A Doll's House Character Analysis

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Henrik Ibsen’s A Doll’s House is a play set in 19th century Norway, when women’s rights were restricted and social appearance was more important than equality and true identity. In A Doll’s House, Nora represents 19th century women entrapped by society to fulfill wifely and motherly obligations, unable to articulate or express their own feelings and desires. Ibsen uses Nora’s characterization, developed through her interactions with others as well as her personal deliberations and independent actions, language and structure in order to portray Nora’s movement from dependence to independence, gaining sovereignty from the control of her selfish husband, deceitful marriage and the strict social guidelines of morality in 19th century Norway. Initially, Nora appears to be a dependent, naïve, and childlike character; yet, as the play unfolds, she appears to be a strong, independent woman who is willing to make sacrifices for those she cares about as well as herself.

The play begins with Nora being portrayed as a self-indulgent and whimsical woman with childlike qualities. After the porter asks Nora for “a shilling”, (Ibsen, p.23) she tips him over-generously with a pound, directing him to “keep it,” (p.23) giving the audience the impression that Nora does not know the value of money, much like a child would not. Her immature extravagance is recognized through her desire to spend Torvald’s higher salary right away, even though it will not be received for another three months. His
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