A Dolls House

Thinking Question

What is worth sacrificing to uphold your values/beliefs?

TOK Connection

Language and literature are never simply transparent. They also encode values and beliefs. To what extent should this be considered when responding to texts?

A Little Background

Answer the following questions to gain some insight into Isben and his play.

  1. Where was Henrik Ibsen from, and when did he write A Doll’s House?
  2. Briefly explain the naturalist movement, or “naturalism” in art and literature:
  3. Briefly explain modernism in art and literature.
  4. What is “social realism” in art and literature?
  5. What is “social drama”?
  6. When A Doll’s House opened in London in 1882, one critic said, “It would be a misfortune were such a morbid and unwholesome play to gain the favour of the public.” Why was it, and many of Ibsen’s other plays, considered to be scandalous?
  7. Read a bit about some of Ibsen’s plays. What sorts of themes and ideas tend to run through them? Give at least three examples.
  8. Ibsen once said, “Anyone who wishes to understand me fully must know Norway…the severe landscape…the lonely shut off life.” Briefly explain what you do know about Norway today. What was life like there during the 19th century? What would have been expected of a man? Of a woman?
  9. What do you believe the title A Doll’s House might mean and why?

The Text

You can find full versions of the text here. You also have access to annotate these copies so feel free to add comments etc.

Further Reading

Don’t forget to post any additional reading you find on A Doll’s House on this wall.

Image: ‘Tiny Hands, Tiny Duck, Tiny Door

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