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Posted on April 25th, 2014, by

The play A Doll’s House written by Henrik Ibsen, the famous 19th-century Norwegian playwright and poet, who is known as the father of prose drama, discusses interpersonal relations between a wife and a husband and gender roles in society. The author of the play pays special attention to the roles of women in his society. One of the main characters, Torvald, believes that the sacred duty of any woman in this world is to be a good wife and kind mother. Moreover, he tells his wife Nora that women should be responsible for the morality of their children. On the one hand, Torvald treats women as childlike and even helpless creatures, but, on the other hand, he refers to them as to powerful moral forces who have great influence on the family members. In Ibsen’s play, Nora depends on her husband Torvald, and he thinks only about him, his thoughts and his actions. She says, How painful and humiliating it would be for Torvald to know that he owed me anything! It would upset our mutual relations altogether; our beautiful happy home would no longer be what it is now! (Ibsen 24). Torvald does everything possible to control his wife Nora and wants her to submit to him. He control’s finances of their family because he is sure that Nora is incapable to solve financial problems.

The author uses different literary strategies in order to convey the major ideas of his play. Literary conventions help to define the author’s genre. A Doll’s House is written in the genre of a family drama, but it is also possible to call this literary work a tragedy. It is a realistic prose drama. Nora is represented as a victim who is restricted in her gender roles. The setting is unique as the play takes place at the one and the same apartment. The author pays special attention to the symbolism in his play. He uses such symbols as black cross black hat which symbolize death, doll’s house stands for the tendency of the main characters to play their roles, ring symbolizes the end of Nora’s marriage, Christmas tree which defines the mood of the play and some other symbols. It is difficult to define the mood of the whole play as it is a mixture of such themes as love, forgery, blackmail, business. The mood of the play is sincere. The author uses a lot of stylistic devices, such as metaphors, epithets, comparisons, repetitions, etc. For example, comparison: Torvald compares his wife with a squirrel when he calls her a squirrel. Hyperbole: Nora says about dresses in the box: I should like to tear it into a hundred thousand pieces (Ibsen 49). Epithets: fancy dress, horrible weather, good place, poor girl, delightful evening, etc. The literary works includes many devices of drama, such as emotive prose and numerous dialogues. Besides, the author uses colloquial language which is one of the characteristics of the genre. Symbolism and other literary devices help the readers to realize Ibsen’s imagination and his vision of the situation.

To sum up, Ibsen’s play A Doll’s House discusses those family issues that are very important for us. After eight years of happy marriage, Nora realizes that she has always been a doll in the hands of her husband, a rude and selfish person. She makes a decision to leave her family and children, because she wants to give full expression to her identity.

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