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Heroines in a Doll's House

            "Ibsen's ars dramatis centres on the way his heroines find that their doll's houses are turning, or have turned, into prisons."" Discuss.
             In order to discuss the morphing of doll house' into prison' in A Doll's House and Hedda Gabler one must first examine what makes their domestic situations doll houses' in the first instance.
             In A Doll's House Ibsen is quick to present Nora as a playful and almost hysterical child' by having her character move around the stage like much like the "squirrel- or "sky-lark- of Torvald's affectionate flirting. The audience first sees her after an extravagant spending spree and after giving the porter a fifty orë tip (the same amount as the gifts themselves) and then excitedly asking Helene to "hide the Christmas tree away-. More significantly Nora deceptively eats the macaroons before her husband can tell her off whilst "listening- at the door for him. In drama the playwright purposely creates a scene to almost force a certain image or idea onto the audience, Ibsen is no different. Here one is immediately aware that one should not give Nora the respect appropriate to a mature adult. What is more the audience is aware that Torvald in fact encourages this idea with his childish names for her and his banning of eating macaroons. Thus the audience is encouraged by Ibsen to believe that the childish nature in Nora is a result of being treated like a doll.
             However such simple interpretations can be dangerous. In order for someone to assume and child-like ethos in adulthood for no other reason than the people in their life treat them thus one must conclude that the person's overall nature is weak and they themselves may not be worthy of adult respect' because of this. Nora is a child because she cannot herself (yet, at least) become an adult. The question one must is then if Nora were a stronger person would she still a doll?' Hedda's character goes some way to answering this.

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