Were children of much importance in the play A Doll's House?

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William Delaney | (Level 3) Distinguished Educator

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The children were of little importance in A Doll’s House, either as characters in the play or in their relationships with either of their parents. Torvald was a businessman who was preoccupied with his work. Nora was the kind of affluent upper-middle-class mother who could afford to hire nannies and maids to see to all her children’s needs and who could play mother to them only when she felt like it. When she decides to leave Torvald she seems to feel no distress at having to part with her children. She tells her husband that she knows he would be a better caregiver than she because she doesn’t feel she had much of a personal identity, which is what she intends to develop. Furthermore, she is not going to have much of an income. She has only the vaguest idea of where she is going and what she is going to do; and Torvald can support the children in the manner to which they are accustomed. It is difficult to cast small children in a stage play because they are inexperienced and need special attention. Ibsen probably preferred to avoid those problems.

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