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dolls house

Evaluate Ibsen's use of chracters to explore the concepts of human frailty and redemption in the play A Dolls House. Woman being human frail in the...


In answering this question, you want to examine the following for each of the characters:

1)  What situations allowed us, as the reader, to see each as being frail or weak?  Look for dialogues, facial expressions, non- verbal expressions.  Stage directions would help and I would probably examine these in the first half of the play, especially with Nora.

2)  Then, I would examine situations where some level of strength is evident.  Where do we see these characters asserting voice or strength.  One of the powerful elements of Ibsen's work is that he shows how human beings can undergo change and growth.  This evolution of character is where you will see frailty replaced by redemptive strength.  Pay attention to how the reclamation of voice, and the lack of it at the start, constitutes, the transformation from weakness to strength.

Ibsen is big on the idea of setting up characters as foils, or opposites to one another.  Christine represents a sense of independence or autonomy in modern women while Nora embodies the traditional dependency of women.  In assessing frailty and strength, pay attention to the how Ibsen has depicted one conception of woman against another depiction.  This will help you articulate the transformation from frailty to strong redemption.

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