A Doll’s House Irony


A Doll’s House is a play by Henrik Ibsen that was first performed in 1879. The play is full of irony, which is often used to create humor or make a point. For example, Nora’s decision to leave her husband and children at the end of the play is highly ironic, given that she has spent the entire play trying to be a good wife and mother.

Similarly, Ibsen uses irony to highlight the differences between Nora and her husband, Torvald. While Nora is trapped in her role as a wife and mother, Torvald is free to pursue his career and hobbies. This contrast creates much of the tension in the play. A Doll’s House is considered one of Ibsen’s most important works, and its use of irony is central to its impact.

The final scenes of this play are set in the late 1800s home of one of the primary characters, Torvald Helmer. A Doll’s House was written by Henrik Ibsen. There are several instances of irony in this work. Nora and Torvald are particularly involved in this scenario. Many of the examples of dramatic irony in this drama involve forms of dramatic irony. Dramatic irony is a situation in which a character’s knowledge is limited, but he or she comes upon something greater than he or she realizes.)

An audience usually knows more than the character, and this can create suspense or humor. A Doll’s House is full of examples of dramatic irony, which help to create a more interesting plot.

One example of dramatic irony in A Dolls House is when Nora tells Torvald that she has saved his life. She is referring to the time when she sacrificed her own reputation and committed forgery in order to get money to save him from certain death.

At this point in the play, however, Torvald does not know about Noras involvement in this crime. He thinks that she simply overreacted to his illness and spent too much money on unnecessary treatments. The audience, however, knows the truth about what happened, and we can see the irony inNoras statement.

Another example of irony in A Dolls House occurs when Nora is talking to her friend Christine about how terrible it would be if her husband found out about her little secret. Nora is referring to the fact that she has been eating macaroons, which are forbidden by Torvald because he believes them to be bad for her health. However, Christine knows that Nora is really talking about her affair with another man, and she finds the whole situation ironic.

The final example of irony in A Dolls House happens at the very end of the play. When Nora leaves her home and family, she tells her husband that she will come back soon. Torvald responds by telling her that she must never come back, because she would be a burden to him and his good name.

The irony here is that Nora has been living in a kind of prison created by Torvalds own narrow-mindedness and lack of understanding. She has been nothing but a doll to him, and he has treated her as such. By leaving him, she is finally taking control of her own life and destiny.

While A Dolls House is full of irony, it is also a very powerful and thought-provoking play. Ibsen uses irony to highlight the problems with traditional gender roles and to show how women were often trapped in unhappy marriages. The play is still relevant today, and it continues to provoke discussion and debate.

During the play, most of the ramatic irony is between Nora and Torvald, with Torvald being the character with limited knowledge. When Mr. Krogstad is threatening to reveal Noras secret, she pleads with him not to do so. She tells him that it would be a disgrace if her “pride and joy” were revealed in such a manner…. hear about it from you ,” she says (1431). This is ironic since her husband would find her pride and joy repugnant.

Nora is aware of this rule that Torvald has set, however she had to break it in order to save his life. Nora also mentions to Krogstad that “he has such a noble nature. He can never forgive me if he finds out – and I can never forgive myself either” (1432). This is ironic because Nora is right, once Torvald finds out about her secret he does not forgive her.

Another example of dramatic irony is when Mrs. Linde comes to visit Nora. Nora confides in her and tells her about how she has been forging her father’s signature so she could get money from the bank. Nora says to Mrs. Linde “Can you see any other way out? I had to have the money, somehow” (1439). Mrs. Linde is aware of the fact that if Torvald were to find out about this he would be furious, however Nora is completely oblivious to this fact.

The final example of dramatic irony occurs at the end of the play when Nora finally confronts Torvald about his true character. She tells him “I have been your doll-wife here, just as at home I was Papa’s doll-child; and here in the town I have been treated like a mindless plaything… A little girl who does not know her A B C has no need of books, and can do very well without them.

You were disgusted with the doll that did know A B C; it was not childlike enough for you. Very well, then I will go back to being a doll once more – it is so easy to be a doll when one has no will of one’s own!” (1475-1476). Nora is aware of the fact that she has been nothing but a toy to both her father and her husband, however they are both completely unaware of this fact.

One final example of irony that occurs in A Doll’s House is situational irony. Situational irony is when something happens that is completely unexpected or contradictory to what was expected to happen. An example of this is when Krogstad comes to the house to speak to Nora and Torvald about the forged signature.

He says to them “I have come here today because I believe that in a matter concerning your wife, you, Mr. Helmer, have a right to hear the truth from my own lips” (1449). This is ironic because earlier on in the play Krogstad was threatening to tell Nora’s secret in order to blackmail her, however now he is saying that he wants to tell the truth in order to protect her.

The fact that Torvald is the one who reveals her secret makes it all the more amusing. He tells her, “Oh, what a terrible awakening this is. For the previous eight years… a hypocrite, liar, and worse than that, a criminal!” (1462). When Nora speaks of her secret, she also employs the words “pride” and “joy.” Another example of irony is how Nora treats her children like dolls. This is situational irony since Torvald abuses his wife and father when he was alive.

Nora even tries to use her children as pawns in order to get what she wants from Torvald. When Nora is caught forging her father’s signature, she threatens to leave her children if Torvald does not forgive her. She says to him, “I will go away with the children. I will go far, far away, where you will never see any of us again” (1468).

This is an example of Nora using reverse psychology on Torvald because she knows he would never allow her to take his children away from him. The final irony in A Doll’s House occurs when Nora leaves her family at the end of the play. Torvald has just been offered a position as the bank’s new manager, and Nora believes this will finally give them the life she has always wanted.

She tells him, “Now you can give up all your boring work at the bank and devote yourself to me entirely” (1479). Nora is under the impression that once Torvald gets this new job, he will have more time for her and their family. However, what she does not realize is that he will now be even busier than before. This is ironic because Nora leaves her family in order to spend more time with them, but in reality she will never see them again.

A Doll’s House by Henrik Ibsen is full of irony. From Torvald’s statements about Nora to Nora’s use of her children as pawns, Ibsen creates a web of irony that keeps the reader engaged throughout the play. The final irony, Nora leaving her family to spend more time with them, is a fitting end to this story of a woman who has been controlled by men her entire life.

In conclusion, there are many examples of irony displayed throughout A Doll’s House. Dramatic irony is used extensively between Nora and Torvald, with Torvald being the character whose knowledge is limited. Situational irony is also used throughout the play, with the most notable example being when Krogstad comes to the house to tell Nora and Torvald about the forged signature.


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