A Doll House essay


ADoll House

Realismdescribes the way of representing a person, situation, or thing in amanner that is true to life situations or environment. Realism canalso refer to an act or state of mind of accepting situations as theyare, as well as being prepared to deal with them accordingly. Realismis an important element in plays, and can be used as a stylisticdevice. In realism, characters are conceivable, and stage settingsare often indoors. In realistic dramas, a ‘box set’ is usuallyused in stage and mainly, where the stage consists of three walls,while the fourth wall faces the audience. Realistic plays often seethe main character rise against the odds to assert himself/herselfagainst an injustice of some kind. This paper will focus ondiscussing realism in Henrik Ibsen’s play, “ADoll’s House.”

HenrikIbsen, in his play, “ADoll’s House” describesthings exactly as they are, without using decorative language, whichis an indication of realism. In ADoll’s House,Henrik Ibsen the main characters in depicting the real situationsaffecting the society and the real characters. In the play, realismis depicted as psychological such that the lives of characters areusually emotional to others. For instance, while Nora utilizes herdays glorifying her marriage and lionizing her husband, there areother people who surround her, enduring life which is reallydifficult to handle (Törnqvist, 1995). Mrs. Linde feels quitelonely in the world since her husband has passed on, has no cash tospend, she needs work, and has none of the breathtaking opportunitieslike the ones Nora is awaiting for, as she claims. Torvald isenjoying promotion in the job place, but on the other hand, he isbeing overworked (Ibsen, 2015). Henrik Ibsen depicts realism throughNora in the play by exposing how Nora lives in a castle in the skywhile the real world around her resents injustice, suffers, dies, andworks hard (Ibsen, 2015).

Torvaldis not aware of the outcome he would have by firing Krogstad.However, the reality in the case is shown through the results thataffect Torvald’s entire life. In the play, Nora is depicted to hideher rebellion strength from her husband up to the end of the play.Indeed, she does not reveal any sign of upheaval to her husband untilwhen the right moment appears. However, Ibsen clearly displays in theplay that Nora was not a fool as she had always posed. For instance,through using a Christmas tree, Ibsen depicted how Nora delighted inmaterial things. Through spending on the Christmas tree, Ibsen showsNora as a spendthrift. Clearly, this is a show of realism in theplay.

WhenNora refers to Torvald as an alien, this is depicted as a realitythat Nora no longer wants to live with Torvald. In this case, realismemerges through an indication that she wants to be an independentwoman. She recognizes herself and she wants to discover her authenticfemale identity in order to shape the relationship that she has withthe outer world. Also, she no longer wants to be the elegant dollthat she has always posed to be. Furthermore, Nora deserts Helmer soas to better herself. This can be indicated by, &quotFrom now on,forget happiness. Now it`s just about saving the remains” (Ibsen,2015).

Torvaldis clearly portrayed as a person who is highly tempered andunreasonable. When Torvald reads the letter and knows about thesecrets of the loan, he is fast to get angry and accuses Nora ofruining his life, and he will no longer trust her with his children(Ibsen, 2015). The play also clearly describes Torvald asself-centered when he openly confirms to Nora that he cannotsacrifice his life for love.

Anotherway in which realism has been portrayed is by the location where theplay is taking place. The location is indoors. The play is set in onelocation, in a city apartment of Torvald and Nora Helmer. The playtakes place over three days during the celebration of Christmas Eve,Christmas Day, and Boxing Day.

HenrikIbsen also depicts realism in the play, when Nora had borrowed twohundred and fifty pounds from Nils Krogstad, by forging her father’ssignature almost that made Torvald to almost take away his life. WhenTorvald read the letter, he was quick to make a decision to commitsuicide (Törnqvist, 1995). Nora thought that her act of forgerywould be justified by her love for the husband and the father.

Furthermore, the costumes that Nora wears are plausible and depictrealism. Mrs. Linde returns home in order to help Nora mend hercostume for a date with Torvald. The way Nora flirts with Doctor Rankby asking Doctor Rank to assist her in the Krogstad situation,suddenly confesses that he was in love with her. However, he wasdying of spine tuberculosis. This is very psychological andemotional this entails realism.


Ibsen,H. (2015). ADoll`s House.München: BookRix.

Törnqvist,E. (1995). Ibsen:A Doll`s House.Cambridge: Cambridge Univ. Press.