A Doll’s House Outline

Thesis: Through the theme of Alienation in A Dolls House, Henrik Ibsen demonstrates that family roles, relationships, and societal expectations are a determining factor in alienation.

Topic Sentence #1: Using family roles and relationships, Henrik Ibsen proves his theme of Alienation throughout A Dolls House.

  • Torvald is always calling his wife Nora childlike names, so that she is isolated and also alienated from everything except himself. “Nora: I must stand quite alone, if I am to understand myself and everything about me”(Ibsen 64).
  • Torvald is also constantly treating Nora like a child. “Nora: he called me his doll-child, and he played with me just as I used to play with me dolls. And [then] I came to live with you”(Ibsen 63).
  • Nora and Torvald have very different roles in their family, and this is due to societal expectations. Society has put men at a much higher level and far above women, therefore alienating men and women. “Nora: we have been married now for eight years. Does it not occur to you that this is the first time we two, you and I, husband and wife, have had a serious conversation?” (Ibsen 63).

Topic Sentence #2: Using societal expectations, Henrik Ibsen illustrates his theme of alienation throughout A Dolls House.

  • Societal expectations and basically societal views are constantly changing the way that people think. Not only does it effect the way that people think, but also the way that people act. Nora saved her husbands life, although Helmer cares more about his honor and about what people will think about him than his own life. “No religion, no morality, no sense of duty. How am I punished  for having winked at what he did! I did it for your sake, and this is how you repay me.” (Ibsen 60)
  • Only when Helmer reads the second letter of Kragstad is when he realizes that “I know what you did , you did out of love for me”(Ibsen 61).
  • The only reason as to why Torvald is so angry at Nora in the first place is because he was scared about his honor and his new promotion as manager of the bank.

Concluding Idea: Henrik Ibsen’s theme of alienation is very apparent throughout A Dolls House, because of family roles, relationships, and societal views and expectations. At one point or another everyone in A Dolls House is alienated.

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