A Doll's House Dramatic Analysis

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A Doll’s House is a study of a marriage in crisis. The Helmers have been married for eight years and have three young children. Despite this, there is no real understanding or meaningful communication between husband and wife. The first dialougue between Nora and Helmer in Act I is quite revealing. He teases and scolds her for being a spendthrift while she placates and humours him; massaging his male ego and playing the role of coquettish young girl. It becomes increasingly obvious that nora caanot be honest or sincere in conversation with Torvald- he refues to see her as an intelligent, independant woman and she remains frustrated and inhibited. Helmer objectifies Nora: she is there to complement and enhance him and his standing in the community. He tries to mould her into the perfect wife-submissive, unthinking and obedient. He chastises her for eating sweet treats, for leaving him on his own while she worked and for dancing too wildly during her rehearsal of the tarantella. Nora flatters him and lies to him when trying to persuade him to employ Kristina and demeans herself in the hope that he’ll show mercy to Krogstad, “your squirrel will scamper about and do all her tricks, if youll be nice and do what she asks.” Torvald labels her “irresponsible” and refuses to be made a “laughing stock” by listening to his wife. He spitefully sacks Krogstad because Nora wounds his pride by calling him “petty” and then decides to “forgive” her. The final door slam in the final scene is

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