A Doll's House Metaphor

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A Doll’s House written by Henrik Ibsen
How does the extended metaphor of ‘A Doll’s House enable us to understand the character of Nora?
Henrik Ibsen, the play wright of ‘A Doll’s House’, appears to show feministic views, although he states in a letter that “For me, freedom is the highest form of life," (1) giving us the impression that he was not a feminist as such but a passionate believer for rights as an individual, man or woman. This allows the audience of A Doll’s House to comprehend his views of society, and why he believes it is necessary that the worst ideas and conflicts occurring in the world at that particular point in time need to be addressed, through writings and particularly plays. The idea of limited rights due to being a woman
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With little rights, and next to no sympathy from men, this also allows us to realize as to why Ibsen portrayed Nora as a doll, giving us the setting of the living room to understand this concept. Nora, is the spotlight of the metaphor, ‘A Doll’s House’, she is viewed as an object, in the formation of a doll. This allows the viewer to understand why she is kept in close confines with the living room, as if she was grounded and unable to leave her ‘Doll’s House’. She is portrayed at the start of the play as enthusiastic, but, slightly secretive and mischievous, an example is when she “tiptoes across and listens at her husband’s door”, showing that she is inquisitive. She spoils her children with gifts “new clothes for Ivar, a trumpet for bob, and a doll for Emmy”, but in contrast to this she appears to spend minimal time with them as she has “a lot to do”, appearing to be plastic and fake, which further develops our understanding of the metaphor, as it supports the idea of Nora being portrayed as a doll. Her views on important matters, such as the consequences of borrowing money seems to be somewhat insignificant from what is shown, as she claims that they “can be a little extravagant now” and “can borrow” as opposed to her husband Torvald who is fixed on his “No debts! Never Borrow” attitude. This…show more content…
This is because the stage directions link very closely with the setting of a living room. Ibsen portrays Nora as a doll by using stage directions to keep her in close confines with the living room and does not allow her to leave her ‘Doll’s House’, referring to “the same room” throughout each act. Another character that is understood more clearly from the stage directions is Torvald. He is able to move freely from room to room, leaving and “entering his study” as well “entering from the hall” and leaving the house to go to work on a regular bases. This can be interpreted by the viewers as one of the controllers of Nora, as he uses commands such as “look me in the eyes”, “out with it” and “not now”, symbolizing the idea of a child forcibly playing with a doll. Once this concept is grasped, links appear between other characters such as Doctor Rank. Doctor Rank is “almost part of Nora’s family, having similar abilities as Torvald, as he is very cunning in the way he makes Nora open up about her feelings and “big secrets”. Doctor Rank is able to see from an outsider’s perspective as does not live in the house, though he is able to understand what is happening as he visits Nora “every day”. Towards the end of the play the stage

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