The play A Doll’s House by Henry Ibsen depicts a class conflict and accumulation of wealth, family relations, and the role of marriage. The events reflect the economic and social problems of society and the role of money in the life of the characters. From the very beginning, A Doll’s House depicts a happy family, Nora Helmer, her husband Torvald, and their children. Torvald Helmer has just been appointed Director of the local bank. Nora tells her friend, Kristine Linde, that many years ago she borrowed money from Krogstad to support and treat her ill husband. Krogstad, a present employee of Torvald, is on the edge of losing his post. Since Krogstad, having received his dismissal from Helmer, he proposes not to have her prosecuted but to use the threat of that as blackmail over her husband. Thesis The world of the play is ‘constructed’ through the settings, actions, and behavior of the characters, their relations, and life expectations.
specifically for you
for only $16.05 $11/page
Setting and the scenery
‘The world of the play is depicted through unique settings and the scenery: Christmas Eve and the New Year day, a big house of the Helmers and Helmer study. “A door to the right leads to the entrance-hall, another to the left leads to Helmer’s study. Between the doors stands a piano, … a cabinet with china and other small objects” (Ibsen). These settings create a world typical for a middle-class family. These settings allow readers to understand and imagine the social and economic position of the family, their lifestyle, and traditions.
The actions and behavior of the characters create a story conflict and support the development of the play. Readers perceive social and family relations through their actions, thoughts, and values. Of Helmer, one is to assume that he is a competent man of affairs: otherwise, he would hardly have received the appointment on which he is about to enter, nor would he wield the new broom with such ruthless vigor. Nora’s actions and thoughts show that she is a devoted wife who does everything possible to save her husband and the reputation of her their family. Nora has tried to save some money and paid the debt, but the sum is big enough to pay it at once. Nora’s subsequent intercessions with her husband on Krogstad’s behalf prove fruitless, and her alternative project, borrowing enough from the friend of the family, Dr. Rank, to settle the debt, fails too. Nora is a dynamic character: her thoughts and actions are central to the ‘world of the play’. Readers perceive events and changes in mood through the protagonist. The ‘world of the play is changed when Krogstad destroys the incriminating paper on his initiative, but before that is done its nature has been betrayed to Thorvald Helmer, whose paroxysm of selfish fear, anger, and recrimination subsides the moment the threat of exposure is removed. It is possible to say that the meaning of settings and the scenery are also changed. In contrast to the friendly and joyful atmosphere of Christmas Eve, readers understand loneliness and isolation between the characters. Nora says: “You have never loved me. You have only thought it pleasant to be in love with me” (Ibsen). Nora feels all the props of her moral existence knocked from under her: declaring that she must think out her position as calmly and comprehensively as she can, she leaves the house.
In sum, ‘the world of the play is set through settings and the scenery, but the actions and behavior of the characters change this world and add new dimensions and meaning to the play.
Ibsen, H. A Doll’s House.