Theme Of Exile In A Doll's House

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Doll House Essay When most people see the word “exile” they might think of an individual forced away from one’s home to an undesirable place just like in Oedipus Rex, Oedipus was exiled from his kingdom, blinded and doomed. However, in Henrik Ibsen’s play, A Doll’s House, Ibsen portrays the act of exile as both a detachment from an individual and a path for self-discovery. In the play, Nora, a seemingly typical household wife during Ibsen’s time, experiences multiple self-imposed exiles, from exiling from her father to her husband to her children and finally leaving home altogether. Each time she chooses to exile from a loved one, she becomes more enclosed until she realizes that the person she portrays to everyone she knows is no longer…show more content…
For instance, Dr. Rank was punished with tuberculosis he inherited from his father who was very promiscuous. By having Dr. Rank inherit an illness from his father, Ibsen hints at the misdeeds by Nora’s father to Nora. While Dr. Rank received a physical manifestation of the punishment for his father’s misdeeds, Nora was given a more internal punishment as a result of her father. Nora’s suppression of her opinions, essentially everything that should have made her a distinct individual, and her series of exiles all started with her father. “When I was at home with Papa he told me his opinion about everything, and so I had the same opinions; and if I differed from him I concealed the fact, because he would not have liked it (pg 66).” As seen in this statement by Nora, Nora would give up her opinions in order to please her father and remain the dutiful daughter her father expects her to be. By having to conform to the roles other expects her to play from a young age, Nora grows more expectantly to conform, instead this time it was to conform to the role of a child-like wife to Helmer, Nora’s…show more content…
Linde and Nora regarding their independence. Mrs. Linde was in a situation where she had to be independent in order to support her family. She selflessly gives up her love to marry someone she doesn’t love in order to secure financial security for her family. Ibsen makes it clear that Mrs. Linde marries someone she doesn’t love, not for her own financial security, but for her family’s welfare by introducing the relationship between Mrs. Linde and Krogstad. Krogstad was by no means well off financially, but Mrs. Linde still stayed with him despite his lack of financial security. It was until Mrs. Linde’s mother fell ill; leaving Mrs. Linde with two younger brothers to provide for did Mrs. Linde accept another man’s marriage proposal. By making Mrs. Linde a selfless character, Ibsen manipulates his audience into siding with Mrs. Linde, instead of thinking she is a villainous gold-digger. By siding with Mrs. Linde, readers are more likely to see that Mrs. Linde marrying someone she didn’t love for her family was an act of selfless independence. When Krogstad and Mrs. Linde finally reunite after Mrs. Linde has experienced independent life, they are able to have an equal relationship, unlike the one between Nora and Helmer. “No, Nils, you must not recall your letter (Mrs. Linde)...But, tell me, wasn’t it for that very purpose that you asked me to meet you here (Krogstad).” This dialogue between Krogstad
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