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A Doll's House

By Henrik Ibsen (6)

Henrik Ibsen’s A Doll’s House is a compelling drama from the late 19th century, controversial at the time of its publication due to its distinct feminist undertones. The play centers on Nora, a subservient housewife, who is deeply devoted to her husband, Torvald. However, underlying their seemingly idyllic, though patriarchal, relationship are severe money troubles, which Nora has been hiding from Torvald. Nora had procured a loan in order to pay Torvald’s past doctor bills, forging her deceased father’s signature, in deference to the requirement of a male co-signer. Krogstad, who previously loaned her the money, threatens to reveal her deceit and illegal activity, unless she is able to get him into Torvald’s good graces, as Torvald is now Krogstad’s superior at work. Believing Torvald would sacrifice his reputation to save hers, Nora fights to keep Torvald from the truth with further subterfuge and childish antics. Nora’s character is an intriguing portrait, one whose initial superficiality belies a strength that powers the surprising ending. Ibsen’s play delves into gender norms, redefining their typically rigid structure, and as such, is an intelligent and powerful commentary on the 19th century concept of marriage.

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