Realism and Ibsen's a Doll's House Essay

1533 Words Jan 17th, 2012 7 Pages
Ibsen: Keeping it Real Since 1879
Realism is a style of writing in which the author strays away from romance and fantasy and leans toward the everyday life of real people and the negative aspects of their lives. The Norwegian author Henrik Ibsen captures the true essence of realism in his famously controversial play A Doll’s House. Nora is an idealistic wife who bows down to her husband’s commands and fulfills his every wish. When Torvald, her husband, fell sick she did everything she could to save his life, going as far as forging her dead father’s signature to receive money to pay for their trip to Italy for better heath care. The story takes place during Christmas time, where Nora is now forced to come to terms with the crime she has
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Nora and her are chatting about New Year’s plans when Nora says, “Look, the people upstairs, the Stenborgs, are having a fancy-dress party tomorrow night, and Torvald wants me to go as a Neopolitan fisher-girl and dance the tarantella that I learnt in Capri” (Ibsen 183). Nora tells Mrs. Linde that her and Torvald plan on attending a masquerade party in which she will be dressing up to perform the tarantella as her husband had told her to. Ibsen is telling the reader that people hide behind clothes and masks to hide the hurt and pain going on in their own life, so as to please society and their own friends. Nora is suffering from an internal crisis et she is forced to dress up and go to the party so that her friends do not suspect anything is wrong with her. Torvald being the “doll player” that he is, controls Nora and basically forces her to put up a front for the world to see. He never sees Nora’s misery the week leading up to the revelation of Nora’s crime because she has been taught to hide the pain so well. Along with hiding from society, one must fulfill all its demanding expectation. When Torvald reads the letter from Krogstad revealing Nora’s forgery, he is enraged. He screams at Nora and tells her she can have no influence over the children and he loves her no longer. Then he remembers what others will think about this situation and says, “Somehow or other I must try to appease him- the thing must be hushed up at

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