Discuss A Doll's House as a well-made play involving realism, naturalism, and revealing the techniques of the play.

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Realism and naturalism are combined in A Doll’s House in the subject matter, plot development, setting, and characters. Henrik Ibsen did not apply the subjects and techniques of classical drama (such as the great man hero with a tragic flaw). Instead, his "hero" is an ordinary housewife whose flaws include...

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Realism and naturalism are combined in A Doll’s House in the subject matter, plot development, setting, and characters. Henrik Ibsen did not apply the subjects and techniques of classical drama (such as the great man hero with a tragic flaw). Instead, his "hero" is an ordinary housewife whose flaws include wanting her husband to be healthy and deceiving everyone in the process of trying to achieve that goal. The original staging was also realistic in creating an approximation of the Helmer living room with its bourgeois trappings—although more recent productions have used modernist, abstract approaches.

While the play centers on the dissolution of the Helmers' marriage, it also incorporates socio-economic issues of Ibsen's time, as career-climbing men used whatever means available to advance. Even Krogstad is relatable in his motives, though perhaps less so in his techniques, and he is rendered sympathetic by Christine's support.

Norah also fits within realism, as she does not consider herself a New Woman or a feminist; although she works to earn money, she does so in secret to repay the loan. The fact that she seems so ordinary—instead of loading her achievements, she has instead convinced her husband that she is a spendthrift and a dimwit—makes her final decision all the more remarkable.

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A Doll's House was notable for its realism in portraying everyday life and normal human behavior. There is no melodrama here, only authenticity in portraying complicated human beings. As critic Erik Bogh observed when the play was first produced, the play lacks violent emotion, declaratory speeches, or high dramatics. The story is told straightforwardly and thus feels more real.

For example, were this a melodrama, Torvald would be abusive and over-the-top in his disregard for Nora's feelings. Ibsen's chosen approach is far more realistic. Torvald is not an evil man: he is someone raised in a sexist society that assumes women should be content in such subservient roles. He does not see himself as evil; he thinks he is fair and doing what he's supposed to do as a husband.

A Doll's House also emphasizes its realism by having the main character live in a fantasy world for most of the play. Nora does live in a doll's house, ignoring painful reality and the way that she is essentially treated like a child by her husband. Her so-called "charmed existence" is contrasted with the other characters, who are bereaved, dying, or suffering in a variety of ways and are well aware of their pain.

By the end, however, the illusion cannot sustain itself, and Nora wakes up.

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Everyday life and regular occurrences; things we take for granted, are depicted in A Doll's House. There is nothing unusual about family squabbles, long-lost friends, secrets between spouses, unequal love and a lack of real communication.

Henrik Ibsen has cleverly combined these issues in such a way that they become life-changing events, dramatic and significant. He has made use of realism and naturalism to bring a down-to-earth quality to A Doll's House - the title of which itself suggests that all is not as it seems.

In developing the plot Ibsen has worked suspense into situations. They do not seem contrived and are believable whereas actually the co-incidences,on analysis, could be a little too calculated. Mrs Linde appears after 10 years. Torvald gets a senior position at the bank where Krogstad works. Mrs Linde is given a job there- Krogstad's job. Krogstad is the person through whom Nora borrowed the money and so on.  

 This technique shows a well-adapted combination of realism - real-life situations but with a possible exaggerated result - and naturalism - predictable, mundane incidents much like everyday life can be. Nora's decision at the end reveals something that many women of the time would have wished for but been too afraid to even consider:

not so much a metamorphosis as it is an awakening.

The reason for combining all the elements into a small space of time is because life can be like that. Furthermore, if Ibsen was to extend his play, it would be in danger of becoming boring. The language in A Doll's House is easy to follow and not requiring of any interpretation which technique cements the believable features of this play.  

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