A dolls house



A DOLL’S HOUSE by Henrik Ibsen

English IV/UV


2/4 Structure

  • Introduction – topic sentence; summary sentences that include author, title and genre; thesis – must be arguable; 2 proofs
  • 2 Body Paragraphs – evidence must include relevant and adequate textual examples, quote support and commentary; transition smoothly between ideas; connect to both proof and also thesis
  • Conclusion – restate thesis; summarize main points of essay; end with a strong and memorable final sentence
  • Mechanics – proofread for spelling/typos; maintain 3rd person voice throughout; check for pronoun ambiguity/agreement; maintain verb tense consistency etc.


Thesis Guidelines:

A thesis is a statement that can be argued and successfully proven with textual evidence.  It is not a statement of fact, but rather a statement of opinion.


Possible thesis options for A Doll’s House:

Character driven essays:

  • Consider the character of Torvald. Is Torvald an antagonist?  A misogynist (man who hates women)? A victim of 19th century social norms?  Although Torvald presents himself as a confident man, is he really insecure?
  • Consider the character of Nora. Is Nora a product of society, a doll in a doll’s house?  Is Nora a tragic hero?  Is Nora a rite-of-passage character?  Is Nora responsible for own her problems?  Does Nora make the right decision to leave her family at the end of the play?
  • Consider the character of Dr. Rank. Why did Ibsen create the character of Dr. Rank?  How is he a foil for Torvald?
  • Consider the character of Kristina. Why did Ibsen create the character of Kristina?  How is she a foil for Nora?


Thematic Connections:

  • Identify a theme from the play and formulate a thesis around it i.e. One of the messages of A Doll’s House is that …..

truth can be both constructive and destructive

people often prefer illusion to reality

appearances can be deceiving

  • other thematic connections revolve around:

respect and the value of reputation

deceit and lies

the importance of money

men and masculinity

women and femininity

concept of home


Social Commentary:

  • What comment is Ibsen making about 19th century society? Does he criticize this society?  How so?  Possible ideas:  gender roles, pressure for men to achieve success and maintain a good reputation, little opportunities for married and unmarried women (consider Nora, Kristina and Nanny), love/marriage.



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