Why is Henrik Ibsen's play A Doll's House named A Doll's House?

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lsumner | High School Teacher | (Level 2) Senior Educator

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Ibsen names his drama A Doll's House because Torvald treats his wife Nora as a toy. Nora is Torvald's prized possession. He treats her as a child; therefore, the title is befitting. Torvald has childish nicknames for Nora, and she responds to his game as if she is actually his doll, a toy in which gives him pleasure:

However, she has continued to play the part of the frivolous,scatter-brained child-wife for the benefit of her husband.

Clearly, Torvald does not see Nora as his equal. He sees her as lesser than. She is merely his toy doll, an object with no feelings or intellect.

In the play, Nora borrows money behind her husband's back to save his life with a trip to Italy, a place with a warmer climate. When Torvald learns about Nora's secret, he yells at her and sends her to her room. At this point, Nora's true inner self is awakened. She realizes that she has been keeping up a facade, pretending to be happy.

Suddenly, she is tired of Torvald calling her chidish names such as scatter-brained. She desires her own identity. She desires to be her own person and not Torvald's doll. For this reason, Nora leaves Torvald. She sets out to become a woman with her own feelings and desires. She chooses to no longer be Torvald's doll. The doll house comes crashing down when Nora walks out the door, leaving Torvald alone to play his games.


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akcend | Student | eNotes Newbie

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Because Nora was considered by the husband Torvald as a doll and she inturn treats the kids as dolls

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