Henrik Ibsen’s drama A Doll's House is an analytical, three-act drama that follows a clear structure. The physical and time setting of the action will be closely examined and discussed. T he physical setting is especially notable, as the entire action takes place in the Helmer family's apartment.

The language of the characters offers important information about them.  The way people speak to  Nora, for example, makes it clear that she is not taken seriously. At important points in the plot, Nora’s monologues offer her thoughts and fears, which arise as a result of Krogstad's blackmail.

Our analysis also goes into the various symbols and leitmotifs: dolls, costumes, masks, the Christmas feast, and the promissory note. Likewise, we look at the nicknames Nora’s husband uses, which highlight her role and Torvald’s opinion of her.


Here, you can read an extract from our study guide: 

The bird in the golden cage

From the very beginning of the play, it is striking how often Torvald metaphorically compares Nora to birds: "Is that my little lark twittering out there? (Act 1, 5%). She is his songlark and a skylark (Act 1. 5%), both songbirds that were readily kept in cages indoors in those days under circumstances not appropriate to their species: "Has my little spendthrift been wasting money again?" (Act 1, 5%). 

Torvald also refers to his wife as an expensive investment that costs him "a deal of money" (Act 1, 7%). It is precisely this financial dependence that is the symbolic "bird food" that keeps Nora from flying away. Again and again, Torvald gives Nora money to keep her in a good mood. Only when Nora realizes...

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