Essay on A Doll’s House by Henrik Ibsen

Henrik Ibsen created a world where marriages and rules of society are questioned, and where deceit is at every turn. In A Doll’s House, the reader meets Nora, a housewife and mother trapped in her way of life because the unspoken rules of society. Nora and the people around her decieve each other throughout the entire play, leading up to a shocking event that will change Nora and her family lives forever. Ibsen uses the theme deceit to tell a story filled with lies and betrayal.

Deception is the driving force of the play, the key theme that causes the character’s action that shapes the story. In Act I, Nora deceives her husband, Helmer, in several different ways. The reader gets their first glimpse of deceit when Nora snacks on some macaroons and then hides them from her husband.

HELMER: When did my squirrel come home?

NORA: Just now. (Puts the bag of macaroons into her pocket and wipes her mouth.) Come in here, Torvald, and see what I have bought. (1121).

This lie continues when Helmer asks his wife if she went to the candy store. Nora lied by telling her husband that she had not, even though the reader saw that she was snacking on macaroons earlier. This is just a small act of deceit from Nora, who had been keeping a huge secret from her husband. Part of the huge secret is revealed to Mrs. Linde, an old friend of Nora’s and a widower, when Nora confides in her. After lying about the source of the money for a trip that was taken to help her husband heal from an illness, Nora admits that her father did not give her the money. This confuses Mrs. Linde because just a few lines before, Nora tells her the money for the trip came from her father. In truth, the money came from a loan. This confuses Mrs. Linde even further, since at th…

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…t the fight and decides that everyone is better off without her there. Nora leaves, hoping to figure out just who she is as person.

In, A Doll’s House, the reader meets Nora, a woman desperately trying to hide a secret that ended up changing her life forever. When Nora’s deceitful ways finally come to haunt her, she comes to a shocking conclusion. She must leave her family to find out who she is exactly. Ibsen uses deceit as the main theme of A Doll’s House to create drama in a seemingly peaceful world. It teaches the reader that sooner or later their deceit will catch up with them. Ibsen created a play where a marriage was tested by one criminal lie and where one woman tested the rules of society with her deceit.

Works Cited

Kennedy, X.J, and Dana Gioia. Literature: An Introduction to Fiction, Poetry, Drama, and

Writing. Boston: Pearson, 2013. Print.

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