“Doll’s House” is a three act play written by Henrick Ibsen in 1879 that gained popularity before the play’s first performance as it initially sold thousands of copies, which bring much anticipation to the audience.
The play created a dispute as it portrays social problems on how female seeks individuality. It draws audience attention because it challenges the conservative society in those times. The restrictions experienced by women in the 1870s were contained in the play. This was the time where naturalistic theatre gives importance to the working and middle class characters to discuss societal issues.
Every character in the story shows how they want to break away from the social norms. The character that clearly demonstrates this is Nora.
She is the doll in the story, as what her father and husband Torvald treats her, and she considers her home as her playroom. The play centered on Nora, who represents the typical woman at that time, who is relying on her husband and supports him being the breadwinners of the family.
Torvald is a bank manager and represents the typical men as the master of the house. Supporting character Kristine, who is Nora’s friend, also shines in the play by showing an opposite character to Nora. Unlike Nora, she needs to work to survive and experience how it is to live outside the confinements of her home.
Other characters are Krogstad, who is meant to destroy everyone’s lives by threatening Nora to tell her secret to Torvald if he will be fired from his job, Dr. Rank, a friend to the couple and a confidante of Nora, and Anna- Maria, the trusty nursemaid to the Helmer’s. The Helmer’s children, the housemaid and the porter all portray the cameo role in the play.
The plot is at Helmer’s house. The play started with Torvald, who does not like the idea of a person being in debt, without knowing that his wife is in debt, but is tries to keep this secret from her husband.
A clash between the couple is being pointed out in the second act. Kristine and Krogstad’s make a marked appearance on the third act where both decided to get back together. The worst thing that happens in this part is when Torvald read Krogstad’s letter, which was about Nora’s deepest secret, her debt.
This is the time when Nora doubts the love of her husband and the time when she wants to establish her own identity. This part shows how Torvald values society more than his wife and Nora’s realization to leave Torvald. At the end of the play Nora seeks independence by leaving her husband and children.
The striking part in the play is when Nora slams the door, implying on how Nora gained confidence to break from the typical social norms. The characters are convincing enough to showcase the theme of self-reliance, the will to sacrifice what one considers important, and to achieve the idea of changing the framework of domesticity.
The plot created a believable scenario where the internal conflict and the distinct ending have been established well. The play is exciting and is successful in drawing out the curiosity of the audience.
Henrick Ibsen conveys the true meaning of the play as it defines the moral and political stand of the society against the issues of suppression of humanity as he hopes to repeal the expectations for both gender.
As the stage rings the curtain down, “Doll’s House” manages to open the door for women to experience equality and independence. It serves as a bridge for men and women who want to get out from the gender role issues.