David's Reviews > A Doll's House

A Doll's House by Henrik Ibsen
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's review
Nov 13, 2009

it was amazing
bookshelves: feminist-action, theater

I found this play to be incredibly moving. Nora, a cheerful and devoted wife, eventually finds herself questioning the validity of her marriage and the man she thought of as her husband.

It was interesting to see how both Nora and her husband handled a crisis under pressure. Nora acted independently of her husband in order to save his life, while her husband responds selfishly and ungratefully when faced with the revelation of Nora's act.

Nora proved very moving in her realization that the man she'd been married to for eight years was not, in fact, the man she thought she knew. She quickly steps up to resolving her place in both her marriage and in society.

As far as structure goes, I found the discussion at the very end of the play incredibly insightful. The characters vocalized their opinions in what proved to be the only "serious conversation" in their marriage. Nora steps up and becomes self-aware, no doubt rattled by her husband's unexpected behavior.

I find it incredibly hard to believe that this play was published and performed in the 19th-century. No doubt it defied the Victorian standards of the time, and brought a new perspective to the topic of marriage and what a woman's role should be in it.
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Reading Progress

November 13, 2009 – Shelved
December 5, 2009 –
page 44
Started Reading
December 6, 2009 – Shelved as: feminist-action
December 6, 2009 – Shelved as: theater
December 6, 2009 – Finished Reading

Comments (showing 1-6 of 6) (6 new)

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message 1: by Daniel (new)

Daniel I have this if you want to read it.

David Give EET!

message 3: by Bobby (new)

Bobby Katz Although I respect your oppinion of the play I'm going to have to respectfuly disagree. You say that the book was exciting and entertaining but the book was actually really slow and dragged out. You also take Noras side in the play but I dont think that she was right in the actions she took towards her family. But I do agree with you in that the book is very progressive for its time it was published.

David Well Bobby, the thing with plays is that they're meant to be seen and heard, not read. I definitely feel that readers have to be in a certain mindset/mood to read a play and enjoy it. But I understand why you experienced that.

Would you mind telling me which specific actions you disagreed with? I'm eager to hear your thoughts...

message 5: by Daniel (new)

Daniel Yes, reading theater isn't the best way to experience it. I've seen several productions of this and I think the actors and directors find what Ibsen was trying to say about "human rights" (because he was firm in his stance that it was about "human rights" rather than "women's rights"), and expressing that to the audience.

The pace in reading a play is deceptive. It moves a lot more quickly on the stage, usually. And as for her choices, the only one that I find questionable is leaving her children, but at the time it would have been impossible to take them and she would've gone crazy or withered and died if she had stayed under Torvald's thumb.

My hope was always that when her children were older, they would find her and make some kind of peace with her. Or perhaps Torvald might see the error of his ways and allow her into her children's lives.

But the prevailing attitude of the time was that a free-thinking woman would pollute her children, so she was screwed on that account. I think even if we disagree with her decision, we can empathize with how making that difficult decision probably tore her apart. We all have to make difficult decisions sometimes, though.

And when the play opened in Berlin, the censors made them change the ending such that she couldn't bear to leave her children, but I think that does blunt the power of the "door slam heard round the world."

message 6: by [deleted user] (new)

Yes, I also find it hard to believe that this play was published and performed in 19th-century. Until nowadays, it would be a polemic play in my society. And it moves very fast. The author 'says a lot with very little', as we say in Portuguese.

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