Brantley, Ben. “A Caged Wife, Desperately Spinning Her Wheel.” The New York Times, 28 Feb.
Engaging article revolving around Ben Brantley’s experience and thoughts on Young Vic’s production on the play of A Doll’s House. Brantley goes in depth on how the production managed to capture the quiet yet chaotic situation Nora was put through. He touches on how Nora’s actor Hattie Morahan perfectly instills her feeling of devastation and how the enormous amount of anticipated fear slowly takes over her life. This review helps emphasize Ibsen’s curated characters in which expresses humanist ideals.
Tucker, Mathew. Henrik Ibsen’s Masterpiece Delivers A Modern
Matthew adds to the conversation on how a 139-year old play ages. He goes on to relay Morahan’s performance and how she successfully takes on the role to show Nora’s emotional journey. He mentions Nora’s oppression and commented on social issues that were addressed in the play like feminism, suicide, and depression. This article could add on to Ibsen’s message on humanism.
Moi, Toril “First and Foremost a Human Being”: Idealism, Theatre, and Gender in A Doll’s
House, 2016, https://muse-jhu-edu.queens.ezproxy.cuny.edu/article/205457
Moi puts Ibsen’s use of idealism into question and asks what Ibsen set to do with this play. Moi claims that Ibsen’s main goal was to put a spotlight on the situation on woman and their place in society. Moi compares “A Doll’s House” with work from Madame de Stael and uses Corinne, a character from “Le Mannequin” to relate to how she was silenced and how in both cases, they were reduced to a mere thing. Moi also mentions the humanism in Nora’s dance in Act 2 and how it signifies and demonstrates her humanity.
Smith, Kyle. “Three cheers for femininity.” New Criterion, June 2017, p. 42+. Literature Resource Center, http://link.galegroup.com/apps/doc/A497796050/LitRC?u=cuny_queens&sid=LitRC&xid=738a7ba6.
Smith talks about Lucas Hnath’s production of “A Doll’s house” Part 2 and how it relates to our time. He states that the original play carries too much of a historical context, therefore, it’s “overdetermined, declarative, stolid, and didactic” becomes overbearing for theater expectations nowadays, and becomes a catalyst for a message. Lucas’s production had Nora come back from her journey and explain how marriage, in general, subjugates women and restricts them from “free love and careers”.
Akerholt, May-Brit. “Playbird or featherbrain?” Forum for World Literature Studies, vol. 2, no. 1, 2010, p. 117+. Literature Resource Center, http://link.galegroup.com/apps/doc/A287111973/LitRC?u=cuny_queens;sid=LitRC;xid=074e6f3d.
Akerholt discusses in his article the linguistic art in translation, where the source and target language plays an important role in the attempt to achieve a gapless play. An example of this is how Ibsen uses the word ‘Spillefugl’ to ambiguously suggest meanings along: gambler, play bird, or perform, but the translation often becomes: “featherbrain” and “spendthrift”. Akerholt suggests that the loss of the connotation of gamble lacks the feeling of ‘waste’ and the ambiguity of ‘Spillefugl’ relating to Torvald’s view on Nora; he conditioned her to bear womanly quality yet finds fault with it. A related example of careful word choices: “But let’s do as I say, Torvald. That gives me time to decide what I need most. ” Akerholt asserts that the decision to use ‘I, decide, need’ is a direct indicator from Ibsen to uphold Nora’s broad but distinctly human characteristic where her usage of money comes from ‘need’ and not ‘want’. This is further supported by the usage of ‘decide’ instead of ‘think’.
Rosefeldt, Paul. “Ibsen’s A Doll’s House.” The Explicator, vol. 61, no. 2, 2003, pp. 84-85. ProQuest, http://queens.ezproxy.cuny.edu:2048/login?url=https://search-proquest-com.queens.ezproxy.cuny.edu/docview/216776936?accountid=13379.
In this critical essay, it’s made known that Ibsen declared “There are two kinds of spiritual law one in man and one in woman … but the woman is judged in practical matters by man’s law.” According to Ibsen, society is primarily run by men with laws written by men. He then makes the claim that a hidden message within the play is how fatherhood, while linked to authority and stability in the patriarchy, is simultaneously associated with abandonment, illness, absence, and corruption. This is interesting because it fits the theme of inequality and the fact that gender prevents Torvald and Nora from achieving true love.
William, Robert. Kissel, Adam ed. “A Doll’s House A Performance History of the Play”. GradeSaver, 2 August 2008 Web.
A quick summary of “A Doll’s House” premiere and history. Opposed to popular beliefs, the play took two years to take off and performed outside of Germany and Scandinavia. According to their sources, Hedwig Niemann-Raabe, the lead actor as Nora, refused to take part in Ibsen’s ending because she claims it is absurd for her to leave her children. This clearly divulges the vast difference of societal norm between the Victorian era and now. Furthermore, it is made known that a 2007 production by Lee Breur, which was played at the Edinburgh Festival, cast dwarves for the male roles, bestowing a gender bias ironically. The article runs off by listing the remaining productions, mainly as major film versions.