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Essay/Term paper: A doll house

Essay, term paper, research paper:  Cliff Notes

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Translation Trouble



In the play "A Doll House" the main character, Nora, is in a situation where she is caused to act, emotionally and physically, as a doll to please her husband. Nora has to be very sneaky and conniving in order to be perfect and talked down to by her husband. The translation of this play from Norwegian was a little difficult. The title can either be translated as "A Doll House" or as "A Doll's House". Many people believe either title fits the theme of the play.

I believe that the title "A Doll's House" may fit because it is Nora being a doll in order to please her husband Torvald. Torvald sees her as his toy, not as a human equal to himself. Torvald gives his wife pet names such as "spend thrift" and "squander bird". This shows just how controlling he really is. Nora just plays along, keeping secrets from Torvald in order to please him at any expense. This was a very common situation during the era whom this play was produced. Nora is smart and capable of a lot more but she lets herself be held back in order to be the perfect wife for Torvald.

The title "A Doll House" would not fit the play because this states that everyone in the house is a doll. However, Nora is the only character truly pretending to be what they are not. This title would work if everyone was trying to give off an image that wasn't true, such as Nora did. If Nora is a doll then all the other characters would be the humans playing with her, causing her to do extra ordinary tasks such as forgery and lying.

The best title is definitely "A Doll's House" because Nora is the only character acting in a different manner in order to please her power hungry husband, Torvald. Even if she was conniving it was all in good intentions. It takes a very loving wife to go out of her way in order to make sure that her husband isn't burdened down with the expenses of a trip that saved his life. However, Torvald doesn't really see his Nora as his wife emotionally but as his little sex pet. This is what Nora finally realizes at the end of the play when Torvald is only worried about himself and what everyone else thinks about him. Nora realizes that she has been Torvald's doll and will no longer be and she leaves him. Just the act of a woman thinking for herself, let alone leaving her husband over it. This was extremely rare during the era in which this play was produced.

The title "A Doll's House" really does best express the true meaning of this play. The meaning of course is that a woman's life should never be made up by what her husband says. Nora of course fitting to Torvald's liking in order to please him no matter what it took. She then sees just what kind of a husband Torvald really is causing her to leave him. A very revolutionary play. 

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