20+ Important 'A Doll's House' Quotes Explained | Kidadl


20+ Important 'A Doll's House' Quotes Explained

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“Today a reader, tomorrow a leader.”

To many readers, 'A Doll’s House' is one of the most significant books to this day. The author is a Norwegian playwright named Henrik Ibsen, who wrote about one of the important issues of his time.

Set in the Victorian era, the story of this play by Henrik Ibsen revolves around the female character named Nora, who is constantly stuck between the expectations of her from a male-dominant society and her real feelings. The character’s husband, Torvald Helmer, is also a lead role supports and represents the patriarchy. In this book, Henrik Ibsen has done an extraordinary job of recognizing one of the most crucial issues of the nineteenth century, women were considered inferior to men and lived restricted lives. he bravery of the book in calling this out led to huge controversy and even a ban in few countries early after its release.

We hope you like these Henrik Ibsen quotes from 'A Doll's House', you can also read our articles on 'The Handmaid's Tale' quotes and 'A Streetcar Named Desire' quotes to add more inspiring quotes to your quotes stock.

Important Quotes From 'A Doll's House'

'A Doll’s House' by Henrik Ibsen is one of the most remarkable plays and books of all times. Here are few 'A Doll's House' important quotes that are noteworthy, with explanations for each quote.

1. “Why shouldn’t I look at my dearest treasure? – at all the beauty that is mine, all my very own?”

- Torvald, Act Three.

This is probably one of the most important 'Doll House' quotes which is an eye-opener. It tells her that her husband doesn’t love her for herself but only as his beautiful possession in which he takes pride.

2. “There is a big black hat — have you never heard of hats that make you invisible? If you put one on, no one can see you.”

- Dr. Rank, Act Three.

This quotation indicates the death of Torvald in a secret language. The black hat refers to death, meaning that Torvald won’t live for another fancy dance.

3. “I must stand on my own two feet if I'm to get to know myself and the world outside. That's why I can't stay here with you any longer.”

- Nora, Act Three.

After Nora says this to Torvald, we understand that she is now aware of the need to see the outside world with her own eyes, instead of just listening to the words fed to her. She chooses to leave Torvald to become an independent woman.

Krogstad Quotes

Nils Krogstad is the play’s antagonist. He is known to blackmail, threaten and torment Nora. We understand his "need" to do this due to his pressure to keep his job and provide for his family. Hence, we get a mixed image of him through the following 'A Doll's House' quotations.

4. “Mrs. Helmer, you evidently don’t appreciate exactly what you have done. But I can assure you that it is no bigger nor worse a crime than the one I once committed and thereby ruined my whole social position.”

- Mr Krogstad, Act One.

Here, Mr Krogstad tells Nora that the forgery she did to get the loan was illegal. But further reveals how her forgery hasn’t ruined her social position like him. However, he uses this reason to pressurize her in making Torvald keep his job at the bank.

5. "But I tell you this. If I get thrown into the gutter for a second time, I shall take you with me.”

- Mr Krogstad, Act Two.

This quote was spoken by Krogstad to Nora on account of blackmailing her with the information he had. The information about forgery was being used against Nora as a revenge to keep his job at the bank. If she did otherwise and he lost the job, he was to tell the truth to her husband.

Torvald Helmer Quotes

Nora’s husband, Torvald, is one of the main characters in the story. He is known to have a superior male attitude that is seen in how he tries to control every aspect of her life.

6. “From now on, forget happiness. Now it’s just about saving the remains, the wreckage, the appearance.”

- Torvald, Act Three.

These words were uttered by Torvald after learning of the forgery Nora has committed. It is evident from this quote that Torvald prioritizes his image over taking responsibility for Nora's actions.

7. "Now you have destroyed all my happiness. You have ruined all my future."

- Torvald, Act Three.

This quote from Torvald comes after he learns about the forgery by Nora. We realize from these words that he seems only concerned with himself and has no care about Nora.

8. “I’d never have believed this. You really have forgotten everything I taught you.”

- Torvald, Act Two.

Torvald says these words in disappointment to Nora when he sees her practicing her tarantella instead of getting ready for the fancy ball.

'A Doll's House' Quotes About Marriage

'A Doll’s House' is mainly known for its storyline of main characters, Nora and Torvald’s, marriage. Their marriage is a journey and exploration of love throughout the play. Therefore, we see a lot of changes in their marriage as Nora discovers the true meaning of love. Here are a few 'A Doll's House' marriage quotes to find out more.

9. “We’ve been married for eight years. Does it occur to you that this is the first time we two, you and I, man and wife, have ever had a serious talk together?”

- Nora, Act Three.

This quote is spoken by Nora to Torvald from their serious conversation after his reaction to the forgery. Nora and Torvald both realize that this was the first heart-to-heart conversation in their entire marital life.

10. “Our home has been nothing but a playroom. I have been your doll-wife, just as at home, I was papa's doll-child; and here the children have been my dolls.”

- Nora, Act Three.

This is one of the Nora quotes that highlight her acknowledgement of Torvald’s self-centered nature. She reminds him how he repeated what her father did to her as a child by imprinting his thoughts on her and controlling her as if she was a doll.

Mrs Linde Quotes

Mrs Kristine Linde is an old friend of Nora. From her quotes we discover the moral sense she has for life as she has seen more hardships than Nora.

11. “It’s sweet of you to bother so much about me, Nora. Especially since you know so little of the worries and hardships of life.”

- Mrs Linde, Act One.

These words were spoken by Mrs Linde in response to Nora’s bragging about a job offer in Torvald’s bank. Mrs Linde tells her that money and other materialistic items aren’t enough to be happy in life especially when Nora hasn't faced many difficulties in life.

12. "Nora: Tell me, is it really true that you did not love your husband? Why did you marry him?

Mrs. Linde: My mother was alive then and was bedridden and helpless, and I had to provide for my two younger brothers; so I did not think I was justified in refusing his offer."

- 'A Doll's House', Act One.

Here, Nora asks Mrs Linde about her marriage to which Mrs Linde says that she didn’t have much of an option but to marry. The marriage wasn’t out of love but out of circumstances as she needed support for her sick mother.

Nora Helmer Quotes

Nora Helmer is the “doll” from 'A Doll’s House'. She is the character who the play is focused on. Love is the biggest lesson for her as she discovers that her marriage with Torvald has been an utter lie and finds real love with Dr Rank.

13. “One day, I might, yes. Many years from now, when I’ve lost my looks a little. Don’t laugh. I mean, of course, a time will come when Torvald is not as devoted to me, not quite so happy when I dance for him, and dress for him, and play with him.”

- Nora, Act One.

This quote explains Nora's insecurities towards Torvald when she contemplates about telling him the secret loan she took to save his life. She imagines telling the secret when she gets older, and her beauty is lost.

14. “Anyway, it’s wonderful, really, in a way – sitting here and waiting for the miracle to happen.”

- Nora, Act Two.

This quote depicts Nora's incapability to stop Torvald from reading Krogstad’s letter. She hopes for a miracle of Torvald taking the responsibility of the forged documents for the love he has for her.

15. “To be free, absolutely free. To spend time playing with the children. To have a clean, beautiful house, the way Torvald likes it.”

- Nora, Act One.

This quote represents Nora's feelings of wanting to have the perfect marriage, without the pressure fro her husband. She feels the need to keep the house and the family the way he likes it.

16. “You have never loved me. You have only thought it pleasant to be in love with me.”

- Nora, Act Three.

In this quote, we see how she has realized Torvald’s selfishness as he expressed his concerns towards his jeopardized image after the forged documentation by her, instead of taking responsibility for the actions. She says how he never really loved her but liked the idea of being in love with her instead.

'A Doll's House' Quotes About Money

As the lead characters of 'A Doll’s House' belong to a reputable middle class family, we see many references to the importance of money in their life. Torvald, amongst all, is very ambitious and knows the value of hard-earned money.

17. “Oh, sometimes I was so tired, so tired. But it was tremendous fun, all the same, sitting there working and earning money like that. Almost like being a man.”

- Nora, Act One.

This quote expresses Nora's wishes to become as independent as a man in a patriarchal society. She finds it tiring but fun to work hard.

18. “No debt, no borrowing. There can be no freedom or beauty about a home life that depends on borrowing and debt. We two have kept bravely on the straight road so far, and we will go on the same way for the short time longer that there need be any struggle.”

- Torvald, Act One.

This quote was said by Torvald to Nora, explaining the importance of money and the value it holds. He explains how borrowed money can never give the comfort of having their own money.

Henrik Ibsen's 'A Doll's House' Quotes About Feminism

The author of 'A Doll’s House' found fame through his work that related to the feminist cause. A supporter of women during difficult times, we think you will like these Henrik Ibsen quotes on feminism.

Wooden train and doll house on the floor with vintage wallpaper on background.

19. “A woman cannot be herself in the society of the present day, which is an exclusively masculine society, with laws framed by men and with a judicial system that judges feminine conduct from a masculine point of view.”

- Henrik Ibsen.

Henrik Ibsen expresses the patriarcal cage that women lived within. During those times, women didn’t have much freedom at all to do as they please.

20. “Nils, a woman who has once sold herself for another’s sake, doesn’t do it a second time.”

- Mrs Linde, Act Three.

The above quote was said to Krogstad on account of saving Nora Helmer from his blackmail. She says that she has already sacrificed herself before for her bedridden mother and three younger brothers and that she can’t do it again. It reflects the sense that women were expected to make sacrifices for their families.

Here, at Kidadl, we have carefully created lots of interesting family-friendly quotes for everyone to enjoy! If you like our suggestions for 20+ important 'A Doll's House' quotes and explanations, then why not take a look at these Mary Shelley quotes and Margaret Atwood quotes too?

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