How is the house described in Henrik Ibsen's A Doll's House? How do the children behave in the play?

Expert Answers

An illustration of the letter 'A' in a speech bubbles

Henrik Ibsen provides many details in his stage directions about the house that serves as the setting for his play A Doll's House. In the opening act, the house is described as "furnished comfortably and tastefully, but not extravagantly," which tells us the Helmers are financially comfortable enough to...

See
This Answer Now

Start your 48-hour free trial to unlock this answer and thousands more. Enjoy eNotes ad-free and cancel anytime.

Get 48 Hours Free Access

Henrik Ibsen provides many details in his stage directions about the house that serves as the setting for his play A Doll's House.

In the opening act, the house is described as "furnished comfortably and tastefully, but not extravagantly," which tells us the Helmers are financially comfortable enough to be able to afford a comfortable and attractive home, but not rich enough to afford an expensively furnished home. The main room of the house, which is the only room on the set visible to the audience, is built with three walls. Along the back wall, a door on stage right — the actor's right facing the audience — opens to the "entrance-hall," whereas a door on stage left opens to Torvald's study. In addition, an upright piano stands propped against the back wall between these two doorways.  

A third door is situated in the middle of the wall on stage left. It must be this third door that gains access to the nursery, for when the nurse returns home with the children in this first act, she is described as entering the "room on the left" while Nora plays with the children. A window is also situated near this third door, and a "round table, arm-chairs and a small sofa" are situated close to this window.

A fourth door is situated on the far end of the third wall on stage right. Near this fourth door stands a small table and a stove; the stove is surrounded by two easy chairs and a rocking-chair. This wall on stage right is also decorated with engravings. Ibsen further describes that the floor is carpeted, and the set is also decorated with a china cabinet and a small bookcase.

When the children enter the scene, they all talk very happily with their mother at once, describing the adventures they had just been engaged in such as sledging, having snowball fights, and being chased by a dog. After Nora removes the children's winter outerwear, she begins to play hide and seek with them. Ibsen describe the children as laughing while "rush[ing] in and out" of the room in search of their mother.

Approved by eNotes Editorial Team