I have finished writing an essay, which is due tomorrow. As an ESL student, I have the feeling that I have a lot of grammatical mistakes. Is there any sentence where you wonder what the heck I am trying to say? Hope anyone can help!

The Woman Within the Doll

The Baltimore Sun wrote that back in 1879, “A Doll's House” by Henrik Ibsen “shocked and offended people wherever [it] was played,” and that the dramatist assured it was not about a woman, but about “anyone who had to live according to the rules created by others” (Hyder). Society thought to be outrageous that a woman would get involved in manly things, for her role in society was exclusively to care for the family and please her husband. Women did not enjoy the rights women do now. They were not taken seriously, and decisions were made by the man who was and still is considered the head of the family. Nora's choice to become free, independent and leave her husband, along with some of the characters' actions made this play to be scandalous for its time.

Ibsen wrote in a letter that the story in “A Doll's House” was about a woman who feels:

[o]ppressed and bewildered by belief in authority, she loses her faith in her own moral right and ability to bring up her children... [She is bittered because,] like certain insects, (ought to) go away and die when she has done her duty towards the continuance of the species... [she shakes] off of cares, [but then she feels] a sudden return of apprehension and dread. She must bear it all alone” (Doll).

Nora had a beautiful life, she had a husband, beautiful children, and everything she wanted. Earlier in her marriage, his husband suffered of an illness of which he needed to recover somewhere in the south, but this was concealed from him by the doctor and Nora. Not having the means to afford a trip so costly and out of love and desperation, Nora decides to ask for a loan without letting Tolvard know. She forges her father's signature to obtain the loan because she does not want to trouble her father either, who is very ill himself too. However, she is responsible and works secretly from home in order to make the payments. Eventually, Tolvard finds out about her secret and feels that his life, happiness and reputation will be lost once Krogstad, who lent the money, publishes the then scandalous situation out of revenged for having fired him from the bank he now manages. He quickly turns against her. That is the moment when Nora starts to understand things she did not understand before; she realizes she does not love Tolvard anymore just as he does not really love her as she thought, and decides to leave for good to discover herself.

The scenery consists of the Helmer's apartment and nowhere else. The description of the apartment depicts the decision that Nora will have to make. There is a door to the right which leads to the entryway and another to the left which leads to Helmer's study. Nora will have to decide which door to take: freedom or Helmer. The place is not “expensively furnished”, but it is comfortable, just like Nora's marriage, she lives a comfortable life, but there are certain things she lacks that are more important than riches. No woman could even consider back in the 1800s doing such a scandalous things as to leave not only the husband, but her children too.

The main character in the story is Nora, a seemingly selfish, materialistic woman who cares a lot about money and in living a good life. This is to be expected since her father liked to spend money himself and live a life he could only could afford with credit. He used to called her his “doll-child, and he played with [her] the way [she] played with [her] dolls” (Ibsen 1041). She was obviously very protected and spoiled by both, her father and her husband, who provided anything she needed or wanted. Her father raised her not think for herself and just play her role in society. “While [she] was at home with [her] father, he used to tell [her] all his opinions, and [she] held the same opinions. If [she] had others [she] said nothing about them, because he wouldn't have liked it” (1041). This repeated again as a married woman; she would not express her opinion to Tolvard, for they never talked seriously, but seemed to have trusted Dr. Rank better. Norah was greatly misunderstood. She was a loving person, she loved her husband so much that she was willing to forge her father's signature to obtain a loan to take her husband south in order for him to recover from a deadly illness. She is willing to do anything for him. Eventually she realized she does not have to play the doll anymore. One can only imagine people's reaction throughout the play's events.

Tolvard Helmer seemed to be an ideal husband. He is loving, admirable, honest, ethical, hard-working and successful, but there seems to be a dark side of him. He is a prideful man, he won't ask for money to anyone, to do so would be humiliating. To him, honor and appearances are more important than family. He does not believe people can change and become good, as he did not believe Krogstad was a good person although he had been honest for a long time already. Also, he is so affectionate that makes one wonder of his sincerity; he calls Nora diminutive names such as featherbrained, spendthrift, a squirrel, a song-bird, lark, strange little being all the time (994). One cannot think of a woman who would like being called like that and who would not be affected emotionally. Tolvard's reaction after finding out Nora's secret is amusing. He had told Nora that sometimes he wished “[she] was in some terrible danger, just so [he] could take [his] life and soul and everything, for [her] sake” (1038), yet he quickly turns against her calling her a wretched woman, a criminal, unprincipled, untrustworthy of raising her children, incapable, etc. His hypocrisy is clearly revealed when as soon as he realizes that Nora's mistake won't affect his reputation he forgives her (1039-1949). There's a saying that goes something like a good friend is hard to find, specially during difficult times; Tolvard was nor a good friend neither that perfect husband he seemed to be. He loved to have control of his wife's life, and his conversations usually tend to imply that Nora would be lost without him; that she needed his guidance and teaching. Tolvard did not love Nora, “[he] thought it fun to be in love with [her]” (1041).

Dr. Rank is in love with Nora, and that seems to have been the main reason he visited the Helmer's house. This character is not essential in the play, but it causes outrage when he dares to reveal Nora his secret. This is almost vulgar for him to do, and very dishonorable, specially during those times in which people were very conservative. It is as if he had taken advantage of the trust the family had in it and ended up tarnishing his reputation.

Mrs. Linde is one of Nora's old friends from school. She gave up her true love for money, but in the end things did not turn out the way she had expected. Her husband died leaving her in a terrible financial situation making it necessary for her to work in order to sustain her mother and brothers. After her mother passed away and her brothers did not need her help she left town. Not to have someone to take care of made her feel “completely alone in the world”, and it frightened her “to be so empty and lost” (1032). She needed “someone to take care of”, she wanted to be a mother and wanted the companionship of a husband. In the end, she was supposed to have helped Nora hide her secret. She could have convinced Mr. Krogstad to get the letter back, but she did not intercede (1033). She might have been envious of Nora, after all, Nora had all she was longing for; a husband, beautiful children, and a good life.

Lastly, Krogstad is the one who lent Nora money to save her husband, and threatens her to tell her husband if she does not convince Tolvard to let him keep his job at the bank, but just as Nora did, he once made a mistake, which caused him to loose his reputation. He was a man who seems to have been harden by life's difficulties. When he was left by the woman he dearly loved “it was as if all the solid ground dissolved from under [his] feet” (1031). This might have caused him to become the “half-drowned” kind of man, as he refers to himself. After finding love in his life he turns from the revengeful person into a forgiving one.

In conclusion, Nora realized of her true value as a human being and as a woman. She decides to leave everything and everyone, husband, children, luxuries to a journey to liberate herself. To do such thing was unthinkable at that time and caused turmoil, but it was the best choice she could ever make. To leave one's children is a terrible things to do and was not necessary, but looking beyond that, without prejudices, it is not hard to understands she is trying to figure out who she really is and what she believes in. This is essential to one's happiness; therefore she is determined to make necessary changes in her life even if people think bad of her. It seems that daring to do so back in the 1800s was just as bad as selling drugs or prostituting oneself.

Works Cited

"A Doll's House." Triton College. 21 Feb. 2008 <http://academics.triton.edu/uc/files/dollshse.html>;.

Hyder, Willian. "A Doll's House is No Toy Effort." Baltimore Sun. 15 Feb. 2008. 21 Feb. 2008 <http:// www.baltimoresun.com/news/local/howard/bal-ho.chesapeake15feb15,0,4775242.story>.

Ibsen, Henrik. "A Doll House." The Norton Introduction to Literature. New York: Norton & Co., 2006. 993-1045.
I have underlined some problem areas:

The Woman Within the Doll

The Baltimore Sun wrote that back in 1879, “A Doll's House” by Henrik Ibsen “shocked and offended people wherever [it] was played,” and that the dramatist assured it was not about a woman, but about “anyone who had to live according to the rules created by others” (Hyder). Society thought to be outrageous that a woman would get involved in manly things, for her role in society was exclusively to care for the family and please her husband. Women did not enjoy the rights women do now. They were not taken seriously, and decisions were made by the man who was and still is considered the head of the family. Nora's choice to become free, independent and leave her husband, along with some of the characters' actions made this play to be scandalous for its time.

Ibsen wrote in a letter that the story in “A Doll's House” was about a woman who feels:

" Oppressed and bewildered by belief in authority, she loses her faith in her own moral right and ability to bring up her children... [She is bittered because,] like certain insects, (ought to) go away and die when she has done her duty towards the continuance of the species... [she shakes] off of cares, [but then she feels] a sudden return of apprehension and dread. She must bear it all alone” (Doll).

Nora had a beautiful life, she had a husband, beautiful children, and everything she wanted. Earlier in her marriage, his husband suffered of an illness of which he needed to recover somewhere in the south, but this was concealed from him by the doctor and Nora. Not having the means to afford a trip so costly and out of love and desperation, Nora decides to ask for a loan without letting Tolvard know. She forges her father's signature to obtain the loan because she does not want to trouble her father either, who is very ill himself too. However, she is responsible and works secretly from home in order to make the payments. Eventually, Tolvard finds out about her secret and feels that his life, happiness and reputation will be lost once Krogstad, who lent the money, publishes the then scandalous situation out of revenged for having fired him from the bank he now manages. He quickly turns against her. That is the moment when Nora starts to understand things she did not understand before; she realizes she does not love Tolvard anymore just as he does not really love her as she thought, and decides to leave for good to discover herself. [Too many pronouns-- I don't know who's doing what to whom]


The scenery consists of the Helmer's apartment and nowhere else. The description of the apartment depicts the decision that Nora will have to make. There is a door to the right which leads to the entryway and another to the left which leads to Helmer's study. Nora will have to decide which door to take: freedom or Helmer [Tolvard / Helmer: we don't know if they are one or two]. The place is not expensively furnished, but it is comfortable, just like Nora's marriage, she lives a comfortable life, but there are certain things she lacks that are more important than riches. No woman could even consider back in the 1800s doing such a scandalous things as to leave not only the husband, but her children too.

The main character in the story is Nora, a seemingly selfish, materialistic woman who cares a lot about money and in living a good life. This is to be expected since her father liked to spend money himself and live a life he could only could afford with credit. He used to called her his “doll-child, and he played with [her] the way [she] played with [her] dolls” (Ibsen 1041). She was obviously very protected and spoiled by both, her father and her husband, who provided anything she needed or wanted. Her father raised her not think for herself and just play her role in society. “While [she] was at home with [her] father, he used to tell [her] all his opinions, and [she] held the same opinions. If [she] had others [she] said nothing about them, because he wouldn't have liked it” (1041) [All the bracketed pronouns are distracting; it would be better to give the exact quotes]. This repeated again as a married woman; she would not express her opinion to Tolvard, for they never talked seriously, but seemed to have trusted Dr. Rank better. Norah was greatly misunderstood. She was a loving person, she loved her husband so much that she was willing to forge her father's signature to obtain a loan to take her husband south in order for him to recover from a deadly illness [You said all this before; cut it.]. She is willing to do anything for him. Eventually she realized she does not have to play the doll anymore. One can only imagine people's reaction throughout the play's events.

Tolvard Helmer seemed [Be consistent in verb tenses] to be an ideal husband. He is loving, admirable, honest, ethical, hard-working and successful, but there seems to be a dark side of him. He is a prideful man, he won't ask for money to anyone, to [Commas are not conjunctions.] do so would be humiliating. To him, honor and appearances are more important than family. He does not believe people can change and become good, as he did not believe Krogstad was a good person although he had been honest for a long time already. Also, he is so affectionate that makes one wonder of his sincerity; he calls Nora diminutive names such as featherbrained, spendthrift [These are not diminutives.] , a squirrel, a song-bird, lark, strange little being all the time (994). One cannot think of a woman who would like being called like that and who would not be affected emotionally. Tolvard's reaction after finding out Nora's secret is amusing. He had told Nora that sometimes he wished “[she] was in some terrible danger, just so [he] could take [his] life and soul and everything, for [her] sake” (1038), yet he quickly turns against her calling her a wretched woman, a criminal, unprincipled, untrustworthy of raising her children, incapable, etc. His hypocrisy is clearly revealed when as soon as he realizes that Nora's mistake won't affect his reputation he forgives her (1039-1949). There's a saying that goes something like a good friend is hard to find, specially during difficult times; Tolvard was nor a good friend neither that perfect husband he seemed to be. He loved to have control of his wife's life, and his conversations usually tend to imply that Nora would be lost without him; that she needed his guidance and teaching. Tolvard did not love Nora, “[he] thought it fun to be in love with [her]” (1041).

Dr. Rank is in love with Nora, and that seems to have been the main reason he visited the Helmer's house. This character is not essential in the play, but it causes outrage when he dares to reveal Nora his secret. This is almost vulgar for him to do, and very dishonorable, specially during those times in which people were very conservative. It is as if he had taken advantage of the trust the family had in it and ended up tarnishing his reputation.

Mrs. Linde is one of Nora's old friends from school. She gave up her true love for money, but in the end things did not turn out the way she had expected. Her husband died leaving her in a terrible financial situation making [On the other hand, commas are essential for separating dependent clauses.] it necessary for her to work in order to sustain her mother and brothers. After her mother passed away and her brothers did not need her help she left town. Not to have someone to take care of made her feel “completely alone in the world”, and it frightened her “to be so empty and lost” (1032). She needed “someone to take care of”, she wanted to be a mother and wanted the companionship of a husband. In the end, she was supposed to have helped Nora hide her secret. She could have convinced Mr. Krogstad to get the letter back, but she did not intercede (1033). She might have been envious of Nora, after all, Nora had all she was longing for; a husband, beautiful children, and a good life.

Lastly, Krogstad is the one who lent Nora money to save her husband, and threatens her to tell her husband if she does not convince Tolvard to let him keep his job at the bank, but just as Nora did, he once made a mistake, which caused him to loose his reputation. He was a man who seems to have been harden by life's difficulties. When he was left by the woman he dearly loved “it was as if all the solid ground dissolved from under [his] feet” (1031). This might have caused him to become the “half-drowned” kind of man, as he refers to himself. After finding love in his life he turns from the revengeful person into a forgiving one.

In conclusion, Nora realized of her true value as a human being and as a woman. She decides to leave everything and everyone, husband, children, luxuries to a journey to liberate herself. To do such thing was unthinkable at that time and caused turmoil, but it was the best choice she could ever make. To leave one's children is a terrible things to do and was not necessary, but looking beyond that, without prejudices, it is not hard to understands she is trying to figure out who she really is and what she believes in. This is essential to one's happiness; therefore she is determined to make necessary changes in her life even if people think bad of her. It seems that daring to do so back in the 1800s was just as bad as selling drugs or prostituting oneself.
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