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Determinism and Free Will in a Doll's House

  • Date Submitted: 11/28/2011 03:42 PM
  • Flesch-Kincaid Score: 33.7 
  • Words: 821
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Perhaps the most crucial theme in A Doll's House is determinism and free will. It is a theme that encapsulates many of the other themes of the play, and forces the audience of the play to ask the question; to what extent are the characters in play influenced by society?Or are they purely guided by their own free will?. These question could just as easily be applied to the world today as it could in 19th century Europe.

During the play we see   much free will being exerted by Nora,. The first time we see evidence of Nora rebelling against the determinism of society is when Torvald is mocking the time that Nora shut herself away working and Nora responds ''I didn't find it boring,'' this simple statement instantly makes it clear to the audience that Nora is not necessarily a typical woman of the time, that she does nocontradicted by her instant return to the standard housewife ''I don't have to any longer!'' Which creates doubt as to whether or not she is still in a deterministic mindset. Throughout the play she continues to rebel against typical views towards women, for example she when she eats macaroons despite them being ''forbidden'' she is rebelling against Torvalds objectification of her by exercising her free will as it shows that she has a disregard for Torvalds parent like, patronizing treatment of her, he is assuming that she doesn't know how to look after herself, which is ironic because we, as an audience know that it was in fact she who has had to look after him. It is not until act 3 that we see the true extent of Nora's wilfulness, before this point in the play, it has been made clear to the audience that Nora is going to have no choice but to leave the house once Torvald reads Krogstad's letter, Nora seems very distraught about it, until she realises that her husband is not going to take responsibility for her action upon himself, and at this moment she realises that free will is entirely hers, it's reminiscent of a child growing up and having to...


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