A Doll’s House, by Henrik Ibsen, portrays the lives of people who are dreadfully bound in their social settings. Nora is considered the typical example of feminine standards during this period. In the play, she is considered powerless and bounds herself to patriarchal expectations, which signifies women’s social role as wife and mother. The plot format, characters, and theme play a vital role in contributing to the social hierarchy of this play.
A Doll’s House is written in three acts; instead, of the traditional five-act plays. The plot construction of this play is characterized by exposition, complication, and resolution. For example, in act one exposition takes place when Nora’s character is exposed. She is determined to take care of her family; however, is also extremely conceded and completely dependent upon her husband, Torvald despite the way he treats her. The main events take place one after another with complication along with rising action occur in act two; the last act involves the steps to resolution as soon as the catastrophe takes place.
“Listen, Torvald. I have heard that when a wife deserts her husband’s house, as I am doing now, he is legally freed from all obligations towards her. In any case, I set you free from all your obligations.”(act III, 79) In Act III, Nora, finally, has the courage to leave her husband which leads to the resolution taking place.During this play, the audience is exposed to a variety of characters which result in the story being told from different perspectives. Nora is the protagonist of the play, and as the play goes on the audience views a mature in her. Torvald sees Nora as easily controlled like a pet or child.
However, as the play goes on Nora emerges as a fully independent woman who abandoned her marriage and the burden of motherhood. Torvald is seen as unsympathetic and stiff throughout the play; as well as avoiding interaction with his children. Dr. Rank is introduced to the audience and is seen as corrupt when he expresses his desire for Nora. At the beginning of the play, Nora borrowed money from Krogstad without her husband’s knowledge. Krogstad is the ultimate description of corrupt, he saw a chance to save his job at the bank when it becomes jeopardized by blackmailing Nora. All the characters described play a role in contributing to the social hierarchy of the play.
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