Disclaimer: This is an example of a student written essay.
Click here for sample essays written by our professional writers.

Any opinions, findings, conclusions or recommendations expressed in this material are those of the authors and do not necessarily reflect the views of UKEssays.com.

Animal Characteristics Used in A Doll's House

Paper Type: Free Essay Subject: English Literature
Wordcount: 1112 words Published: 4th Sep 2017

Reference this

An Analysis of the Significance of Animal Characteristics Used in A Doll’s House

Reflective Statement

Discussion of A Doll’s House in class reach me deeply and implored new perspectives on traditional gender roles in different cultures such as Europe in the late 1800s.

I relate to Henrik Ibsen’s humanist work as opposed to A Doll’s House being completely feminist. To say A Doll’s House is a feminist work would be redundant. Feminism is the fight for the equality of the sexes and Ibsen’s A Doll’s House explores this very theme. Being human is not confined to just being male or female but having characteristics that define an individual.

Christine’s character is a prime example of escapism in the play and the other works we’ve studied have generally the same motif. In each culture,

In this paper, an analysis will be done on Ibsen’s use of animal characteristics. Throughout the play, the characters Torvald and Nora call to each other and themselves various animals like “Lark” and “Squirrel”. On occasion, Ibsen’s A Doll’s House has been referred to as a feminist work and although themes of feminism are present, the overall effect Ibsen makes is a humanist perspective of the characters lives. The significance of animal characteristics shows a development in Nora’s character and introduces the type of man Torvald is. Ibsen also uses animal characteristics to reveal the deeper relationship between Nora and Torvald. Verbal irony is conveyed through the use of animal characteristics. The play opens with Nora coming upon the stage laden with Christmas gifts for the children, a horse and sword, trumpets and dolls and cradles. Although the items are tiny things, inexpensive and useless it conveys how much love Nora has. She carries also a little bag of macaroons that she hides when Torvald questions her about. The initial thought of Nora is she spends exuberant amounts of money and is rightfully called a spendthrift by Torvald. Nora’s character can be interpreted as charming and dishonest, always flitting, never resting, light-hearted, inconsequent airhead. The entrance of Christine’s character reveals Nora’s dark secret and her character no longer seems transparent. ” Free. To be free, absolutely free. To spend time playing with the children. To have a clean, beautiful house, the way Torvald likes it.” Nora tells Christine that she will be “free” after she has paid off her debt to Krogstad. her anticipated freedom symbolizes her need to be independent of Torvald. Within that, Nora highlights the factors that constrain her. Although she claims that freedom will give her time to be a mother and a traditional wife that maintains a beautiful home as her husband likes it, she leaves her children and Torvald at the end of the play. One main theme of the play is that true freedom cannot be found in a traditional domestic lifestyle. Nora’s character develops intricately and her understanding of the word “free” is changes clearly. Nora becomes aware of the fact that she must change her life to find true freedom, and Nora recognizes that freedom includes independence from societal constraints and her ability to examine in depth her own personality, goals, and beliefs.The characteristics of a lark signify that Torvald believes that Nora is small compared to the his perspective. ” That is like a woman!…you know what I think about that. No debt, no borrowing.” (Ibsen p. 2) To explore the relationship between Nora and all the other characters one must see that not only did Torvald treat women like children, he also treats lesser men in the workplace as expendable and replaceable. “But instead of Krogstad, you could dismiss some other clerk.”. He exerts his dominance over others, running over the thoughts and feelings of surrounding humans. It’s a sweet little bird, but it gets through a terrible amount of money. You wouldn’t believe how much it costs a man when he’s got a little song-bird like you!” Nora express the conclusion she draws from the deep reality of their marriage her view of Torvald’s character at the end of Act Three. “I have existed merely to perform tricks for you, Torvald. But you wanted it like that. You and father have committed a great sin against me. It is your fault that I have made nothing of my life. Our home has been nothing but a playroom. I have been your doll-wife, just as at home I was papa’s doll-child; and here the children have been my dolls. I thought it great fun when you played with me, just as they thought it great fun when I played with them. That is what our marriage has been, Torvald.” She realizes her life has been a performance and she has acted the part of the happy, child-like wife for Torvald and for her father. Nora sees that her father and Torvald pressured her to behave a certain way and recognizes it to be “great wrong” that stifled her development as an adult and as a human being. She has made “nothing” of her life because she has existed only to please men. Following this realization, Nora leaves Torvald in order to make something of her life and becomes independent of other people. Nora has an underlining care for her husband because she reacts abruptly when Nils tries to blackmail her. She understands how important appearance is for Helmer but she resents the way he’s been treating her. “How painful and humiliating it would be for Torvald to know that he owed me anything! It would upset our mutual relations altogether.” (Ibsen p.9) “You don’t talk or think like the man I could bind myself to. When your first panic was over — not about what threatened me, but about what might happen to you — and when there was no more danger, then, as far as you were concerned, it was just as if nothing had happened at all. I was simply your little songbird, your doll, and from now on you would handle it more gently than ever because it was so delicate and fragile. At that moment, Torvald, I realized that for eight years I’d been living her with a strange man and that I’d borne him three children. Oh, I can’t bear to think of it — I could tear myself to little pieces!”


A Doll’s House Ibsen, Henrik. Global Classics, 1879.


Cite This Work

To export a reference to this article please select a referencing stye below:

Reference Copied to Clipboard.
Reference Copied to Clipboard.
Reference Copied to Clipboard.
Reference Copied to Clipboard.
Reference Copied to Clipboard.
Reference Copied to Clipboard.
Reference Copied to Clipboard.

Related Services

View all

DMCA / Removal Request

If you are the original writer of this essay and no longer wish to have your work published on UKEssays.com then please: