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A Doll's House

A Doll's House

by Henrik Ibsen

The Home Theme

When a play is called A Doll's House, chances are that home might be a prevalent theme. Early on in the text, the home is seen as a thing of joy, a place of comfort and shelter. The idea of home is enmeshed with the idea of the happy family, which the Helmers seem to be. Towards the play's conclusion, however, the imbalance of power in the family becomes an issue. Now the seemingly happy home is revealed as having been a façade, a doll's house, hiding the gulf between the Helmers. The Helmers' home is really more of a prison than a shelter.

Questions About The Home

  1. How does the concept of home change over the course of the play?
  2. What does it mean that the Helmers' home is "a doll's house"?
  3. How does the idea of home differ for each character?
  4. In what ways is Nora's home with Torvald similar the one she shared with her father?

Chew on This

Try on an opinion or two, start a debate, or play the devil’s advocate.

Over the course of the play, Nora's conception of her home goes from a place of shelter to a prison.

It is ironic that most of the other characters envy the Helmers' home.

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