Henrik Ibsen‘s “A Doll’s House.”- a world lights and shadows
Henrik Ibsen is a writer, thanks to whom the Scandinavian literatures play a role in world culture for the first time. For literary theorists is the creator of a “new era” in the field of drama. For mass viewers and readers he is just the author of “Nora” – the popular name that is more often named Ibsen’s drama “A Doll’s House.”
He works in the second half and at the end of the nineteenth century, but the themes, issues and characters that appear in the middle of his dramas still incites the search for answers to the “eternal questions” such as: who am I, what am I and what I want to be ,where am I and what is the community in which I live.
One of his own, Norwegian playwright Helge Krog (Heiberg) , compares the eternity of Ibsen’s work with the light which comes to us from space long after the broadcast of its stars. Although the source is far away, that light flows continuously and is always new. So it is with the dramas of Ibsen. Light metaphors are provoked by the dramas of Ibsen, where dream of the characters in sun, rays and heat is in contrast with the bleak environment with marsh air, which they are forced to live in.Perhaps this is the reason for another dominant idea of the Norwegian playwright – the one of “dark Ibsen.”.Dark and light are in constant rivalry.The idea of his dark radiation is so dominant that it left its mark both in outline of his personal portrait and in his interpretation as an artist. Ibsen is like “Northern Sphinx” who refers occasionally his harrowing mystery to mankind, he is like “cruel and dark thinker.”
Actually, the game between light and darkness clash between heat and cold stem from the complex relief and climate of northern Norway. This is the country of fjords, deep gorges and high cliffs, mountainous area with pleasant and short summer, with rapid overblown vegetation, with long and stormy winter and spring – with fogs and falling avalanches.In this land live a fishing and rural people who on the one hand are forced to lead raw combat with nature, is characterized by sober and realistic outlook on life and on the other is prone to dreaminess and deep mysticism. In dwellings, surrounded by high cliffs that do not allow the sun to penetrate the straits are born dark and focused people a lifetime studying the Bible and quietly digging the big problems of life. These are lands once inhabited by Vikings, who argue that the distant voyages reached the shores of America long before Columbus’s time. A fjords, deep gorges and high cliffs that are interior, among which are born characters and storyline of the Scandinavian sagas.
The greater part of his life Ibsen spent away from home – in Italy and in Germany but he never change, the Scandinavian theme in his work . Action in his plays rare played against the backdrop of snow-capped fjords or ordinary, but northern homes. Characters, whether they are prominent members of the community, representatives of the middle class, maids or carpenters are always Norwegians .
In a letter of 1880 to his German translator Ibsen said: “Everything written by me, has the closest connection with what I have experienced …”So every piece, published under my pen is opened to me the meaning of spiritual liberation and purification. “The reason for this revelation created a year earlier drama “A Doll’s House.”
Creative story “A Doll’s House” is associated with two close to the family of Ibsen writers with whom he met at different stages of their lives. This is Camilla Collett, zealous advocate of women’s rights, and Laura Petersen (in man – Killer), Norwegian-Danish writer whose family drama is the origin of the experiences of Nora.
Laura Petersen Ibsen met when she was still very young. Only nineteen, Laura wrote a novel called “Daughters of Brand.” Already married to Victor Killer she took a loan without his knowledge. Reason for credit was the illness of her husband- tuberculosis and its refusal to seek help from her wealthy father. Laura alone decide to provides the money. After a trip abroad, her husband’s health was improving. Impose, however new loans that later she may find it difficult to repay. She was chained to the bed after her last birth. All her hopes for the acquisition of money are associated with finding a publisher of one of her works with the purpose of recommendations she sent it to Ibsen, but he expressed extremely negative. Laura burned the manuscript and fell in a spiritual crisis. Meanwhile, the secret comes out. She was banished from home, without being assessed. later Victor reconciled with Laura. She returns home and since winning as a writer herself, managed to pay off the loans.
These events greatly impressed Ibsen, the more he feels personally involved in them. In the original story, however, the writer brings a number of changes.First introduced Ibsen forgery of the signature of the father, which has the dual effect. On the one hand, aggravates the situation of Nora infront Helmer and the public, which can eventually learn of her deception .On the other hand, adds touch of nobility in her actions that are prompted by the desire to save the care of both- the sick husband and his dying father. Laura was evicted from her home, but later returned to regain her place of mother and wife. For Nora such an outcome is unthinkable, no alternative to a late return is possible.
In the conceptual center of the drama became public and universal issues such as the individual’s right of choice, the exercise of the free will of the individual, the dependence of the individual prejudices of the environment, and the conflict between the external, visible side of things and their actual content.
The Story-the episode in which her lender Krogstad asks her to obtain from her husband his return to work, threatening her that if it fails will tell him about the loan.
Nora becomes terrified by the fact that for her “feat” will tell a foreign man with a coarse words.
But it turns out that what for her is heroism, for the law is a crime. She is waiting to arrest her, but much more unbearable is the behavior of Helmer who wants to find out who she did so. He experiences “natural aversion” of liars. Nora has always trusted Helmer, she thought that he was better than her . Krogstad writes the letter of Helmer, in which it reported on the forgery of the signature.
While Helmer reading the letter, Nora wants to run away from home. Starts the scandal Helmer sees Nora crook…. She is expecting a miracle. Believed in the miracle-that her beloved husband is going to have such a desire to sacrifice as she did.
Receive a second letter from Krogstad, in which he renounces all claims: “I am saved!”-rejoice Helmer. “And me?”- Norah ask. “And you!”
Helmer is willing to forget evrything and forgive his wife. But there is the storm that is rising in her soul. She’s lost illusions, seeing his real face. Behind the façade of sophistication when things get tense out actually hides a tyrannical and weak kind, on which public ugliness has made a deep impression. The fear of the loss of a secure and well funded job, which will lead to income deprivation, Helmer displayed in the creepy conviction over Nora: “but no one man would sacrifice his honor for a woman.” nothing can keep Nora into her house because the real image emerges of her husband – a “foreign man”, with whom she has lived for eight years, a “foreign person” to whom she gave birth to three children. Like the ancient tragedy occurs “recognition scene”. And so, as Nora in the last act of the drama with taking the mask suit turns into true Nora, which has obligation to herself and Helmer revelied his face – a public face embossed with which he fully merged.
Initially, the society was something that didn’t bother much Nora before the same society to intervene in its relations with Helmer. In the last action Nora is no longer interested in what society will do or people will say. She understands that compliance with public regulation does not always lead to result in a positive direction, because this regulation not only is not equal for all, but it’s too controversial, but in the world of integrity, in which live, lacking elementary morality and humanity. The heroine turns into a modern Antigone, which still trust their judgements about fairness of the “unwritten”, the eternal human laws, and “written” has yet to verify the.
Ibsen’s contemporaries often said that the new DRAMA begins with the words of Nora: “we have a lot to talk about!”
These words are spatial and compositional Center of the play.
In the Ibsen’s dramas, heroes, on whose inner conflict is built, are required to clarify to the end their attitude towards the events and ideas.
Nora’s line “we have a lot to talk about!” is the dramatic knot conflict that remains unresolved within the play and is exported outside the theater. So Ibsen realized his goal – the audience to “participate” in his lyrics. This suggests scandalised public opinion and makes Ibsen popular.
According to societal norms of morality, the sacred duty of the woman is to be a wife and mother.
Nora doesn’t believe in it: “I think that, above all, I’m human!”
The final play was the infamous
He caused such a controversy, in hotels and restaurants was put inscriptions: “Please do not discuss the” doll’s House “.” The theatres are not solved to put the play with such end and entered the scene in which Nora, seeing the kids out and stayed at home.
Ibsen was enraged by such attitude to his work: “the whole play was written for the final scene.”-saying it.
Two years after the onset of drama Ibsen offers the audience a new, more scandalous- “Ghosts” -a drama that tells about what would happen if Nora was not left home. Instead of escaping, in this play the heroine is returnined back to the family and faced all the negative consequences of this. The main character, Mrs. Alving, was essentially a Nora, which, however, has resigned his position, not complied with procurement arrangements.. But while “do
ll’s House” ends when the heroes discern precisely the gaping chasm between them, then the action in “Ghosts” begins with the abyss. The discovery of the reasons for its existence is a major problem of the drama.
IBSEN’S TASK is to make a serious drama; to force the Viewer to think along with the author and the characters, turning it into a co-author in the drama have to fight no ideas should be portrayed conflict of people life conflicts, in which are hidden deeply struggling, failing or winning ideas. The play does not have to end with the fall of the curtain. The real payoff is outside its borders. The playwright sets the direction. The purpose of each task the spectator or reader to get alone to the finish line by way of personal creativity striving to awaken the human thought.
Bryan, V.and B. George An Ibsen Companion: A Dictionary-Guide to the Life, Works, and Critical Reception of Henrik Ibsen. City of Publication : Publisher, 1984.
Billington, Michael “The troll in the drawing room.” The Guardian, 14 February 2003.
Heiberg, Hans. Ibsen : A Portrait of the Artist. Trans. Joan Tate. Univ. of Miami Pres, Coral Gables, FL: University of Miami Press, 1969.
Kott, Jan. The theater of essence, and other essays. Evanston, IL: Northwestern University Press, 1984.