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in “A Doll’s House” by, Henrik Ibsen

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1 in “A Doll’s House” by, Henrik Ibsen
Realism in “A Doll’s House” by, Henrik Ibsen Kevin McFarland, Shreena Patel, Abigail Peng, Brianna Steele, Katie Ten Haken, and Cindy Tran

2 What is Realism? Realism is having ordinary, familiar aspects of life represented in literature to reflect how everyday life is presumed to be. It is an inclination to literary truth and pragmatism.

3 Realism in Drama Begins in the last half of the 19th century as an experiment to make theater more useful to society. Political events prompted different ways of thinking. People now did not believe in Romantic idealism. They realized hard work, stoppage, and violence were the true answers to success. Pragmatism reigned as idealsim began to fade.

4 Basic Aspect of Realism
The characters are real, they are not larger than life (such as what we see in Greek theater) A sense of trueness is embedded without extreme dramatics A very convincing style of theater, making the impact on the audience often times greater Mimic real life- truth and accuracy Time period can have a big influence since realism mimics real life, so the life of that time is influential to the development of the play Focuses on social importances of the time period and how they affect others realistically

5 Basic Aspect of Realism Cont.
Realism observes that life does not follow patterns - events do not magically occur- and so for them, the same should not happen in the novel. Instead of grand happenings, tragedies, and epic turns of events, the realist novel continues on a seemingly normal path. Nothing truly earth shattering happens. The movement was interested in looking at the complexity of the human psyche and analysing why humans act the way we do. The main challenge of the actor was to be as realistic and as close to life as possible.

6 Video Start at 1:34 if need time

7 Characteristics of Realism
plots are secondary to characters characters tended to be from lower of middle class characters spoke as people really did familiar everyday people and situations are represented in an accurate, unidealized manner author’s voice (comments and asides_ rarely heard not poetic

8 Realism in Popular works
Generally all works of art and literature have a sense of realism in it in order for readers to relate and understand it The artistic movement didn’t start till the late 1800’s and early 1900’s in America. First started in France Examples: The Human Comedy by, Honore de Balzac series of novels that show lives of every class of people Madame Bovary (1857) by, Gustave Flaubert first major work to fully embrace realistic style portrayed a true-to-life story of a woman seeking to escape her boring life

9 Best representation of realist drama:
Other popular works: “The Rise of Silas Lapham” by William Dean Howells “The Portrait of a Lady” by Henry James Best representation of realist drama: “A Doll’s House” by, Henrik Ibsen [Norway]** “Pygmalion” by, George Bernard Shaw [England] “The Cherry Orchard” by. Anton Chekhov [Russia]

10 Realism in A Doll’s House
A Doll’s House is a realist play that portrays controversial ideas of the time Perfect family: Mother (Nora), Father (Torvald Helmer), 3 Children Nora: Obedient Wife Helmer: Family Support 3 major ideas: Gender Identity Social Expectation

11 Realism in A Doll’s House
Gender Women: Follow husband’s orders Takes care of the children “Come, Mrs. Linde - this place is unbearable for anyone but mothers” (2198). Sacrifice their own luxuries to help their family: Nora borrows money to help save her husband Mrs. Linde sacrifice love to save mother and brothers “My mother was still alive, but bedridden and helpless...I didn’t think I could turn him down (2191). Men Dominant gender Helmer financially independent & provides money for his family

12 Realism in A Doll’s House
Gender Women: Easily submissive to the man of the house “Nora, Nora, how like a woman!... Yes whatever you say, Torvald.“(2186) Seen as simple minded and not capable of handling valuable tasks “Now, now, the little lark’s wings mustn’t droop. Come on, don’t be a sulky squirrel. Nora, guess what I have here...” (2187) Men Displayed as a brute With the opening dialog between Mr and Mrs Helmer the man was displayed as a brute and accepted his intense displaying of physical dominance through grabbing his wife

13 Realism in A Doll’s House
Gender Women: Because women in this time period they easily lost their identity simply hiding behind the men and following his orders almost blindly The women were also looked down upon if the got a job, they were not meant to support others, that the man’s job Men They were the primary breadwinners, and the only source of income for that family any other type of help such as asking for the wife to work or asking to borrow money was often seen as a weakness and just showed the community that you could not provide for your family

14 Realism in A Doll’s House
Identity Beginning: Nora acts like a child and was a doll ordered around by her father and husband Later: develops individualism and no longer listens to her husband “Helmer: Before all else, you’re a wife and a mother. Nora: I don’t believe in that anymore. I believe that, before all else, I’m a human being, no less than you - or anyways, I ought to try to become one” (2231). Social Expectation Helmer is the dominant spouse in the family and Nora is the wife whose sole job is to care for her husband and children Helmer reveal himself when he find out about Nora’s forgery

15 Realism in A Doll’s House
Key Theme: Women’s Rights Movement Equal Rights and Liberties Elements: Everyday dialogue Simple conversations

16 Realism Questions Individually create a thesis based on the passage, then answer the questions relating to realism. 1. How is Nora’s reaction of wanting to leave her family a typical or not so typical reaction from a woman of her time? 2. In what ways is Nora’s and Helmer’s conversation realistic in the passage? 3. Helmer is outraged by Nora’s request to leave the house and reminds her of her to her husband and children. Are Helmer’s demands from his wife realistic? Is her reaction realistic?

17 Works Cited "American Realism: " American Realism: N.p., n.d. Web. 21 Oct < on American Realism.htm>. "A Doll's House Writing Style." Shmoop. N.p., n.d. Web. 21 Oct <>. "Introduction to Theatre -- Realism." NovaOnline, 16 Jan Web. 21 Oct "Realism and A Doll House." Ibsen Voyages ::. N.p., n.d. Web. 21 Oct <>. "Realism (late 1800s-early 1900s)." Scholastic, Helping Children Around the World to Read and Learn. Scholastic, n.d. Web. 18 Oct Ibsen, Henrik. "A Doll's House." A Doll's House by Henrik Classic Reader. N.p., n.d. Web. 21 Oct. 2013

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