In Ibsen's play, "A Doll's House", how is "The importance of an unclouded knowledge of self to a development of true maturity"?

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thanatassa eNotes educator| Certified Educator

One of the major themes of the play "A Doll's House" by Henrik Ibsen is that self-knowledge is needed for an authentic life. Throughout the play,Torvald has treated Nora like a child, and routinely refers to her using terms of endearment that portray her as a child. It is only at the end of the play when Nora obtains the self-knowledge that allows her to understand the marriage as a sham and recast herself as an adult making adult decisions that she can act as a moral agent and claim full responsibility for her actions, making mature ethical decisions about her own life and that of others. Nora acknowledges this responsibility that comes of self-knowledge when she claims responsibility for her own actions, saying:

I don't believe that any longer. I believe that before all else I am a reasonable human being, just as you are—or, at all events, that I must try and become one