Essay The Lie in Ibsen’s A Doll’s House

The Lie in Ibsen’s A Doll’s House

 

   An action or statement that may be considered a lie to some may, in fact, not be considered, a lie to others: it might simply be considered, omitted information. The lie might seem to have an evil intent when first heard, but the true intention behind it may have been for helpful purposes or for protection.  In Henrik Ibsen’s A Doll’s House, a lie was created to help and protect a loved one – yet it resulted in a catastrophic act.

 

The character Nora lives her life, in one sense, as a complete lie. She never thought for herself or had her own opinions. Nora’s father would tell her “what he thought about everything” leaving her no “opinion but his” (Ibsen 428). If she did have an opinion of her own, she keep quiet, knowing he would not have agreed. She played his “little doll” until she moved in with Torvald, her husband. She felt as though she “was passed from Papa’s hands into…[Torvald’s]” ( Ibsen 428). Now she played the role of Torvald’s “little doll,” pretending to take on his views of everything. By going from her father’s views, to Torvald’s views, she has been lying to herself.  The same form of lying or omitting the truth can be found in Kate Chopin’s fictional story, “The Story of an Hour.”  Mrs. Mallard had been lying to herself for years.  She was married to her husband for years thinking “she had loved him–sometimes.  Often she had not” (Chopin 297).  If she would have been truthful to herself, and fessed up when she realized she did not love him, the rest of her life would not have been lived as a lie.  The truth could have set her free from her unwanted marriage and she could have done what she really wanted to do in her life.  Mrs. Mallard’s feelings can be co…

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…aspell, Susan.  Trifles. Literature and Ourselves. 2nd Ed. Ed. by Gloria Henderson, Bill Day, and Sandra Waller.  New York: Longman, 1997:364-75.

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Ibsen, Henrik. A Doll’s House.  Literature and Ourselves. 2nd Ed. Ed. by Gloria Henderson, Bill Day, and Sandra Waller.  New York: Longman, 1997: 377-432.

Johnston, Brian.  “Three Stages of A Doll House.” Literature and Ourselves. 2nd Ed. Ed. by Gloria Henderson, Bill Day, and Sandra Waller.  New York: Longman, 1997: 442-50.

Shakespeare, William.  “Sonnet 138.” Literature and Ourselves. 2nd Ed. Ed. by Gloria Henderson, Bill Day, and Sandra Waller.  New York: Longman, 1997: 343.

Sunset Beach.  Spelling Productions.  1999.  Channel 5.   10:00 a.m.

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