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Determinism And Free Will In A Doll's House

835 words - 4 pages

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 ...view middle of the document...

Torvald's strong fear of being influenced is seen throughout the play, both when he refuses to reverse his decision on Krogstad ''Give people the idea that I am open to outside influences?...I would soon feel the consequences.''At the same time though, Torvald is more pressured than any other character by his own environment, which is dominated by a strict social code and maintaining one's reputation at all costs, there is evidence of this in that Torvald is worried of the ''consequences,'' which is quite an indirect term, and suggests an inevitability, so could be inferred that Torvald is worried about how society would judge him. Despite Torvalds apparent lack of awareness of how his character has been moulded by his environment, he is very aware of how Nora has been affected by hers,''all your fathers recklessness and instability he has handed on to you'' this could suggest that he trying to find something to blame for what has happened rather than Nora herself, and while this suggests that he still loves her, it also shows he hasn't changed because, he is still overlooking the fact that Nora is capable of independent action and has a free will.

Dr Rank is quite a literal embodiment of...

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