November 8, 2012
“A Doll House”
“A Doll House” was written by Henrik Ibsen in 1879. In this play, there are a couple of themes that are apparent. Theme is defined as the universal truth the author seeks to illuminate through the work; the "moral" of the story. The first theme that I would like to shed some light on is the obligations parents have as being a parent. As a parent, you have the obligation to be honest with your children. Another theme that takes place in this play is the misleading of appearances. In the beginning of the play, I thought of Nora as a silly woman, but as the play moves forward, she is portrayed as intelligent. The last theme that is obvious is the role of women and the sacrifices they make.
Nora, Torvald, and Dr. Rank each express that a parent is obligated to be honest because a parent’s corruption is passed on to his or her children like a disease. In fact, Dr. Rank does have a disease that is the result of his father’s affairs (1130). Dr. Rank indicates that his father’s many affairs with women led him to contract a venereal disease, which he passed on to his son, causing Dr. Rank to suffer for his father’s misdeeds. Torvald voices the idea that one’s parents determine one’s moral character, when he tells Nora, “Nearly all young criminals had lying mothers.” After Torvald learns of Nora’s deceit, he refuses to allow Nora to interact with their children for fear that she will corrupt them. The play also suggests that children are obligated to protect their parents. Nora recognized this obligation, but she ignored it, and chose to be with her sick husband instead of her sick father (Ibsen 1111).
In “A Doll House” appearances prove to be misleading and mask the reality of the play’s characters and situations. Our first impressions of Nora, Torvald, and Krogstad are all eventually undercut. In the beginning, Nora seems to be a silly, childish woman, but as the play progresses, she is shown to be intelligent, motivated, and a...