The Opening of A Doll’s House

A critical analysis of the opening of the play A Dolls House.

In the opening of the play “A Dolls House” ,the setting of the stage

is of a house portrayed as if it were a dolls house. The items

described in the house are all small therefore representing a dolls

house where all items are miniature, the type of furniture owned ,

such as a piano, show that the family is moderately well off. There is

no narrator in the play and all information and knowledge about the

character is gained from listening to conversations. Ibsen has

incorporated relevant information into conversations, this seems like

a natural situation and makes the audience feel like they are looking

onto a real house with real people. This means that the actors will

have to act well so as to show audience with out seeming as if they

are telling them. This means Ibsen had to write the opening of the

play not only telling the audience what is going on but what has gone


Nora is the first character introduced, and is shown entering the

house on her own, the first sentence spoken in the play is said by

Nora, this is to do with concealment and money. “The children mustn’t

see. How much is that?” This is significant to the rest of the play

as these are two main themes used through the play. When Helmer (Nora

Helmer’s husband) enters he is then shown through out of the rest of

the opening and the play, to treat Nora like a child using methods

such as control and speaking to Nora in a patronising and child like

manner. In the conversation between Nora and Helmer, Helmer refers to

his wife as if she were inferior in the relationship using terms such

as “songbird” and “squirrelkin”. Nora in return replies to Helmer also

using child like talk, such as referring to money as “pennies and

pennies”. Nora is also shown to be generous with money as she is tells

the porter to “keep the change” this is an immediate indication that

Nora is not worried about spending. Helmer also states that when Nora

gets money it “melts in (her) hands” suggesting that she does not save

.Nora’s attitude towards money is also shown later in the opening when

she shows no concern of borrowing money and being in debt. Nora also

shows lack of feeling towards other people and there situation as long

as she is ok , this shows a selfish nature as she says “why would U

care if I still owed people money”.

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