Skip over navigation

A Doll’s House

Henrik Ibsen

Key Facts

Important Quotations Explained

Study Questions & Essay Topics

full title  ·  A Doll’s House

author  · Henrik Ibsen

type of work  · Play

genre  · Realistic, modern prose drama

language  · Norwegian

time and place written  ·  1879, Rome and Amalfi, Italy

date of first publication  ·  1879

tone  · Serious, intense, somber

setting (time)  · Presumably around the late 1870s

setting (place)  · Norway

protagonist  · Nora Helmer

major conflict  · Nora’s struggle with Krogstad, who threatens to tell her husband about her past crime, incites Nora’s journey of self-discovery and provides much of the play’s dramatic suspense. Nora’s primary struggle, however, is against the selfish, stifling, and oppressive attitudes of her husband, Torvald, and of the society that he represents.

rising action  · Nora’s first conversation with Mrs. Linde; Krogstad’s visit and blackmailing of Nora; Krogstad’s delivery of the letter that later exposes Nora.

climax  · Torvald reads Krogstad’s letter and erupts angrily.

falling action  · Nora’s realization that Torvald is devoted not to her but to the idea of her as someone who depends on him; her decision to abandon him to find independence.

themes  · The sacrificial role of women; parental and filial obligations; the unreliability of appearances

motifs  · Nora’s definition of freedom; letters

symbols  · The Christmas tree; New Year’s Day

foreshadowing  · Nora’s eating of macaroons against Torvald’s wishes foreshadows her later rebellion against Torvald.

More Help

Previous Next
symbols

by diane94, July 15, 2012

i think the toys Nora bought for her children also symbolise something.

4 Comments

58 out of 85 people found this helpful

Krogstad vs Nora

by indivij, November 04, 2012

it says in the character analysis that krogstad was shunned by society and wasn't let by people to move on from his past. i think that because of this, krogstad tries to blackmail nora for her forgery as a means of compensating for the unfair treatment he received.

0 Comments

13 out of 18 people found this helpful

Hypocrisy

by liamfinlay, May 28, 2013

In our Lit class we also discussed the hypocritical nature of Torvald, and how he goes directly against what he earlier states are his attitudes and how he would respond (for example, he says "I am not so heartless as to condemn a man... because of a single false step", yet he is quick to condemn Nora when he discovers the forgery she had committed).

1 Comments

12 out of 12 people found this helpful

See all 13 readers' notes   →

Follow Us