I must write a documented essay on Ibsen's A Doll's House.   In what ways can I improve my thesis?  Thesis: Torvald was so fixated with appearances and gender-role that this causes him to blind himself on what truly matters, which results in his wife's abandonment.   I also have to incorporate 3 articles into my essay, and the ones I decided on are generally on gender role, which is why I added that to my thesis. 

Expert Answers

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It is important to note that when writing about literature, one must use what is termed the literary present.  So, be sure to use Present Tense, not Past as is the verb was which you have written.  Perhaps, too, you may want to leave out the results of Torvald's limited vision of life and just focus on this one idea in the thesis. For, a thesis statement should be one main idea that takes the form of a limited subject with a precise opinion.

So, with this limit in mind, you may wish to revise your thesis to something like this:

Concerned with maintaining his patriarchal role, Torvald loses sight of what is truly of value in his life.

The topic sentences of each of the body paragraphs can, then, express a different aspect of Torvald's spiritual myopia. Your quotes from the 3 documentary sources can respectively support one of each of the three aspects of Torvald's failure to perceive Nora as an individual in her own right. For instance, using an essay by Bjorn Hemmer, you could write as support for Torvald's behavior that he is caught up in the mores of Victorian society,

Bjorn Hemmer, in an essay in The Cambridge Companion to Ibsen, declared that Ibsen used A Doll's House and his other realistic dramas to focus a "searchlight'' on Victorian society with its "false morality and its manipulation of public opinion."

and, as the Victorian, he places value upon the superficial. Remember to always explain the quotation before presenting it.  Good luck!

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