Essay An Analysis Of Henrik Ibsen 's A Doll 's House

1500 Words Sep 16th, 2015 6 Pages
During the early 1800s, Norway was dominated by aristocracy. However, a new class was emerging as affluent. They were the middle class. Henrik Ibsen’s A Doll’s House is a didactic play that critiques ideologies prominent in the middle class. He explores the middle class desire to be seen as impeccable through the meaning created by the stage directions and setting of the stage. The playwright reveals the stage as an extension of society and as the drama unfolds, the audience is aware of the role deception plays in the rigid class structure of the Victorian Era.
The play’s title foreshadows the symbolic importance of the stage. As the audience is introduced to the living room of the Helmers’ home, it becomes apparent that it is a metaphorical doll’s house for Nora. As the curtains open, middle class values are established. The audience is invited to see that “a comfortable room, furnished inexpensively but with taste” (Ibsen, Act 1, P2) is indicative of the fact that middle-class values were supposed to be practical, tasteful and not self-indulgent. However, Ibsen reveals a hint of materialistic aspiration within the Helmer household when he specifies the inclusion of “…expensively bound books” (Ibsen, Act 1, P2). To an observant audience, the outward appearance of the books represent the Helmers’ desire to move into a more prestigious class. As the plot plays out, the wisdom associated with such possessions is not apparent in the characterisation of Torvald.

Related Documents