How is A Doll's House a play about humanism?  

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wesadcott eNotes educator| Certified Educator

A Doll's House is a humanist text. The main character, Nora Helmer, has spent her entire life adopting the views of other. She has been less of a human and more of a doll, first for her father and then for her husband. She has little opportunity to fully develop a sense of self or to formulate her own views or express them. Nora also cannot work, other than a few odd jobs, as that would be an attack on her husband's "masculine pride." Throughout the play, Nora must hide her true self. Even if she wants to eat a macaroon, she must hide this from her husband.

At the end of the play, Nora finally decides to assert herself and chooses to leave her husband and children to discover the world and educate herself. Nora says, "I have to stand completely alone, if I'm ever going to discover myself and the world out there." While her husband believes that her first duties are to her husband and children, Nora claim that her duties to her self are "equally sacred." She says, "before all else, I'm a human being, no less than you -- or anyway, I ought to try to become one."

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A Doll's House

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