1. Describe Torvald's attitude towards his wife Nora. How does he view her? How does he treat her? Does his attitude change?
2. Who has more power in the relationship and why? Discuss the sources of Torvald's power and of Nora's.
3. Describe Nora's attitude towards Torvald. Trace how it changes and why. What finally leads to her decision to leave?
4. What is the role of Dr. Rank in the play? What would the play lack without him?
5. Compare the
relationship between Mrs. Linde and Nils Krogstad with that between Nora and Torvald. How does this first relationship help
shape what the play is saying about marriage?
6. Nora, Mrs. Linde and Anna, the nurse, have all been in difficult
situations for lack of money. How are their experiences similar and how are they different? What is the play saying about
social class and about money? In what other ways does the play extend its social criticism beyond criticism of relationship
between men and women and of the institution of marriage?
7. Speculate on what happens to Nora after she slams
the door. Outline the next ten years of her life.
8. Some critics have complained that Nora's clear and impassioned
declarations in the last quarter of Act III as well as her bold decision to leave her husband and children seem improbable
coming from the character we've seen up until then. Do you agree or disagree?
9. "A Doll's House" was
extremely controversial, and one famous actress in Germany refused to play Nora unless the ending were changed. Since Ibsen
had no control over how the play was performed in Germany, he wrote an alternate ending himself, in which Torvald makes Nora
takes a last look at their children before leaving and, seeing them, she loses her will to go. Ibsen called this new ending
a "barbaric outrage," but critic Otto Reinert (who is the translator for the version in your textbook) suggests
that the German version might be "a stronger indictment of male society" than the original. Discuss what he might
might be "a stronger indictment of male society" than the original. Discuss what he might mean and whether you
10. What is and is not dated about the 1879 play? What might need to be different in a similar play written
We will be using these questions as the base for our in-class discussion about the play, and for forming the in-class essay
topics. If you have any questions or problems, please see the Contact Me page to get hold of me for answers.
the website for the publishers of the textbook has some very nice links and information about Ibsen and this play in particular.
Please click on the picture below if you would like to visit their site.