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Themes

Nora of A Doll's House has often been painted as one of modern drama's first feminist heroines. Over the course of the play, she breaks away from the domination of her overbearing husband, Torvald. The playwright, Henrik Ibsen, denied that he had intentionally written a feminist play, preferring to think of it as humanist. Still, though, throughout this drama there is constant talk of women, their traditional roles, and price for them of breaking with tradition.

Questions About Women and Femininity

  1. What are some characteristics of the roles of women in the play?
  2. How does Christine's perception of motherhood differ from Nora's by the end of the play?
  3. What unique powers do the women in the play have? Are they really as submissive as they seem?
  4. What is the difference between feminism and humanism? How can this difference be applied when interpreting the play?

Chew on This

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

Mrs. Linde craves the role of mother and seems to draw strength and purpose from it.

Though Nora is certainly submissive to Torvald, she is often able to manipulate him into getting what she wants.

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