A Doll's House Questions and Answers
by Henrik Ibsen

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Discuss A Doll House vs. A Doll's House.  How are they different in meaning?

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The difference between the implications of "A Doll House" and "A Doll's House" are stark. "A doll house" refers to an object that one plays with dolls inside of, controlling their movements and often even speaking for them. Perhaps this is accurate to how Torvald pictured his life with Nora; Torvald's rage at the end of the play appears to stem from his loss of this illusion.

"A doll's house" instead implies that the doll is the literal keeper of the house, perhaps reminiscent of a toy that comes alive in the night. In this more sinister imagining, the doll, like Nora, has agency, but only insofar as it can make that agency invisible to any observers. Nora makes decorating decisions and chooses clothes for herself and the children, but these choices must allow her to believably play her roll as the doll. When Nora's acts of autonomy are discovered, her "doll's house" collapses under the weight of Torvald's "doll house".

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Interestingly, there are two translations, and interpretations, of the...

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