A Doll ‘s House By Henrik Ibsen Essay

Living in a society where women were viewed as codependent on men, Henrik Isben’s character Nora Helman challenged this mentality. This story challenged the social and marital norms of men and women with a controversial conclusion. Some were critical of Isben’s ending so he wrote a different outcome that would have pleased audiences more but not have had such a powerful message. In Ibsen’s A Doll’s House, despite censorship and audience resistance, the original ending written by Ibsen is undoubtedly the best ending.

In A Doll’s House, Nora experiences an epiphany that triggers development in her character. In the beginning of the story, Nora is not only content in her life, but also happy – or so she makes herself out to be. She acts happy, shows love to her husband, and is excited along with him for the new job he will soon be taking on. The couple have various friendly banters between them that Nora goes along with. However, the play evolves into Nora’s self discovery for her health and rights as a woman. Her epiphany comes when she realizes that her life has been nothing more than being a “doll” to her father first and next, to Torvald. The manipulation and performances she has done over the past years have caught up to her and her immediate reaction is putting a stop to it. Nora does a physical change of clothes from her party costume into all black. This moment is also symbolic of her changing from her “doll” form to an independent woman who can think and act for herself. She stated “I’ve changed” (Ibsen, 1166) that can be taken literally, figuratively, or both. In the conclusion, she leaves Torvald and their children in order to discover who she really is when she is not under the control of men. Nora had a revolution i…

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…ause he knew if he used the children to make her feel guilty for even considering leaving that she would stay. Both of these edits to the plot line are not as influential as the original ending. If this ending would have been applied by Ibsen, the story would not have been about women’s right, but just a story for entertainment purposes (Braddock, 257).

The original conclusion of Ibsen’s A Doll’s House was needed to call out the roles of men and women in marriage as ridiculous and unnecessary. The ending proved that Nora could find herself in her past and present situation of being under the control of a man. The edit and alternate ending does not send out a powerful message that the initial one does. Ibsen’s ending is the best because it gave inspiration to those who read it that they too could have a revolution inside of them that would lead to their freedom.

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