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A Doll's House and A Streetcar Named Desire (Paper 2) > Doll's House Quotes > Flashcards

Flashcards in Doll's House Quotes Deck (6)
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"Free. To be free, absolutely free. To spend time playing with the children. To have a clean, beautiful house, the way Torvald likes it." - Nora

Nora conforms to Torvald and his expectations of a housewife and a stereotypical portray of a women is thereby established at the beginning of the play.


"I must give a performance” - Nora

(For Torvald & society) representing all women to that time


"I have been performing tricks for you, Torvald. That’s how I’ve survived. You wanted it like that. You and Papa have done me a great wrong. It’s because of you I’ve made nothing of my life." - Nora

During the midnight talk, Nora finally starts talking seriously and confronts Torvald with her situation.


As Nora prepares to abandon her marriage and her children, Torvald challenges her: "Before everything else, you're a wife and a mother." She replies, "I believe that before everything else I'm a human being - just as much as you are ... or at any rate I shall try to become one", and leaves, slamming the door behind her.

Arguments raged all over Scandinavia as to wether Nora was right. The question asked by Ibsen left the audience in shock - 1879.


"Play-time's over, now comes lesson-time" (Act 3) - Torvald

He thinks he has wisdom that cannot be questioned, feeling confident to teach and educate everyone, including Nora, even when she confronts him at the table, he believes he can show his wife into a new maturity.


Phrases such as "We won't have any melodrama" (Act 2) and "No rhetoric, please!" (Act 3) suggest that Torvald imagines himself to stand for common sense and plain speaking. In reality....

In reality he is as prone to self-dramatization as Nora. His remark that "I've often wished that you could be threatened by some imminent danger so I could risk everything I have - even my life itself - to save you" (Act 3) conforms to a stereotyped image of masculine heroism straight out of Scribe. The pose comically disintegrates as he reads Krogstad's letter and cries, "I'm saved!" (Act 3), but he rapidly adopts a new posture, that of the forgiving husband.