Ibsen and Hnath's A Doll's House

  • Asst. Prof. Dr. Tara Taher Dabbagh English Department, College of Languages, Salahaddin University


Henrik Ibsen’s concern in A doll’s house (1879) is the exposition of what he deems social evils and shortcomings, consequently leaving his protagonist’s future, after she famously slams the door on her married life, to the audience’s speculation. His open ending thus exemplifies Barthes’s seminal argument against unquestioned authorial authority in ‘The death of the author’ (1967), reasoning that what matters is the impression that a text makes on its destination, i.e., the reader. This paper looks into the take of one such reader on Ibsen’s text. Lucas Hnath, who provides a sequel to Ibsen’s play, daringly calling it A doll’s house, part 2 (2017), interprets Nora’s venturing into the outer world in terms of career and financial success. He begins his play with a knock on the same door ushering in, supposedly fifteen years later, the now established and self-assured feminist novelist Nora. As the two plays thus form a unified ontology, they showcase the Formalist postulate of the recurrent devices and the binding autonomous interrelations of literature. The themes that Ibsen starts are continued and elaborated by Hnath, who offers an extensive portrayal  of  various perceptions of Nora’s decision to leave her family. He does so through the tactic of the discussion, originally introduced by Ibsen,  which goes counter to the latter’s general style of the well-made play. As New Criticism shares with Formalism its focus on the literary text itself, severing it from author and social context, its approach of close reading is used in this paper to analyze the merged schema of the two plays

Oct 12, 2021
How to Cite
DABBAGH, Asst. Prof. Dr. Tara Taher. Ibsen and Hnath's A Doll's House. Journal of Language Studies, [S.l.], v. 4, n. 4, p. 54-72, oct. 2021. ISSN 2616-6224. Available at: <http://jls.tu.edu.iq/index.php/lang/article/view/341>. Date accessed: 25 oct. 2021. doi: http://dx.doi.org/10.25130/lang.v4i4.341.