The Plot in Henrik Ibsen’s A Doll’s House Essay

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The play A Doll House (1879), by Henrik Ibsen, has a realistic feel that compels the reader to identify with the main characters and the situation that they find themselves facing. The wife, Nora, is in all but one scene, and nearly all the scenes occur in a single room. She is the main character, and it is her unraveling and self-discovery that the reader is spectator to. Act I begins by introducing Nora Helmer. She enters the room carrying packages and eating macaroons. Nora's husband, Torvald, enters the living room as Nora quickly hides her sweets from him. This interaction sets the world of the play, acting as the prologue. We learn that Torvald has forbidden her to eat macaroons, or any sweets, in order to keep her teeth…show more content…
Nora shares with Mrs. Linde about the vacation they took to Italy and how it was her father who had paid their way. The reader is suspicious; Nora may be lying, and, in fact, the reader quickly finds that she is. When Mrs. Linde makes an off-hand remark about how naïve and childish Nora is, Nora rushes to boast that in fact her father did not pay for their vacation but that she, Nora, had taken out a loan herself in order to save her husband's life. This is the beginning of the rising action, with the first complication following as the reader learns that Torvald does not know of Nora's actions even after eight years of marriage. Nora goes a step further as questioning continues and admits to Mrs. Linde that she'll keep the revelation of that secret from Torvald until such time as she needs it for leverage, such as when her looks and charm wear off. Just how important the `secret' is to the play becomes evident in the chain of events surrounding the misunderstood Krogstad's first visit to the Helmer home. Krogstad loaned Nora the money and now works at the bank with Torvald. His reputation was sullied years before for actions very similar to Nora's. Nora begins to show the fragility of her façade by wringing her hands and whispering to herself. Moments later, Nora thinks about Krogstad being dependent on Torvald and laughs out loud in front of Dr. Rank and Mrs. Linde. It is the first sign that
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