‘A DOLL’S HOUSE’ BY HENRIK IBSEN
‘A Doll’s House’ is written by the famous Norwegian writer Henrik Ibsen. The play is set in 20th century Norway and revolves around the lives of Nora and Torvald Helmer; husband and wife. Ibsen uses euphemisms, diction and imagery to show the social situation of women of that time. Nora and Torvald have children that are looked after by a female nanny and Torvald plays the ‘traditonal’ role of the bread winner and sustainer of the family.
The beginning of the play shows a woman, Nora; knocking on a door. We later find out that this is Nora’s home and this fact leads to the question of why Nora does not have a key to her own home. Perhaps it is because she is not trusted by those she lives with and has been disloyal or deceitful in some way in the past. Nora comes in with packages and has a porter bring in a Christmas tree. She gives the porter a large ‘tip’ without thinking, and this gives the first inclination of her views regarding money. She is very cavalier and casual on its usage and spending. She is perhaps a woman of lavish tastes and is not conscious in her spending. Her husband Torvald is also introduced in this act, he on first impressions seems to be a very pragmatic man. The first scene of the story gives the reader a deep and slightly unnerving view of the dynamic that is Nora and Torvald’s marriage.
Torvald after leaving his study to see his wife addresses her in a supposedly affectionate but condescending manner. He refers to her as his ‘squirrel’ and ‘skylark’, Nora excitedly tells Torvald to come and see her expenditures and he mocks her for spending money and says that it is a trait she has inherited from her late father. This in itself is quite insulting to Nora as her father is now being accused of being a spendthrift. We learn that Torvald has been elected the manager of his bank and now earns a substansciously larger salary. He berates Nora for squandering money but she insists that they can now afford it...