• Reading Levels 3 - 5

A Doll’s House

Henrik Ibsen denied that it was his intention to write A Doll’s House as a feminist text, but the play has long been a favourite of feminist thinkers and activists. For them, it details a middle-class woman’s awakening to the lack of fulfilment in her life, and her husband’s apathyLack of interest or enthusiasm. . Many 19th Century women related fiercely to Nora’s assertion that “I have been your doll-wife, just as at home I was papa’s doll-child; and here the children have been my dolls”, as well as her decision to leave her family to honour her duties towards her own happiness at the end. But not everybody appreciated the Norwegian playwright’s 15th play: it was accompanied by a wave of controversy, with one of Ibsen’s agents even changing the ending to have Nora decide to stay with her family, in line with sensibilities of the time.

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