The appearance of the work “A Doll’s House” by Henrik Ibsen marked the formation of the new social and psychological drama, which had a great impact on the world literature. In Ibsen’s “new drama” the story of heroes’ souls is deeply motivated both inside and outside. “A Doll’s House” is a story about family, people who have lived together for many years, but never managed to be happy.
After reading Ibsen’s play, the main heroes can be divided into positive and negative. Nora, for example, may be regarded in the positive light. The main attention is focused on spiritual struggle of the protagonist. Nora’s character makes the readers want to sympathize with the woman, to surprise by her powerlessness, to understand her actions, but not really blame her, as it was in the time of appearance of the drama. Nora is not as simple as it might seem. She believes that before being a wife and mother, she has to become a personality. She leaves her husband and her three children. The ending of the play is a dialogue of the spouses, which explains the Nora’s behavior and decision: “I have existed merely to perform tricks for you, Torvald. But you wanted it like that. You and father have committed a great sin against me. It is your fault that I have made nothing of my life. Our home has been nothing but a playroom. I have been your doll-wife, just as at home I was father’s doll-child; and here the children have been my dolls”.Â
Of course, the Nora’s drama has touched her husband Helmer, a person, who really does not understand her actions. It is evident that Helmer is artificial and absolutely depended of the epoch, which he lives in. Nora’s husband and father of three children, Torvald treats his wife as a beautiful thing, not as an individual. When he finds out about the debt, he disappoints in his wife, despite the fact that she did it to help him. When Nora decides to leave the family, he tells her that her duty as a woman is to be a good wife and mother.
He hopes that Nora will change her opinion. Obviously, he does not see the real problems of their marriage and the fact that he admires his wife as a toy. He does not understand that he behaves with her as her father behaved. At the beginning of the play Torvald seems to be strict and domineering but at the end, he is a very insecure person. He demands respect without providing it to others. During the eight years, spent together, Torvald never talked with Nora seriously. Torvald’s attitude to his wife is described in a revealing episode when he leads Nora to masquerade as soon as tarantella finished “to preserve the effect” created by it. Torvald just wants Nora to “play” according to his rules.
During the work, there is no development of this character. Nora is dynamic, Torvald is completely static. He lives in absolutely enclosed space. Such a character can arouse only negative emotions in the reader’s soul. In “A Doll’s House”, Henrik Ibsen raises a central question of releasing a man in general, the creation of identity.
It should be noted, that all the characters in the play are complex and ambiguous. Each one reveals its true essence during the development of the play. Not everything is as it seems, and at the end of the play the woman takes her fate into her own hands and goes in search of her â€œtrue selfâ€. Ibsen had to endure a lot of criticism for the fact that he dared to go against the norms of society, but because of that, his play was ahead of its time and is popular until now. Nora and other heroes of the play show how difficult it can be to understand human feelings, desires and attitudes.