pages A feminist literary stance, roles of women in Henrik Ibsen’s play A Doll’s House & George Eliot’s novel Middlemarch Henrik Ibsen’s A Doll’s House and George Eliot’s Middlemarch are based on events from their personal experiences. The events that lead Ibsen to feel the need to write A Doll’s House makes his approach on the feminist stance a bit more unusual from other writers. Ibsen shows his realist style through modern views and tones...

Similar Essays

Henrik Ibsen’s A Doll’s House Essay

1354 words - 5 pages Everlasting First Impression: Misleading First Impressions of Characters in Henrik Ibsen's A Doll House A character’s introduction reveals the personality, attitude, and physical features of that individual. This first impression sets the emotional reaction to that character when ever he or she appears in the story. The certain mannerisms the author makes a character use, and the way others treat and react to the new character, demonstrate...

Henrik Ibsen’s A Doll’s House Essay

1055 words - 4 pages In Henrik Ibsen’s A Doll House the main character, Nora Helmer, shows us the story of a woman who has borrow money without her husband’s consent in order to save his life. Although this noble act would be admired by most, Nora has to keep it a secret from Torvald Helmer, her husband, as he would see it as a betrayal. The measures that Nora takes in order to keep the loan a secret, create circumstances that bring Nora—whose only duty is to serve...

Henrik Ibsen’s A Doll’s House Essay

1527 words - 6 pages Societal appearance and acceptance is an utmost characteristic an average individual tends to underestimate. It may seem as if individual morals go against the social appearance, but in value, individuals perceive a need for an appearance to convey a sense of belonging. Within two diverse yet similarly realist drama's, A Doll’s House and Death of a Salesman societal appearance’s stands above all else. Henrick Ibsen's A Doll's House embarks on the...

Henrik Ibsen’s A Doll’s House Essay 963 Words

963 words - 4 pages What comes to mind when the word morals is said? Whose morals should be followed, individual or group? In A Doll House, Ibsen portrays the protagonist, Nora, to follow the morals of her husband, Torvald. Four key aspects that help Nora decide to change her mind and make a decision to leave Torvald. These include the constant change of nicknames, the questioning of her own independence, the questioning of Torvald's love, and the realization...