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Doll House Analysis Question Review World Lit, Fall 2011.

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1 Doll House Analysis Question Review World Lit, Fall 2011

2 1. One of the main characteristics of modern drama is realism. How realistically does Act I of A Doll House portray the relationship between Nora and Torvald? Develop your thoughts in an essay supported by examples. Realistically – Shows basic home-life – Traditional family structure – Flawed relationships (no marriage is “perfect”) Not Realistically – No way she could keep a secret for so long – No man would be so clueless as to his wife’s personality

3 2. Attitudes about the role of women in the world have changed significantly since Ibsen’s play was written. Do you think that what happens to Nora and Helmer is nonetheless relevant to men and women today? In a brief essay, state your opinion. Then, give examples of issues with which men and women today do or do not continue to struggle. Still Relevant Spouses still keep secrets Individuals still pretend to be someone they aren’t Not Relevant Anymore Women are not dependent on men the way Nora was on her father or husband

4 3. In Act II of A Doll House, nineteenth-century beliefs about men, women, and marriage intensify Nora’s conflicts. In a brief essay, describe how and why Nora feels increasingly trapped by the roles she is expected to play as a wife and mother and how those roles increase her feelings of desperation about her situation. Nora is expected to be: submissive, only concerned with the home/children, she’s not expected to be able to “handle” complicated situations Nora feels trapped because: she had a secret that would cause her to be rejected by society, she is expected to be someone she’s not, and she was never encouraged to develop her own thoughts or strengths

5 4. How is the theme of A Doll House reflected in the title? Develop your answer in an essay supported by examples from the text. Dollhouse = plaything, fake, seemingly perfect Marriage is seemingly perfect, but eventually shows its flaws Torvald treats Nora as his plaything, she in turn treats the children as her playthings In a way, their marriage is fake---they don’t truly know or understand each other

6 5. By the end of Act III of A Doll House, Nora finally decides to take responsibility for her life by leaving Torvald and her children. In an essay, evaluate whether she has made the right decision. Use details from the play to support your evaluation. Good Decision Her marriage was basically fake, not worth saving If she doesn’t understand herself or the world around her, she has no business raising children “If Momma ain’t happy, ain’t nobody happy” Torvald is kind of a jerk, good riddance Bad Decision SHE LEFT HER CHILDREN! (and her husband) She should have tried harder to make it work Left no explanation, didn’t want kids to contact her, no support from her (ex)husband She had no plan!

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