A Doll’s House is a play about marriage, injustice, and the roles we play to fit into the world. Nora Helmer is a seemingly happy young wife with a successful husband and good family, but she hiding a secret. She went behind her husband’s back to obtain a loan, and, in the process, naïvely committed a forgery. As a result, she finds herself indebted to a man who is paying his social dues for a similar crime, and who has also been laid off from his job by Nora’s husband. With him threatening to reveal her, Nora struggles to hide her secret and protect her family, while her friend Christine encourages her to tell her husband the truth. However, Nora cannot keep the truth from coming out, and, when it does, she finally sees that her husband is not the knight in shining armor that she expected. Instead, she realizes that neither he nor she are really the people they’ve pretended to be, and that that even their life together is not nearly the marriage it appears to be – they are really just dolls, playing out a fantasy in a perfect little doll’s house. In Nora, Ibsen creates an iconically strong female character who rises to throw off the cast of society, and recognizes that marriage is not always the perfect image it appears to be.
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