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Plot Summary And Review Of A Doll’S House By Henrik Ibsen

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This play is about a misunderstood, strong-willed woman, who struggles with finding herself in a fraudulence dominant marriage, thereby discovering her true character with increasing certainty and finds the strength to free herself from the puppet strings. This play is more than about being in a deceitful marriage, it’s about finding your true self through life-changing situations and hoping that once its all over, you’ll be satisfied with the results you found.

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The beginning stasis of A Doll’s House takes place in the nineteenth century which is when a lot of social and economic changes were happening. It was the time when money was the one thing that defined one’s social status. You could see that money mattered because it is the topic discussed between Nora and Torvald when they first interact with each other at the beginning of the play. You can also tell how much money mattered when Torvald would make comments like “Has my little spendthrift been wasting money again? or “ Still, you know, we can’t spend money recklessly”. This makes you wonder right away, is money going to have a major part in the play. Will Torvald or Nora get in a terrible situation that involves money and how will it impact their marriage?

The inciting incident that sets the main action into motion is when Krogstad, a desperate, family-oriented man, shows up at the Helmer’s house. You see she borrowed money from him without Torvald knowing and she forged her dead father’s signature in the bargain and Krogstad found out.There are so many major complications that go on through this play. One of them is when Torvald threatens to fire Krogstad from the bank and replacing him with Ms. Linde. This is an obstacle Nora has to get around as she can’t let Krogstad get fire or he will reveal her secret to Torvald. Of course Nora begged Torvald not to fire him but that only causes him to become mad because he didn’t want his staff believing that he could be “swayed by all sorts of outside influence” and so he fired Krogstad. This creates a dramatic question of what’s going to happen now that Krogstad is fired? And that is answered when Krogstad goes back to visit Nora. Since Torvald fired Krogstad it created another obstacle for Nora as Krogstad ended up threatening to blackmail Torvald and herself and that she could do nothing to prevent it from happening. The second major complication that arose for Nora was when Krogstad writes a detailed letter to Torvald explaining everything that happened between him and Nora, and he puts the letter in Torvald’s mailbox. This creates another major dramatic question of will Torvald read the letter?

Not all major complications are bad, some are helpful and that’s what Ms. Linde was to Nora when she first arrived. Ms.Linde, a childhood friend of Nora’s, visits and coincidentally becomes the person Nora turns to for advice because she saw Ms. Linde as being reasonable but little did she know she would cause the major crisis. A Doll’s House has a lot of major crises and a majority of them revolve around letters. The writing and reading of these letters are the reason why there are so many plot twists. These letters which hold the truth and will bring nothing but all the flaws forward within their marriage is what scares Nora the most. The letter represents the truth about Nora and her past and it will bring forth the truth that their marriage is not all thait seems.

Another turning point in the play is when Ms.Linde supposedly goes to convince Krogstad not to send the letter but instead she gets with him and convinces him to send the letter anyway. She believes it would be the best thing for their marriage: “I have witnessed incredible things in this house. Helmer must know all about it. This unhappy secret must be enclosed; they must have a complete understanding between them, which is impossible with all this concealment and falsehood going on”.

A third major crisis that takes place in the play is when Dr.Rank leaves his calling card with a black cross in Torvald’s mailbox. This was his way of advertising his impending death that he knew was coming sooner rather than later due to his inheritance of tuberculosis in the spine. Another crisis with Dr.Rank was after he talked about death with Nora, he admitted that he was in love with her. “I was determined you should know it before I went away, and there will never be a better opportunity than this. Now you know it, Nora. And now you know, too, that you can trust me as you would trust no one else”. No one knew how this would affect Nora and Torvald’s marriage especially with the Krogstad’s letter still being in the mailbox. Would it also make Nora realize the false nature of her marriage and could she possibly end up with Dr.Rank? Those are some of the thoughts that make you question how the play would end.A Doll’s House major structural climax is when Krogstad has a change of heart about the blackmail and doesn’t want Torvald to read the letter in the mailbox. At this point, it seemed as if everything was going to be okay for Nora. Torvald wouldn’t find out about her crime and their marriage would be saved. But of course, Henrik Ibsen had other plans for Nora and Torvald.The major emotional climax for A Doll’s House is when Torvald reads the letter and flips out on Nora. It’s like he transforms into a different, more aggressive person and the only thing he can say to her are rude things: “miserable creature, hypocrite, liar, and a criminal”. But once he finds out that Krogstad changed his mind about blackmailing them, he goes back to as if nothing happened. Torvald forgives Nora, but the whole situation made her realize that she is married to a complete stranger. She realized that she had been his doll, not his wife.

A Doll’s House ending stasis was something unforgettable. Once Nora realized that Torvald was in love with the idea of her being someone who needed him instead of being in love with her; she chooses to abandon him in search of finding herself. This leaves Torvald in a room all alone left with nothing but his thoughts. While he is stuck with his thoughts and going over the situation again it seems as if he’s realized,” What the most wonderful thing of all really is”. Ibsen left this open ending, leaving us to wonder what happens next with the Helmers. Anything can happen next, something could arise from the ashes that were left behind and a new situation could rise like a phoenix. Who knows, and that’s the beauty of A Doll’s House ending stasis.

11 February 2020

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