Which topics could I discuss from Henrik Ibsen's A Doll's House?

Expert Answers

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

In A Doll's House by Henrik Ibsen, there are many themes that could be written about, and those themes are wrapped up in the larger topics which they explain. Although the words topic and theme are sometimes used interchangeably, they can indicate differing degrees of meaning within any subject.

...

Get
This Answer Now

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

Start your 48-Hour Free Trial

In A Doll's House by Henrik Ibsen, there are many themes that could be written about, and those themes are wrapped up in the larger topics which they explain. Although the words topic and theme are sometimes used interchangeably, they can indicate differing degrees of meaning within any subject.

The play highlights various issues that could be present in any household, issues which revolve around a lack of meaningful conversation, and therefore stem from poor communication. Nora does not get the response she expects from Torvald when he discovers her secret. A loving and loyal husband would rally to her support, and so she feels betrayed and recognizes Torvald's hypocritical behavior. The fact that there is no depth to her marriage is suddenly so apparent to her that she takes drastic steps. Her now-developing self-awareness and her realization that she allowed herself to be managed, first by her father and, immediately thereafter, her husband, forces Nora to face the reality of her situation. She feels like she is nothing more than a "doll-wife." She is never involved in any serious decision-making. She can no longer behave like a "little squirrel... a featherhead... or a spendthrift...," and she is ready to take control for the first time in her life. The theme could be betrayal within the topic of marriage.

This is an ideal area to focus on in this play as the story hinges on the dysfunctional relationship between Nora and Torvald and their mutual dependency on it, Torvald to make him feel like he is providing for and protecting his family, and Nora to promote her husband's value and remain dutiful.

If considering themes and topics separately, other possible themes include sexism and women's rights within the topic of society's views and possible discriminatory practices. There is also the theme of self-discovery within the broader topic of identity.

Approved by eNotes Editorial Team