In "The Doll's House," what message does the writer want to convey through Else's speech at the end of the short story?

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accessteacher | High School Teacher | (Level 3) Distinguished Educator

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One of the central themes of "The Doll's House" is how society operates and how some are included and others excluded. Clearly, in the story, it is the Kelvey's that are excluded in this world - they are made fun of mercilessly by the other girls and even the adults like to make themselves feel better by bulling them, such as Aunt Beryl. However, throughout the tale, it is Kezia who is most unaware of this social boundaries and it is also she who is most struck by the little red lamp in the house. Thus, when Else comments at the very end after they have been thrown out of the house, "I seen the little lamp," which she says with her "rare smile," she is commenting on the significance of the lamp and the way that it represents the light of kindness that briefly shone out of Kezia; or perhaps the warmth of inclusion and belonging which they have rarely experienced.

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