A Doll's House Questions and Answers
by Henrik Ibsen

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What is the conclusion of the play, A Doll's House?

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Ibsen's play ends with Nora deciding to break up her marriage, leave her husband and children, and go off on her own. She hopes to develop an identity of her own. This decision is the surprising culmination of Nora's conflicts, both internal and external. 

Over the course of the play Nora faces challenges to her honesty, her willingness to face up to her own actions (moral, immoral, loving and criminal), and, finally, challenges to her sense of self. The breaking point for Nora comes when Torvald fails to do the "miraculous thing" that she expects of him. 

When she tells her husband about Krogstad and the loan, Nora expects that Torvald will offer to take the blame himself. She expects him to be both noble and loving. If he were to act in this way, Nora's view of her marriage would be reinforced and she would even be personally redeemed. 

Torvald does not act in this way. To the contrary, Torvald berates Nora and shouts at her about how she has ruined him. It is this behavior from her husband that opens Nora's eyes to the truth of her marriage and forces her to face the difficult truths that A) Torvald has no respect for her and B) she has no identity of her own. 

Her problem is that she is totally dependent upon her husband for all her needs; or she deceives herself into thinking so until the end of the play.

Nora attributes this fact of her character to the treatment she has received from both her husband and her father.

Nora's personal crisis leads to a major decision for her future and for the future of her family. She decides to leave her husband and children. Torvald tries to convince Nora that he now understands how he should treat her. He tries to convince her to stay, but she is adamant about leaving. 

Her decision to leave is a daring one that indicates the seriousness of Nora's desire to find and create her own identity.

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The play ends with Nora's realization that she can no longer live in her husband's house. Nora realizes that she has been living a sheltered life. She lived with her father, under his rules, and she now lives with Torvald, under his rules. Nora realizes that she is naive to the world. She did not think that borrowing money to save her husband's life could actually be a crime, but she now realizes that she does not understand the world. Nora decides to leave her husband and children behind so that she can learn and grow. Many don't agree with the fact that she leaves her children behind, but Nora realizes that she cannot take care of them if she cannot even take care of herself.

Nora plans to go and stay with her friend, Ms. Linde. Ms. Linde acts as a foil to Nora because Linde has been forced to "live" in the real world. Linde lost her husband and has had to work and stand on her own two feet in the world. Linde helps Nora to see that she too must stand on her own two feet.