A Doll's House

Analysis of Ibsen's A Doll's House: Feminist or Humanist?

Henrik Ibsen's well known play, A Doll's House, has long been considered a predominantly feminist work. The play focuses on the seemingly happy Helmers, Nora and Torvald, who appear to have an ideal life. Nora is charming, sweet, and stunningly beautiful, and Torvald is a wealthy and successful banker. Of course, the couple has gone through difficult times in the past; in their first year of marriage, the couple was very poor and struggling to make ends meet when Torvald fell ill. Nora confesses that they needed to travel to Italy to give Torvald time to recuperate, and in order to finance such a trip, she was forced to take out a loan from one of Torvald's coworkers, telling her husband the money was from her father. However, when Nora speaks of these tough times, it seems to merely emphasize the good fortune the couple has fallen into now. Wealthy, attractive, and prominent, the Helmers appear to be the perfect family. Yet the old adage holds true: appearances are deceiving. As Nora reveals more about how she has been secretly working to pay off the loan to Krogstad, Torvald's coworker, it becomes clear that there is a great deal of tension under the calm surface of the couple's home life. This tension...

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