In act 1, Ibsen immediately portrays the protagonist's, Nora, status as a woman in the should. She is a symbol of the women of her era, who were believed to be content with Just the business of the home. She has been buying presents for Christmas, and is described as being, "busy opening some of the parcels". Nora busies herself with small matters, hiding macaroons and organizing things. Although her husband, Dorval, labels Nora as "my little squirrel" and a variety of other animals in a patronizing manner, Nora seems to act In the same as a woodland creature, continuously "scampering about".
Nora behaves Like a small child, hiding macaroons room her husband and spending excessive amounts of money; Dorval Is not entirely incorrect In his statement of, "has my little spendthrift been wasting money again". Although Norm's character seems to exhibit some complexity on an emotional level, she lacks a deep relationship and understanding of life outside of the house and Dorval, suggesting things such as borrowing money and, later, not realizing that forgery is a crime. One of the main causes of this is Tortilla's treatment of and relationship with Nora.
Helmet's mind-set is apparent in everything he says to Nora, as well as his degrading pet names, "lark", "squirrel", "songbird", and his objectification of her. However, his diminutive nature towards Nora is more similar to that of a father than that of a loving husband. She Is entirely dependent on him for everything, be It food, shelter, or money. Tortilla's power dynamic in the relationship Is portrayed through the sentence structure and NC)-fluency features with the extract. He constantly breaks Into Norm's sentences and questions her In an accusing manner.
In this way, Dorval treats her as if she is a helpless doll, aggravating and intensifying Norm's separation from her romanticizes perception of life and actual reality. Appearance and reality is a prominent theme within A Doll's House'. The audience is introduced to the play through the words, "hide the Christmas Tree carefully', implying that one of the focal concepts dealt in the play will be deceit. This notion is then further illustrated when she continuously lies to Dorval about such petty things as buying and eating macaroons.
The idea of the Christmas tree being hidden until is changed and "dressed" presents a metaphoric parallel to Norm's character and development throughout the play. She dresses and bejewels herself with falsehoods to show off to her husband and friends, whilst In reality she Is hiding a dangerous lie. She will not allow anyone to see the truth of the situation, when her lie is undressed. Depicted as a childish, fickle and silly woman, as the play progresses the audience is shown that she is a motivated, intelligent and strong-willed adult.
Another chief and recurrent topic incorporated in 'A Doll's House' is that of heredity, and we are introduced to this idea within the opening scene of Act One of the play; mirrored an odd little one. Exactly the way your father was.... It's deep in your blood. Yes, those things are hereditary, Nora". The characters believe that heredity is the cause and reason to all faults that lie within each other, and Dorval attributes Norm's wanton attitude towards money to the similar approaches and mind-set of her father.
In this manner, the characters avoid the responsibility of their ill-suited traits y blaming their bloodlines. Anything negative in their physicality or mentality is not the result of their own actions, but the result of an incorrect and immoral heritage. This notion of Nora being a "spendthrift" being in her blood creates a parallel link later in the play, when Nora becomes convinced that her lie will negatively influence her children; they will inevitably become corrupt. In this way, the opening scene of Act One portrays the mentality of the characters that will continue throughout the majority of the play.
Henries Ibsen 'A Doll's House', was completely innovative and unconventional for the society of its era. The play tackled the idea that the culture of the time was not necessarily as Just or principled as it portrayed itself to be; that behind its respectable fade was an unequal and prejudiced system. Ibsen portrayed this concept through the prominent themes of the role of women within society and the household, what is appearance and what is reality, and the idea that all of our traits and faults are the result of our heritage.