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An Analysis of 'a Doll's House'

In: English and Literature

Submitted By kasabian93
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A Doll’s House
‘A Doll’s House’ is widely considered by many to be Norwegian playwright Henrik Ibsen’s magnum opus. The play is tightly structured with 3 acts that take place over a short span of three days. Each act contains just one long scene. The scenes are primarily two person scenes that are interleaved with temporary entrances and quick exits by the other characters in the play. Furthermore, the play has a strong sense of unity of action, in the sense that events in the play take place in a causal manner, where each character’s actions on inaction have a significant impact on the course of events that follow. I shall elucidate this point in a latter part of the essay.

The dramatic structure of the play is well defined, with a transparent inciting incident, point of attack, climax and strong resolution. In my opinion, the inciting incident occurs when Torvald Helmer receives a promotion to bank manager. This incident occurs before the beginning of the action of the play and this directly results in the creation of a crisis at the start of the play when Nils Krogstad comes to visit Nora Helmer to get her to prevent Torvald from firing Krostad when he becomes a bank manager. When his initial strategy fails he resorts to blackmailing her with the fact that she has committed fraud by falsifying her father’s signature on the bond note owed by her.

The point of attack in this play is the moment when Mrs. Linde prevents Krogstad from taking back the letter written by him to Torvald Helmer in which he exposes the duplicitous nature of his wife’s past actions. This is the point of no return in the play, because until this point there was some hope that Krogstad’s humanity would shine through and he would prevent the inevitable destruction of Torvald’s and Nora’s marrage by taking back his letter. However, when Mrs. Linde convinces him by...

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