A Doll’s House – Henrik Ibsen

Review by Dakarayi Jane


Calling all  Jane Austen ‘Emma’ lovers, teachers trying to instil a love of literature in their students, or any Literature or book fanatics out there. I would like to recommend Henrik Ibsen’s play ‘A Doll’s House’. Written in 1879, it is read as an early feminist play.

My personal opinion as a reader is that I had personal reservations about Nora as a character; I wasn’t sure if I liked her or found her apparent charm frustrating. (If you’ve read Emma, you know exactly what I mean). I had to have a long internal debate about whether or not I could actually stand by her as she made decisions throughout the play.

Never-the-less, Ibsen deals with contemporary issues concerning gender: the roles of men and women, and the way society impacts the way those roles should be carried out. Nora,  portrayed as the ideal wife, become disillusioned as her love for her husband becomes the undoing of the idealistic picture their marriage has become. It’s a  journey of questionable friendships and loose loyalties, not to mention the ever-prominent plot thickener— betrayal.

Ibsen successfully explores the consequences that marital secrets have on the individuals involved. It’s enough to make you wonder if they even realised whom they had married! I recommend you pick up a copy and travel back in time to stereotypical and prejudiced nineteenth century Norwegian society. It will make for a fantastic literary conversation, and no matter which society you live in now, I’m sure you’ll find that relatable comparisons can be made between the characters and our contemporary struggles. Whether that’s a good thing or not, you decide!